Right now, more businesses of all shapes and sizes than ever before are making the decision to move their hosting to the cloud. As time passes, the benefits of doing so are not only becoming more abundant and useful, but infinitely more affordable and accessible for businesses at all levels. In terms of security however, there will always be certain unique concerns to factor in when utilising cloud computing of any kind – all of which will be influenced one way or the other by the choice the business makes by way of its provider.
There’s really no disputing or getting away from the fact that security risks are both real and constant for any business using cloud networking or web hosting of any kind. This has been proven time and time again over recent months by way of multiple regrettable incidents, which include:
- The hacking of celebrity social media accounts and the theft of private photographs.
- The loss of millions of credit card numbers and private customer data from big-name retailers.
- Companies like Sony and Microsoft effectively being brought to a standstill by hackers.
The high-profile nature of all such attacks perfectly illustrates how severe the threat is to the average business. But what’s interesting about each of these incidents was and is the way in which experts agree there was really never any need for them to happen. Had there simply been more robust security measures in place, they could have been averted with ease.
For smaller and newer businesses in particular, the benefits of cloud networking and computing are simply unrivalled. Along with eliminating setup and equipment purchase costs, the cloud allows for outstanding scalability and to grow, contract or change in any way at a moment’s notice and without undue costs.
But at the same time, all such benefits can and will be augmented by unnecessary risks if the provider chosen it’s up to par in terms of security. Technically speaking, the cloud company has only one job to do – manage the data needs of your business – so if they cannot do this flawlessly, they effectively have no business being in business.
Making the Right Choice
When it comes to choosing, the most important thing to bear in mind is that not all cloud hosting companies are of the same calibre – not even close. It’s of course not in their best interests to be entirely honest about their own shortfalls, which is why it’s up to you as a business owner to carry out the necessary checks.
- 24/7 Emergency Service – It’s of little to no use to choose a cloud hosting company that’s difficult or impossible to get hold of outside normal office hours. If your site/business was to go down at a time that would then leave it inoperable for hours on end, the damage done could be severe to say the least. And it’s not just a case of providing a token 24/7 service either – it needs to be 100% reliable and professional round-the-clock service that’s offered.
- Robust Disaster Recovery Plans – As the examples mentioned above clearly illustrate, it’s almost impossible to rule out every attack and/or data loss incident across the board. As such, it’s of crucial importance to ensure that the cloud hosting company you choose has a robust disaster recovery system in place, which can be implemented the moment things take a turn for the worse. This doesn’t only mean recovering lost data and getting back to business, but ensuring that downtime in the event of any security breach is kept to an absolute minimum.
- Seek Recommendations – Another useful tip is to network with businesses that are in some way similar to yours in order to ask their owners which cloud networking companies they use. There’s generally no better way of cutting immediately through the market to find the best of the best than by listening to those already using such services – solid gold insights.
- Don’t Take Things for Granted – Last up, it’s important to remember that cloud security is an on- and off-site responsibility that everyone plays a part in. There’s only so much your hosting provider can do to protect you if you and your business as a whole don’t put in the necessary effort to protect yourself and your data. From passwords to backups to physical on-site security measures, it all adds up.
Cloud networking has the potential to be revolutionary for pretty much any company of any size, though at the same time cannot be taken for granted as infallible. Ask the right questions, play a part in the overall security process and avoid becoming another tragic statistic due to nothing more than a lackadaisical attitude.