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Cloud Computing Security Concerns

Cloud computing is a new technology for data storage that promises huge cost savings to organizations and businesses. With cloud computing, companies can outsource computer processes by having external providers store data in a secure environment which allows users to access the data over the Internet and from any location at any time.

Although cloud computing seems like the logical answer for data storage in terms of cost effectiveness and convenience, there are security concerns that are associated with accessing cloud computing services that organizations need to address before using a remote data storage service.

User Access

If you use a cloud computing service, the data that you store will be processed by persons other than privileged users within the organization. Before using a cloud computing service an organization should ask the provider to supply specific information on who has control over the processing of the data and the security measures that are used to secure sensitive and confidential data.

Data Location

When you use a cloud computing service it may not be clear exactly where your data is being stored. Remote data storage can be anywhere in the world when it comes to this type of service. Find out what measures the cloud computing service provider takes when it comes to privacy laws for different jurisdictions.

Service Level Requirements

Before using a cloud computing service, you should find out what the service level requirements are when it comes to accessing data. A reputable provider should provide a service level agreement that contains penalty clauses if the organization is unable to retrieve data when agreed upon.

Data Security

Although cloud computing providers generally use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to encrypt data as it is transmitted over the Internet, the data may be shared in a virtual locker when it is sitting in storage. This means that other companies have access to the virtual locker. Make sure your data is separated and stored in encrypted form and find out who has decryption keys in the event of an emergency and that it is being protected by a cloud security system.

Recovery and Viability

A reputable cloud computing provider should have a plan in place to completely restore your data in the event of a problem. Additionally, you should make sure they provide a way to return your data in the event the company closes down for any reason.

Data Monitoring and Archiving

Cloud computing providers have a certain responsibility to data monitoring and archiving. If you contract with a cloud computing provider, make sure the provider submits to audits on a regular basis and adheres to security certifications.

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