Surrendering your data to another company for safekeeping is always daunting. It’s especially unnerving if your organization is new to cloud computing, and are unsure of exactly what to expect. And given the scary headlines you see about data breaches, it’s only natural to wonder if your files are going to be alright.
Here’s the good news: There are steps you can take to ensure your data is secure, and you’re protected against all possible contingencies. A big part of this is doing your due diligence and asking your cloud company the right kinds of questions.
What to Ask About Your Data Security
Here are some of the questions you should be asking:
How is your data accessed? Simply put, you want to know that all data is SSL encrypted; if it is, it should be accessible to you via a site that begins in https://. (Note the s!)
What about data backups? How and where is your data being backed up? Is it being backed up in a variety of geographic locales? And what is the file retention period?
What happens if data is accidentally corrupted or deleted? How do you restore it? And how long will restoration take? Who do you call when you need assistance?
Does your provider have a track record of hacks, information breaches, or outages? Learn about their reputation and their history of uptime. Also ask about the frequency of scheduled downtimes.
How do you contact the cloud provider in the event of a problem? Are they accessible through a phone line?
Is the company itself in a healthy place? Can you be pretty sure that they’ll be around in five years or so?
These questions can help you get a sense for how secure your data really is—so always speak up and ask!