When you make the decision to move any part of your IT infrastructure to the cloud, the question of security should be at the forefront of that decision. Whether you’re considering a full cloud migration, or a partial move as part of a hybrid solution, it’s crucial that you ask the right questions to ensure that you have a full understanding of where your cloud data will be, and how it will be protected.
Undertaking a full and comprehensive risk assessment will help you to understand the risks associated with different types of cloud infrastructures and how they relate to your business requirements. Depending on the type of business, the industry you operate in and the regulations imposed by governing bodies, you will be able to draw conclusions to build a relevant and secure cloud infrastructure that meets your security needs entirely. Over-egg it, and you could end up paying through the nose for levels of security that aren’t required, under-play it, and you could be exposing your data to vulnerabilities. You need to get it just right and your cloud provider should help you with this.
Speaking of cloud providers, these are the people responsible for keeping your data safe, so you need to be asking the right questions. Our free white paper - 10 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Cloud Provider - available here, will help you to understand what you need to know, but top of your list should be the question - where is my data? If your business is governed by regulation that requires your data to remain in the UK, you need to check whether your cloud provider uses fail-over systems which could place your data outside the UK, or even outside the EU. This question becomes even more pertinent with Brexit in mind.
And the same goes for the physical security of your data. Where is the data centre? How is it secured? What measures and procedures are in place to ensure that nobody can access your data, and what happens if the data centre experiences a power outage, fire, flood, cyber attack or equipment failure? The answers to all of these questions should help build your risk assessment and business continuity plans, and put you on the right path to a secure cloud computing environment.
Another big risk to your cloud data - indeed any data - is human error. A cloud infrastructure can boast all the security in the world, but one employee clicking one URL in one phishing email, can mark the end of your business, or at the very least huge financial losses through downtime, data recovery costs and reputational damage. Education is key, and regular comprehensive security training should be given to all employees to help them to understand the threats, how to avoid them and what’s expected of them in terms of their behaviours in order to play their part towards keeping the company secure. Everything from a password policy and rules around accessing company data on personal devices, to being aware of the latest hacks and scams will ensure that your teams stay alert to the risks.
Keep an eye out for our free white paper - Your Cloud Security Guide - coming soon, for a comprehensive guide to cloud security and the steps you should be taking. Or contact our cloud security experts here, for any questions or advice about your cloud security requirements.