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November 1, 2013
By Ross Spero

Critical Security Considerations When Moving to the Cloud

Cloud computing is rapidly becoming a seemingly omnipresent practice, and for good reason. Utilizing the cloud allows companies to not only store data and documents and make them accessible from anywhere, but also to house IT, voice services and networking—thereby making virtually every component of their offices available everywhere. However, the cloud, like most other powerful tools or networks, comes with its own unique set of security considerations.

In an increasingly mobile world and workforce, the power of the cloud cannot be overstated. Keep in mind that technology designed to make its contents available from anywhere must have stringent, up-to-date security to ensure that the only people able to gain access are those given access. When migrating to a cloud computing system, and routinely thereafter, businesses should have conversations with their provider to evaluate the attention being paid to security, privacy and compliance with data laws. Ideally, any provider should be able to improve upon all of those facets, but should at a minimum be able to equal what is already in place.

Cloud Technology Risk Assessment is the Key to Effective Security

A detailed undertaking, rigorous risk assessment when making the move to the cloud is the absolute key to effective security. But, businesses should consider every possible issue that could arise, and require the same from their cloud-computing partner. Providers should be able to offer not only a detailed risk assessment, but also plans and proposed solutions for tackling any problems that may arise. Cloud providers should have the ability to map their policies and procedures related to any security mandate or contractual obligation related to security, compliance and privacy presented by their clients.

Solve Security Issues and Maintain Compliance

A managed services provider should provide ongoing maintenance and scanning, and be able to solve the issues of log, vulnerability, and security information management. Their compliance services should help you to meet numerous regulatory needs, including PCI DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, and SOX.

Managed logging and vulnerability management services are great value-added offerings that should be a part of your security plan. MegaPath offers a cloud-based logging service that securely collects, analyzes, reports, and stores log data from MegaPath-provided or customer-owned security devices and network infrastructure. Our vulnerability scanning service provides web-based network scanning tools for unlimited external scanning by your security team. The service provides detailed scan reports and priorities on identified vulnerabilities that can be remediated by your team or MegaPath.

Added features like these will help your IT team keep up with demand, knowing that your cloud-based networks are constantly being monitored and logged.

Maintain the Foundation of Security That Allows for Adaptation with Your Needs

Taking great care to establish security practices when making the move to the cloud is essential, but so too is maintaining that foundation and ensuring that those practices grow and improve with the technology and the needs of your business. Have a discussion with your provider concerning how you see your company growing in the future, and have a plan in place for how your systems will grow with you.

Make the Leap to The Cloud with a Reliable Partner

The benefits of making the leap to the cloud with a reliable partner are significant—reduction of expenses, scalability and off-site maintenance and management which free-up internal staff to focus on making internal improvements rather than maintaining a server are but a few of the many upsides. Businesses who take into consideration all aspects of security can rest-assured with the knowledge that their due diligence in selecting a provider with security expertise and proven practices will keep their network safe, while they focus their energy on other matters.

For information on MegaPath’s cloud-based services, visit www.megapath.com/hosted-it/ or contact us.

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