Using the cloud for services and data storage is a common solution for many companies today, but we hear about breaches and hacking almost every day. With this state of affairs, is the cloud a reasonable option?
Mayleen Bywater, senior product manager for security solutions at Vox Telecom answers a few questions about the sensitive issue of security when it comes to cloud services – specifically security services.
What is the current state of cloud services when it comes to security, especially surveillance?
Bywater: Cloud computing is becoming a serious feature with regards to surveillance. Businesses which previously did not have the correct security measures in place, are now adopting cloud solutions as the need for more holistic security increases. There is much to be considered when it comes to surveillance, however, and questions inevitably arise around who has the right to monitor whom, and what the acceptable parameters are as far as surveillance goes. For this reason, the cloud in its current state is constantly evolving and it will be some time before it is clearly defined.
What questions do users need to ask of their cloud provider?
a. Are there policies in place to safeguard data, what are these?
b. Which policies, as a business, should I have in place to protect data internally?
c. Where is my data stored?
d. Who has access to my data?
e. Can I access the audit logs?
f. What authentication is used to verify the person accessing my data?
g. Are systems updated continuously? Do you upgrade/ maintain in batches when necessary or do you rely on yearly updates as they roll out?
h. Do you research the latest threats that are target driven and how soon do you implement fixes to ensure the environment is secure?
Who offers these services and what are the benefits for users?
Bywater: Larger ISPs are likely to offer hosted services, the benefits include:
• No costly CAPEX.
• Ease of access to maintenance updates.
• Access to IT skills that may not be available in-house.
• Affordable model, where you can keep upgrading your environment.
• Maximise in house IT skills to benefit your company more efficiently.
• Solution which grows with your business needs.
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