Cloud Security: Part 1

The advantages of cloud computing are apparent. Not only can you free up needed space on your servers and computers, you are able to backup important data and effortlessly share it within your company. But when considering data sharing and storage for your business, you might have some questions about cloud security, particularly if your business requires you to protect consumer data in a manner that is compliant with HIPAA, PCI or Sarbanes-Oxley regulations.

It can be hard to tell if your cloud storage solution adheres to these requirements, as many don’t state in their privacy policies. To help you navigate these difficult waters, let’s consider this topic in more detail below.

Compliance

More and more companies are turning to the cloud for storage. For obvious reasons, it is a very affordable strategy to use. However, improper handling of your client’s information can harm your reputation and lead to a loss of business for your company. If your company requires that client data be handled in a controlled way, you need to first learn how secure the cloud service is and what regulations does the cloud service providers abide by. If a company has not specifically said they comply with certain regulations, it’s safe to assume they do not.

Who is responsible

Cloud security is vital when handling your sensitive data, but whose responsibility is it? Should you assume that if it is not explained in the privacy policy, that a service provider doesn’t follow these regulations? Even though this is clearly the safest option, it may leave you unable to use cloud computing at all. Many services fail to provide detailed information in their privacy rules, possibly to reduce their liability. The hope is that with time cloud storage and sharing will become better self-regulated and corporations will choose to reveal their individual practices to the businesses they serve. While such self-regulation is not required right now, many businesses think it is their duty to display clear warnings, explaining what they don’t provide or guarantee.

In the end, as cloud computing service providers are not required by law to be transparent regarding their security, the responsibility rests in your hands. If you choose to use the cloud, it’s your responsibility to pick a service provider you trust. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages and make the best decision for your business.


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