The cloud offers a wide variety of services, including a helpful set of IT services, like ITSM and asset management software. These services can save the service desk a lot of money, while streamlining processes, improving customer service, and simplifying the IT infrastructure. One thing that businesses wonder about, however, is how cloud services offer what they do while assuring the security of the business and its valuable data.
Security is different with cloud services, but if you know how it operates, you can take advantage of these great services, the savings, and the ease of doing business — while continuing to provide top level security for your systems and information. Here’s how.
Know Your Service Provider
The security and stability of your services and data is only as strong as your cloud service provider. What are their hiring policies? What physical and virtual security measures do they have in place? Where are they located?
Also, read the service contract thoroughly and completely so that you understand exactly what they are promising and what they are not. For instance, is there a credit if their service is out for a period of time? What backup systems are in place so that critical data isn’t lost? Build a relationship with your cloud service, because it’s more than a business contract. It is a partnership.
Know the Data Governance Regulations
Different nations (and sometimes even different jurisdictions within a nation) are governed differently in regards to data storage and transfer. You need to know both your area’s policies as well as the policies where your cloud service provider is located to assure that all of the rules and regulations in place are properly adhered to.
Different types of data are governed differently and by different regulatory agencies. For example, if your cloud service is handling sensitive medical information, you might be subject to HIPAA guidelines. Transactional data and personally identifiable information is also heavily regulated. However, if your cloud service will only handle mundane data that can’t be used to identify anyone or their sensitive information, then your own operational intelligence is the most important consideration.
Understand the Cloud Infrastructure
Most cloud services offer intuitive, user-friendly interfaces, and this is what the clients see. Before choosing a service provider, make sure you understand their IT infrastructure. How and where will data be stored? How will this data be transferred to you? How often? For example, when using cloud services like ITSM software, you will want to track how many tickets were resolved, the time it took to resolve tickets, customer satisfaction ratings, etc. How will you get this information from your service?
One benefit to electing cloud services is that much of the worry, cost, and time associated with internal security is relieved from your staff and transferred to the service provider. When you choose a provider with hearty security measures, good hiring practices, and a clearly outlined business model, you can be sure your data and information are as safe as they would be in your own internal infrastructure.