The future is here. With the emergence of cloud computing technology, businesses no longer have to worry about purchasing, developing, and maintaining their own data centres. With just a stable internet connection and a reliable cloud hosting provider, you and your company have the advantage of having access to a data infrastructure that’s scalable, accessible, and secure.
However, with great technology, also comes risks that should always be mitigated. Despite advances in technology, it’s still not uncommon to hear misconceptions and horror stories about data being lost or stolen while in the cloud. While it’s easy to blame the cloud, most of these issues are actually caused by what experts refer to as the “human factor.” This means that rampant misuse, which may be accidental or malevolent in nature, are often at the root of cloud-related data failures.
With over 64% of issues caused by human error, it’s important to know if you or your co-workers have been committing these top 3 mistakes before disaster strikes.
1. Going For The Cheapest Provider
Remember that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. While you should definitely shop around with providers to get a good deal, it’s not always wise to go with the cheapest price. Remember that it’s your company’s precious data that we’re talking about. Instead of going for the lowest cost, go for the greatest value.
A good cloud host should offer the following features:
- 24/7 Customer Support – This is particularly important for businesses with workers that operate in various time zones. While issues should be minimal anyway, trained customer support personnel should be on the standby for any queries or to address technical issues right away, instead of waiting for the next work hours.
- Good Cloud Security – Data security has and will always be a concern when it comes to cloud computing platforms. At the minimum, two-factor authentication, strong password policies, and encryption should be provided.
- Regularly Scheduled Backups – In the face of extraordinary scenarios, a good cloud storage provider should be prepared to restore your data as quickly as possible. The only way they can do this is if they are conducting regular backups of your data without having to be prompted.
- Secure Accessibility – Your data should be available globally, but should still have strong security measures protecting it.
2. Moving To The Cloud Without Proper Protocols In Place
While every provider should strive for a nearly seamless way of integrating data with existing systems, you should still be preparing your staff to use the technology properly. It’s a good idea to conduct training and workshop sessions about using cloud computing safely and securely. For example, some companies prohibit the use of external storage devices such as flash drives once they move to cloud storage, arguing that because the data can be transferred through the network, there is no longer any need for physical devices. This practice can be advantageous because it reduces the chances of transmitting computer viruses, and protects your company’s data by preventing them from being misplaced or stolen.
Remember that while data storage is generally more secure, it’s still vulnerable to social engineering and human errors.
3. Under/Overestimating Your Company’s Needs
One of the advantages of cloud computing is that you only need to pay for what you really need. This means you can upscale or downscale whenever business requirements need you to do so. However, even with this added flexibility, you still need to be accurate in describing your requirements to your provider. This will keep you from paying for more than what you actually need, or experiencing a bottleneck because of underestimating your bandwidth requirements.
As the primary owner and user of your own data, you are still responsible for keeping it safe and accessible. The only difference is that with cloud computing, you have a partner in ensuring your data integrity. Just be sure to stop making these three mistakes.
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