3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Cloud Provider
Cloud computing can offer many benefits for your business, but it means trusting a provider with your data and applications. This makes choosing the right provider essential, so you know your data is safe and accessible. Before committing to a cloud provider, here are some things to look into.
When you’re talking about data, security should be a top concern. You should understand how the data is monitored and maintained to protect both your data and your privacy. It may be helpful to ask where the cloud servers are geographically located to further understand the local laws and risks your data may be subject to.
Your cloud provider should perform regular virus scanning and updates, as well as be committed to keeping security patches up to date. User audit trails will help you track who is accessing your data, and two-factor authentication can enhance your security.
One of the benefits of cloud computing is the ability to access your data anytime and anywhere. However this requires your cloud provider to have this type of access. You should know how to add and delete authorized users, and have an authentication policy that aligns with your security goals. If your cloud provider doesn’t allow instant access to all your data, you should understand the turnaround time and be sure it will work for your business.
Whether from a hardware failure or natural disaster, data loss can occur. Before entrusting a cloud provider with your data and applications, you should understand their back-up policies. Routine back-ups to offsite servers give you a better chance of recovering your data if disaster strikes. All back-ups should be done with encryption to provide enhanced security.
Contracts eventually come to an end, so you should also understand the data recovery policy for terminated contracts. How do you get your data back, do they provide assistance, and how much time do you have to complete the process? These are all helpful things to know before you sign the contract.
Cloud computing puts your data and applications onto third party servers to allow you greater access from a variety of locations and at any time – but it comes with risks. By properly vetting your cloud provider before entrusting them with your data, you can reduce your risk and find a provider that will allow you to experience the benefits of the cloud.
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