Cloud applications provide you with an opportunity to streamline your IT infrastructure, but they also raise compliance issues and new security risks. The challenges of migrating to the cloud deserve your attention, given the complexity of government regulations such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley, among many others.
Evaluating Cloud Security
User identity and access management are critical security issues when operating in the cloud, and service providers are responsible for maintaining data controls. User de-provisioning when an employee leaves an organization is also a major concern and needs to be managed effectively to prevent data theft or misuse of sensitive information. Not all vendors have the necessary security systems to meet government requirements, making it important to select the right business partner. Security features must mitigate both physical and digital threats to maintain the highest level of security to keep your information safe.
A cloud hosting data center is usually monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week through surveillance and on-site inspection. The physical security within the facility should be tight, and only authorized technicians should have access to the servers and hardware that facilitate your cloud applications. Because the focus is on supporting cloud-based solutions, the design and implementation of security controls should be second-to-none. You will want to ask whether support teams are available to assist you with customizing your cloud solutions to fit your security needs. At every step of the process, from selecting a cloud service to adjusting permissions, reliable service providers should work to ensure your data is protected, keeping you compliant with government regulations.
Adapting to Change
Moving away from traditional data security systems and investments in legacy computer systems needs to be a priority. However, it is important to maintain protections while transitioning to the cloud. Adopting cloud-based solutions is a process not a solitary act, and it requires you to develop a strategy and team to optimize your IT infrastructure. Project teams that utilize a group of cross-functional employees are effective at coordinating change and moving initiatives forward in a safe and responsible manner. If you set the right tone and make adapting to change a priority, your company can benefit from moving to the cloud.
Managed cloud features and benefits should include:
- Daily server backup
- Proactive monitoring and server migration
- Backup configuration
- Dedicated account team
- On-demand self-service provisioning
As more companies move to cloud hosting and related solutions, security is becoming a greater concern. Identity thieves and other deviants are constantly looking for new ways to access restricted data. If you and your team do not make security a priority, then your organization faces serious risks and legal liabilities. Evaluating risk management plans, and possibly re-designing them, before moving to the cloud is an important precaution. If your organization is going to rely on the cloud for most of its data processing or day-to-day computing needs, then risk mitigation plans need to be carefully thought out to prevent data breaches. The benefits of the cloud are immense, but only for those companies that make security a priority and use the right vendor.
According to Information Week, security benefits of moving to the cloud include:
- Greater automation
- Self-tailoring characteristics
- Self-healing characteristics
- On-demand protection
- Decoupling from specific software and hardware protection
With the right planning and implementation, you can deal with compliance issues and migrate to cloud-based solutions. Your company and employees stand to benefit from the efficiency and cost-savings presented by cloud computing. Look to Caronet for assistance in transitioning to the cloud and for value-added services to enhance the quality of your IT infrastructure.