Considerations for Storing Data in the Cloud

Posted by Dustin Smith, Chief Technologist
April 23, 2014

Following the fallout from Heartbleed, more and more security analysts are suggesting that data stored in the cloud is more vulnerable than we realize. In fact, even ‘zero-knowledge’ cloud storage providers admit their data is not entirely safe. With all the talk of personal information being exposed—and a large amount of that being stored in the cloud—we thought it might be worth re-examining a few important points.

A recent CIO article by Jennifer Lonoff Schiff – 9 Things You Need to Know Before You Store Data in the Cloud – highlighted some of those important considerations:

  1. Make sure the cloud vendor is up-to-date on data center and industry certifications
  2. Pick a provider that knows your industry
  3. Understand the bandwidth limitations
  4. Make sure data is encrypted
  5. Carefully read the provider’s SLA before signing up
  6. Know how much the cloud will actually cost you
  7. Don’t overbuy storage
  8. Make sure you can recover/restore your data
  9. Finally, have a backup plan

These are certainly worthy considerations that must be dealt with before you store data in the cloud. She also shares five questions that David Wilson, an attorney specializing in cyber security, suggests asking any prospective cloud providers:

  1. How long have they been in business?
  2. Where are their servers located?
  3. What is their security like? Will they provide a copy of their policies?
  4. Have they had a security audit in the last year and will they share the results?
  5. What assurances are they willing to make in writing?

These go nicely with our list of 30 questions to ask  before turning to the cloud. But unfortunately, no options for storing data in the cloud can be 100 percent secure, especially with the Internet of Things (IoT) and the vast amounts of data that now exist in the cloud. Whether or not the cloud is a viable option for you ultimately depends on the sensitivity of your data.

About Dustin Smith Throughout his twenty-year career, Dustin Smith has specialized in designing enterprise architectural solutions. As the Chief Technologist, Dustin is responsible for the strategic direction of aligning the company’s growing consulting services with the client challenges he finds in the field, and he works closely with his regional architects to design new programs to address these issues.

Filed Under: Cloud Computing

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