Cloud computing is revolutionising the way businesses store, share and access data – freeing them up to work from anywhere. The business case for moving to the cloud is clear, and the Government’s Technology Strategy Board has announced that it'll be investing millions in cloud computing to help businesses make the leap.
But before you move cloud-wards, make sure you’re protecting your data or you could be seriously putting it at risk…
1. Back your data up
When it comes to preventing data loss, backing it up is the key to preventing any future problems. You can choose to keep data on a hard drive, but backing up your data online makes it easy to access and is completely secure – as long as you choose the right provider. There are a few questions to ask when backing up your data in this way:
Is my data being encrypted? If not, run.
How much can I store and will it be enough?
Is there a file size limit or a data transfer limit?
BT PC Backup will give you peace of mind, knowing your data is being encrypted and stored in a secure place which you (and only you) can access online. And if you ever grow your business and need more space, it won’t be a problem – we can simply add more space for you.
2. Use the right provider
Choosing a provider who will work with your IT team and give you support, training and advice is crucial if you’re to make a smooth transition. Be clear about who is responsible for the security of your data in your service level agreement (SLA) and work closely with them – they will essentially be an extension of your existing IT team.
Because larger service providers like BT have dedicated teams and complex technology to protect your data, you might find that your data has never been more secure since moving to the cloud if you make the right choice.
3. Educate everyone
Protecting your business isn’t just the job of your IT department; everyone in your organisation should be clued up on how to protect passwords and data. Especially if you have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or work from home policy in place, as files will probably be being shared through a number of different devices outside the office.
4. Will using the cloud make you non-compliant?
Certain industries have stricter data protection laws that govern how a company can store data. Make sure your business isn’t breaching any of them before you approach your service provider.
For instance the EU Data Protection Act stipulates that personal information should be kept within the EU, so if you have European customers make sure your cloud computing providers keeps their servers in Europe to stay on the right side of the law.
5. Do an IT audit
Not all data is created equal, so you should start a project which ranks your data according to how sensitive it is and what the business implications would be if it were lost. You’ll then have a better picture of what level of security you’ll need as well as what should migrate to the cloud and what should stay put.
Other things you’ll want to consider is access: who should have access and what sort of devices might be used to access the data.
With all of this in mind, it's important to do a full review of all your IT processes and data protection strategies.
If you’re moving to the cloud, how are you planning to protect yourself? Leave us a comment below.