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Dispelling the perception of security in the Cloud

Paul Weeden

Written by Paul Weeden

Founder & Managing Director at Foration. IT and technology fixer.

[fa icon="clock-o"] 2 October 2014 [fa icon="user"] Paul Weeden [fa icon="folder-open'] security, cloud

Often regulated businesses view Cloud Security and Cloud Compliance as a paradox, but they don't need to. Cloud technology can be a key driver of competitive advantage whilst lowering costs and keeping you compliant. Key considerations include:

Data Residency: The Data Protection Act specifies that personal data should not be transferred outside the EEA, unless to a country with similar high data protection standards. Firms considering Cloud services should know the location of the data centres where their data will be stored.

Client Confidentiality: Maintaining client confidentiality whilst storing your data in the Cloud is important. Selecting a reputable provider with stringent security measures will help to ensure your data is protected. As a minimum, the provider should be ISO 27001 2005 accredited.

As with any outsourcing agreement, selecting the correct Cloud provider is key to protecting your business. Exercising due diligence and carefully reviewing contracts is important. A reputable Cloud provider will not only reduce your costs and enable you to work flexibly, they will improve the security, reliability and performance of your systems. Read our recent blog for our top 5 tips for selecting a Cloud provider.

Enhancing your data security in the Cloud

Despite the perceived data risks surrounding Cloud computing, reputable providers can make your business more secure, giving you access to enhanced encryption and security measures that would otherwise not be financially viable for SME's. The following measures can help to further protect your data:

Email Security: Whether you use on-premise or cloud email, your systems could be at risk if your email is unsecured. Cloud providers, such as Mimecast, deliver enhanced email security by preventing spam and malware from reaching your network. Additional features include secure archiving with guaranteed UK residency and the ability to send or receive large files without using platforms such as Dropbox.

Business Continuity: Protecting your business from downtime can save you valuable time and money. Cloud backup providers minimise your risk of downtime by taking regular backups of your servers and data. These backups are stored on-line across multiple locations and are quickly recoverable, reducing your risk of data loss and enabling you to be back up and running within minutes.

Data Encryption: Password or PIN controlled access is not necessarily enough to protect your data against unauthorised access. Encrypting your data provides the highest level of security by rendering it meaningless to third parties. Without a decryption code, you can rest assured that sensitive data will remain secure even in the event of a leak or breach.

Hybrid Cloud: Rather than moving your entire system onto a public Cloud, you may decide a hybrid option is more desirable. This allows you to store confidential data in a private cloud, whilst keeping less sensitive information in a public cloud. This hybrid solution means you can make the most of the security and control of a private Cloud, whilst enjoying the cost benefits and flexibility of a public Cloud.

Final thoughts

Cloud computing is here to stay. Understanding the legal implications around Cloud technologies is important, particularly as the new EU data protection regulation comes into force next year. With appropriate due diligence, firms can ensure their confidentiality, security and service needs are met by their chosen provider. Firms that find this fit will benefit most from Cloud computing.

Paul Weeden

Written by Paul Weeden

Founder & Managing Director at Foration. IT and technology fixer.

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