How Trustworthy Are Cloud Providers?

Posted on: August 31st, 2018 by nexstepaz No Comments

Many firms are taking advantage of cloud computing. It has become an integral part of daily life. With the touch of a button they can retrieve our daily digest, search for that particular photo, share an important file, print something away from the office, etc. It is a necessity they can’t live without nowadays.

Yet, with all the luxury of convenience, only less than 10% of the world’s data is currently stored in the cloud. That already includes the likes of giants Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

Why?

The power of the cloud

Using the cloud is the best leverage for your business. It saves a lot of money (and time) to outsource your company’s IT needs with the flexibility of plans or level of service rather than setting up your own IT department which is more expensive and time-consuming.

This efficiency can be transferred to and transformed in the form of better customer experience and services. Further, ready-made solutions may help you create new products and services that would give you an extra edge over competitors.

cloud-providers

Protection of data

What about the protection of your data?The most obvious way is through encryption, both while the data is in transit and while it is “at rest” on the cloud servers, explains Ian Massingham, Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) chief evangelist for Europe, Middle East and Africa.Customers can choose to control their own encryption keys if they wish, he says, as well as set the rules for who can and can’t access the data or applications.

Dropbox, one of the leading cloud service providers, encrypts their data by sharding – splitting each data file into chunks with separate encryptions. That way when there’s a data breach, the perpetrator only gets access to random blocks. Box’s cloud methodology lets users view the data without actually downloading it. This is a more secure way of sharing content.

Many providers are also adopting two-factor authentication – passwords supplemented by a one-time code generated by a different device such as a smartphone.This actually leaves the responsibility to the user.

Is data really safer in the cloud?

Most of the major data breakouts that have happened over the last five years, from Sony to Ashley Madison, TalkTalk to Target, have been from internal, not cloud-based, databases, says Amichai Shulman, chief technology officer of cyber security firm, Imperva. So this proves the “human” factor is more dominant than technology. For more safety, some companies now use the “hybrid” approach,securing their more sensitive data in a private cloud and other data and applications in the public cloud.

Cloud providers store multiple copies of your data in different servers around the world, anticipating the potential of natural disasters, so your data is safer than in your own home. Good cloud providers place their data centers in multiple secure locations.

So the final question is: How do you choose a good cloud provider? Here are some tips.

Find a provider that understands your business. There are more industry-specific cloud providers than before, that’s a good place to start. Make sure they understand all regulatory processes and procedures specified in your niche and whether they can prove their promises.

Imperva’s Amichai Shulman recommends prospective customers should also ask to see up-to-date certificates from international security standards organisations.

And, let’s remember: your data is your responsibility.

NexStep offers cloud-based technology and provides remote computing services for your company so that you can focus on your core competencies.Contact us now for more detailed information on how we can help your business maximize profitability.

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