Cloud Security: Part 1

January 18th, 2012

The advantages of storing information in the cloud are numerous. Backing up important data, creating more space on your servers, and having your data easily available to your employees are only a few. If you have been considering this route, you probably have many questions about the security of the cloud. If your company deals with sensitive information that belongs to your clients you may need to stay compliant with HIPAA, PCI or Sarbanes-Oxley regulations.

Is your cloud storage solution following these requirements? If they don’t specify it in their privacy policies, it’s not easy to tell. Let’s explore this further below.

Compliance

Cloud security has become an important issue recently, as more and more companies turn to online storage solutions, seeking greater simplicity, scalability and affordability. Yet the cost in both money and reputation for improper handling of customer data can be extremely high indeed. If your business needs to comply to key regulations associated with patient privacy (HIPAA), credit card security (PCI) or the finance-sector strictures of Sarbanes-Oxley, it can be hard to find out if a service complies with these important restrictions.

Who is responsible

Whose responsibility is the security of the cloud? It’s not currently required that a service provider be specific about their compliance with these regulations. While the safest option is to assume that if they haven’t clearly stated that they’re in compliance in their privacy policy, they are not. This might mean that cloud computing is not for you. However, if your business does not require tight regulations, then the advantages of cloud computing could be an excellent solution for you. 

Ultimately, as there is no current law that states that companies must divulge how tight their security is, the responsibility is in your hands. You must weigh the pros and cons of cloud storage to determine if it’s right for your business. 


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