Security in the Cloud: Part 1

cloud securityThere are numerous advantages to cloud computing. Backing up important data makes it readily available to everyone in your company and frees up space on your servers. You almost certainly have many concerns about cloud security and might be pondering if cloud security will protect your client’s data and comply with HIPAA, PCI or Sarbanes-Oxley regulations. These are some of the benefits of cloud computing services.

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

Compliance

More and more companies are looking at the cloud for storage. For obvious reasons, it is a very affordable way to go. 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 mandates that client data be handled in a regulated way, you need to first learn how secure the cloud service is and what regulations does the cloud service providers comply with. If a company has not specifically said they comply with certain regulations, it’s safe to assume they don’t.

Who is responsible

Cloud security is paramount when handling your sensitive data, but whose responsibility is it? Should you assume that if it is not spelled out in the privacy policy, that a service provider doesn’t adhere to these regulations? While this is clearly the safest option, it may leave you unable to use cloud computing at all. Many services don’t provide detailed information in their privacy rules, presumably to lower their liability. The hope is that over time cloud storage and sharing will become better self-regulated and corporations will decide to disclose their individual practices to the businesses they serve. While such self-regulation is not required at this time, many businesses believe 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 about 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 pros and cons and make the best decision for your business.

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