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Can you trust the cloud with your data? Key questions to ask yourself and your IT vendor

By Marc Spigel|May 6th,2014|Client Services,Connectivity,IT,Security,Uncategorized|No comments

Question:  Is the cloud safe?  Since the term “Cloud Computing” was coined 15 years ago that’s the question we are asked most frequently. 

Answer:  Given our imperfect world, safety is a relative concept, so we manage risk.

An alarming number of companies have only one copy of their data, leaving them a tornado, flood or fire away from complete loss. I’ve seen backup operators store “offsite” tapes in the trunk of their car!  Safety is relative.  Is the Cloud more safe than your trunk or the office’s storage room?  Most likely.

Cloud services offer tremendous opportunities for individuals, small and medium-sized businesses to access high-performance software and infrastructure at budget-friendly costs. And fees are shrinking, making this option even more appealing.

Of course, due diligence is an important step in answering our question. Below are ten questions to ask of yourself and cloud vendors before you store data in the cloud:

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do I know my data? Meaning, what types of data does my company create?
  2. Do I know who has access to my data now?
  3. Do I know my plan for dealing with data loss or breech?
  4. Do I know if I can keep a local copy of my data synced with what’s in the Cloud?

Questions for your vendor:

  1. Do I know the cloud vendor’s policy for dealing with data loss or breech?
  2. Do I know if and how my vendor encrypts data?
  3. Do I know where a vendor stores data?
  4. Do I know how a vendor controls internal access to data?
  5. Do I know what happens to my data if my vendor goes out of business?
  6. Do I know what my vendor does with my data if I stop using them?

Vendors should be able to answer these questions.  If they can’t, mark them off the list.

Knowing your own data and risk levels along with the policies and risks of a vendor will let you match your risk profile to the right service.  If you have further questions about the Cloud and need help answering these questions, please contact us at (615) 353-1921 ext 200. We are “half geek. half human” and can translate your business needs into engaging solutions.

 

 

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