Let’s admit it -the cloud market is hot right now. While certain cloud capabilities have been massively popular for quite some time now (hosted email and file storage), full cloud infrastructures are growing in an aggressive upward path. While this is great news for the cloud providers, it is also great news for organizations that are moving toward the cloud model.
With obvious competition, economics tells us that competition in the cloud market will breed better pricing and better products. There are other elements of cloud computing that are being effected with this growth as well, but one of the most important changes are with security.
Many organizations are fearful of the cloud because they don’t want their sensitive data on another person’s servers. Most of the time these fears can be swept away with information about the managed service providers security measures or tours of the data centers used. No matter what, it is something that we see and hear a lot of. Demonstrating to clients how IT service providers safeguard information can make or break the decision-making process.
As technology gets increasingly sophisticated, it can be difficult to pick and choose who to select as your cloud service provider. To help you identify the right choice for your organization, here are some qualities to look for in your search?
What to look for in a cloud service provider
A Robust Data Center
If you are going to rely on your provider’s servers at their data center, you need to know everything there is about where your information is stored. Learn about the data center’s physical and environmental controls, monitoring and alerting services that go with the cloud service, redundancies, security measures, and 24/7/365 staffing.
For instance, NetServe365 has partnered with Iron Mountain located outside the Greater Pittsburgh Area. The data center is located 220 feet underneath the ground in a zero-seismic zone and is staffed 24/7/365. It offers redundant power feed coming from two substations that are fed by two separate power grids. We send our data over to the data center and monitor and manage it 24/7/365 from our headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA.
Strong, Confident Client Base
Technology is only as good as the engineers behind it. Don’t be afraid to ask the cloud service provider for references and who their client base is. Check into the industries they serve and if they have any clients like them that they have dealt with. Check for any past security issues and that they are generally a trust worthy team.
Disaster Recovery Capabilities
Your cloud needs to be equipped to handle any disaster that comes your way. Backups are critical but are insufficient on their own. Make sure to ask if automatic fail-overs are possible in the event of internet, power, and hardware failures. Also, make sure your data is replicated to a secondary location so that you have a backup plan in case your environment has an issue.
Data Security Policies
Question about written documentation on permissions, malware protection, patching policies and procedures, incident response policy, and other security policies in place. All matured managed service providers are going to willingly show you this information so you can understand how internally they are set up to enhance the security of both parties.
Future Security Initiatives
When you hear an IT Service Provider saying they are content, that should be a red flag – especially when it comes to security. Technology is constantly changing and so are cyber criminals. Managed service providers should be constantly advancing their security measures to align with this.
These are just a few suggestions to ask when checking out cloud providers. There are endless of questions that you should be checking off your list from security measures to staffing requirements. This is just a jump start list for your search. Don’t be scared to ask the tough questions.
NetServe365 is a managed service provider that offers a full range of cloud hosting options from their operations center headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. Contact us today for more information on a cost-effective and flexible cloud for your organization.
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