Feb 20, 2013

Choosing the right provider can alleviate cloud security concerns

Ansley Kilgore

 cloud security concernsCloud hosting solutions and other cloud offerings provide organizations with a powerful, cost-effective way to improve operations. However, cloud computing is a relatively young technology that many businesses are still trying to figure out. This has led to many security concerns because issues of control, data ownership and availability come into play. While these concerns are limited, all of them can be dealt with by choosing the right service provider to partner with.

Understanding cloud security issues
The core security issue in cloud environments stems from control. The data is placed in the hands of a third-party vendor, putting organizations in a position where they have to iron out the details of who owns the data at various phases of the partnership. Boundaries are unclear across the industry, creating problems with control and availability if the partnership is not effective.

The primary issue at the center of this is the newness of cloud technology. To a great extent, companies are still searching for the line between their responsibilities and those of the cloud provider. Inconsistent standards across the industry have led to many of the cloud security concerns, but individual providers can overcome these problems and protect data in the cloud more effectively than most businesses can do on their own.

Improving cloud security through an effective partnership
Collaborating with a cloud vendor is the first thing businesses need to do if they want to secure cloud assets effectively. Understanding everything from how the virtual servers will be established to data flows through the network can give IT departments a better idea of how the system will work and when the security responsibility falls on them. This communication can also allow both parties to establish clear lines of demarcation identifying data ownership, availability and control standards within the cloud deal.

Developing this type of collaborative partnership can be difficult. Working with a provider that is flexible and capable of offering a powerful security foundation is key when striving for such a relationship. If the vendor has a good security program and a clear Service Level Agreement (SLA), both parties will understand which responsibilities fall to the client and which ones stay with the provider. This knowledge can act as the starting point in building the type of working environment that overcomes many cloud security issues.

Recently, 54% of companies identified security as their main concern for transitioning to the cloud. Check out our infographic, Cloud Security: Perception vs. Reality, to learn how the right provider can alleviate your concerns and provide a secure environment for your data.

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Ansley Kilgore

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