Choosing a Cloud Provider with Confidence

*Excerpt of White Paper- please see on our new Leverage IT Consulting Site,

At Leverage IT Consulting, we subscribe to multiple industry leadership publications and mastermind groups in an effort to keep on top of new technical services, solutions and business continuity challenges. We strive to deliver professional and expert guidance and service to our clients. Here is an interesting and information information that I prepared from a recent White Paper.

Cloud computing is rapidly transforming the IT landscape, and the conversation around adapting cloud technology has progressed from “if” to “when”. Enterprises are showing strong interest in outsourced (public) cloud offerings that can help reduce costs and increase business agility. Leverage IT Consulting can help navigate these evaluations.

What are the pragmatic decisions one must make about where and when to use cloud solutions? What are the specific issues that companies should raise with hosting providers before selecting a vender, and what ways does the SSL (secure sockets layer) certificates impact these decisions. The SSL from a trusted certificate authority can help enterprises conduct business in the cloud with confidence.

Despite possible economic benefits of using cloud services, concerns about security, compliance and data privacy have slowed enterprise adoption. A survey of our clients and national surveys from IDC and Gartner Research reveals that security is the #1 challenge facing IT cloud services. Gartner Research has identified seven specific areas of security risk associated with enterprise cloud computing, and ways in which organizations can address several key issues when selecting a provider;

  1. Access privileges – Cloud service providers should be able to demonstrate they enforce adequate hiring, oversight and access controls to enforce administrative delegation
  2. Regulatory compliance – Enterprises are accountable for their own data even when it’s in a public cloud, and should ensure their providers are ready and willing to undergo audits.
  3. Data location – When selecting a hosting provider, it’s important to ask where their datacenters are located and if they can commit to following specific privacy requirements.
  4. Data segregation – Most public clouds are shared environments, and it is critical to make sure the hosting providers can guarantee complete data segregation for secure multi-tenancy.
  5. Data recovery – Enterprises must make sure their hosting provider has the ability to do a complete restoration in the event of a disaster.
  6. Monitoring and reporting – Monitoring and logging public cloud activity is hard to do, so companies should ask for proof that their hosting providers can support investigations.
  7. Business continuity – Business come and go, and enterprises should ask questions about the portability of their data to avoid lock-in or potential loss if the business fails.

To reap the benefits of cloud computing without increasing security and compliance risks, enterprises must ensure they work only with trusted service providers that can address these and other cloud security challenges. What’s more, when our clients move from using just one cloud-based service to using several from different providers, we must manage all these issues across multiple operators, each with different infrastructures, operational policies and security skills. This complexity is another area in which Leverage IT Consulting can guide and manage.

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