Moving your business to the Cloud is always touted as the most secure option. Your data is safe from an office fire or your dustry old servers finally giving up on life, but is any old Cloud service safe?
The truth is that although the Cloud is a safer option in general, you still need to be aware of the risks, you can’t just move your entire business to the Cloud and forget about it.
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Below are 5 tips to make sure your data is safe in the Cloud and your business is protected.
1. Know your geography
Location is a really important factor for Cloud storage. Remember that although it’s called the Cloud, there still needs to be some a physical location with servers storing your data. These are called Server Farms and more often than not, are located in countries that have low operational costs and lax laws around privacy and data sovereignty.
Different geographical locations can be more susceptible to natural disasters, an unstable political landscape or intrusive privacy laws. It pays to know where your data is living.
2. Retain Ownership
Following on from Point 1, it is important to know that you retain ownership of your data. This can be an issue with overseas Server Farms, but it can also be an issue with Cloud Hosting in Australia. There can be some very sneaky terms in fine print in contracts, so make sure you go over it with a fine tooth comb.
3. Be Disaster Proof
What would happen tomorrow if the proverbial hit the fan? What if a giant flood knocked out your Cloud Provider's servers?
Make sure your provider is utalising a two step backup, so that if disaster strikes and wipes out one, the other is still functional and your data safe. Good Cloud Providers will have two separate data centres that continuously backup your data.
4. Choose a reputable provider
Make sure you choose a provider who has been around for a while and has tried and true processes in place.
A few years ago storage provider Nirvanix suddenly announced they were going out of business and customers had to get their data out, fast. Some customers were able to get their data to safety, while others weren’t so lucky.
While a brand new Cloud Provider may have some amazing deals and offers, there is always a risk that they will collapse, and for some there isn’t even a warning.
5. You get what you pay for
Sometimes the temptation can be to go with the cheapest provider, but who knows what this will cost you in the long run.
With Cloud services you get what you pay for, so if the proposal sitting in front of you is 30% cheaper than the others, there's going to be a few essential services missing.
To provide an inexpensive service, it usually means that EVERY expense was spared in devloping the offering. No backups, lax privacy laws, no data soveriengty, exposure to natural disasters and no ongoing support or investment in infrastructure are all risks you take when using a budget Cloud Provider.