Regardless of all the benefits of cloud computing for your business, you must take a closer look at the potential problems of cloud adoption. One of the major concerns small business owners and IT decision makers have is cloud security.
Indeed, cloud security and privacy are important matters. Consider this: When data breach occur in the cloud in which your business subscribed to, who’s going to take responsibility? Will your cloud vendor be responsible for the data breach? A more important question: Will your cloud vendor be willing to be responsible for such disasters?
With that being said, it’s your job as a small business owner or an IT decision maker to read the small prints; to understand your rights and responsibilities so you can have a sure boundary about who’s responsible for what. SLA (service level agreement) is an important part of the contract you sign when partnering with a cloud vendor, as it rules how failures and disasters are be acted upon, as agreed by you and your cloud vendor.
Cloud vendor’s SLA
Unless you hire a lawyer, I think it’s rather risky to sign a contract with a cloud vendor; the best way is probably for you to screen potential cloud vendors to learn whether they can be trusted or not. So, not only you should find out whether a cloud vendor’s service is what your small business really need, you also need to learn the scope of the cloud service provider’s service – in other words, you need to check out the company’s SLA, to see whether they can be trusted or not.
It seems like a tall order for a small business, especially a startup with limited budget. However, it’s a must do to avoid potential problems in the future.
The first thing you can do is by seeking recommendations; is a cloud vendor which services you are interested in is trusted? Is the service is well-secured? You can learn from other clients of the same cloud vendor. Or, better yet, you can DIY and check by yourself. How?
One of the ways to check the credibility of a cloud vendor is to visit CSA STAR website. CSA STAR – Cloud Security Alliance Security, Trust and Assurance Registry – is a non-profit organization promoting the use of best practices in cloud security assurance, as well as promoting the uses of cloud computing to secure your other forms of computing (learn more here.)
How you can benefit from CSA STAR? It’s pretty straightforward: Cloud vendors who are members of the registry are trusted. Go to this page to see the list of members. So, it’s imperative for your small business to partner with a cloud vendor listed in CSA STAR.
Cloud security is a serious issue. If you adopt the cloud for the sake of its benefits only, you will be disappointed; just like any other IT solutions, cloud solutions are somehow exposed to risks of data loss and privacy breach. So, do approach cloud computing adoption with cautiously. Keep cloud security and cloud vendor’s SLA in mind; it’s better safe than sorry.