Data Security on the Cloud: 5 steps to protect your business

29 Jul 2011
by meagancleary
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Cloud computing is allowing businesses to shift their information technology software and applications away from traditional in-house IT installations towards lighter, more flexible and accessible solutions. Ease of communication, collaboration and lighter overhead costs make this new way of thinking about how businesses manage their data very appealing. At the same time, this shift to offsite hosting of sensitive information raises many legitimate concerns about the potential for data leakage.

Data Security on the Cloud

Protecting your business’ data is possible. By taking a few precautionary steps, your organization can ensure that transitioning to cloud computing doesn’t come at the expense of your classified information.

Here are Horn’s top five recommendations for maintaining your business information as you make the change to cloud computing.

1. Select your vendor carefully.

Look for a provider that has implemented an appropriate level of security. One that will manage data during termination of service, maintain separation of client data and backups, and improve your existing backup practices.

Make sure that your vendor has implemented a good level of security, and ensure that you will have a means of audit and incident response with the vendor (i.e. access to event and firewall logs).

2. Allocate resources for implementing proper controls.

Transferring users and data to the cloud and establishing access controls will require additional resources. When budgeting a cloud transition, consider the extra work that will be required to make this change and allocate resources accordingly.

3. Identify appropriate usage controls.

Data should be encrypted and technical controls such as pre-configured browser settings can (and should) be provided to each user.

4. Define a data protection and classification policy.

Make sure that the classification, limits and appropriate control mechanisms for monitoring data in the cloud are established and clear to all users.

5. Ensure that employees are aware of data security and related policies.

Make sure that all staff who will access and use your data are aware of policies about that use and provide training/information to help ensure compliance.

Following these five guidelines will go a long way towards making sure that your cloud enabled business is protected from data leaks.

As more and more businesses make the change to cloud computing, developing strong security policies and practices for this new way of accessing information is essential. For more information about developing strong security practices, or to find out how Horn can help your business transition to the Cloud, please contact us at info@horn-it.com or 416-421-1085 ext 6.

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