With the advent of Cloud Computing, many of businesses and enterprises are now choosing to outsource their entire IT Infrastructure. This is done with a reputable Internet Service Provider (ISP), whom can give the business owner all of the IT resources they need at a fraction of the cost.
Because of these and many more advantages that Cloud Computing has to offer, many business owners feel 110% safe. While it is true that a Cloud Computing environment can offer many more safeguards than the traditional, on premises IT Infrastructure, there are still security risks associated with using the Cloud. Thus, a business owner needs to learn how to take the proper steps to protect their Cloud Computing environment.
Here are some tips to practice secure Cloud usage:
- Make sure that you choose a legitimate Internet Service Provider:
With the explosion of Cloud Computing, there also has been a huge boom in the number of ISPs. Some have been around for a long time, and thus, you can be confident that they are very reliable and trustworthy to use. But then, there are others who just opened their doors yesterday, and maybe gone tomorrow.
Therefore, before planning your migration to the Cloud, first check to make sure that the ISP is rock solid in their business operations. One of the best ways to do this, is to find customer reviews online.
- Once you have selected a reputable ISP, make sure to read the fine lines of the contract:
Before you become an official customer with an ISP, you normally have to electronically sign a digital contract. It is very important that you read this thoroughly. Key provisions that this contract needs to have are:
The type of backup and restoration services which are provided for your Cloud Computing environment;
The Service Level which you will be guaranteed (normally, this refers to network connectivity up time and most Internet Service Providers will guarantee 99.999% up time);
The exact level of technical support you will be receiving. You have to be assured that you can reach your ISP’s support desk either via e-mail or phone in times of disaster or crisis;
Assurances that you will be notified immediately in case of hardware or software failure at the location of your ISP; and how quickly your Cloud Computing environment will be restored.
- Always create very strong passwords:
Yes, we all have heard about how insecure passwords are, but, they are still the primary means in which you access your Cloud Computing environment. Passwords have always been the focal point for cyber based attacks. As a result, they can be broken into in just a matter of seconds.
To create a strong password, always use a combination of uppercase and lower case letters, numbers, and punctuation marks. But, don’t make the password so complicated that you have to write it down to remember it. This can become another grave security risk.
- Make sure that you encrypt all of your files and data:
The ISP that you select should be able to offer to you encryption services. Encryption simply means that the information and data which are stored in your Cloud Computing environment will remain in a scrambled format.
So for instance, if your account were broken into, any information and data which is captured by the hacker will be rendered useless, because they do not have the keys to unscramble it. These keys are an item only which you possess.