Welcome!

@BigDataExpo Authors: William Schmarzo, Karthick Viswanathan, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Cloud Security, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal, @DevOpsSummit

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Security Checklist: Make Sure Your Data Is Safe

Cloud resources are becoming a must-have service for businesses since they offer scalability

Recent reports of a massive data breach affecting popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google and Yahoo have many companies rethinking security practices and wondering how to protect vital data. If your company uses cloud services to conduct business and manage data or is contemplating a hosting partnership, it's natural to wonder if your service provider is taking all the steps necessary to keep your confidential information secure.

It's an important issue: Cloud resources are becoming a must-have service for businesses since they offer scalability without requiring a massive investment in hardware. But before choosing a cloud service provider, it's crucial to make sure the company can deliver the security your business needs. Here are some questions to keep in mind when making an evaluation:

What kind of physical security does my cloud hosting partner maintain?
Assess your cloud service provider's physical security safeguards, including controls on facility entry, login access restrictions, CCTV monitoring capabilities, limits on who can access internal systems and administrative functions.

What assurances does the provider offer around confidentiality?
A reputable hosting partner will conduct background checks on employees who handle confidential data and require staff to sign confidentiality agreements. They will also restrict credentials so that only employees who need access can handle your data.

How are firewalls structured, and what other network security measures are in place?
Virtually all hosting providers have a firewall infrastructure in place, but it's a good idea to ask about how it's configured and whether there's an additional charge for the service. Also ask how frequently audits are conducted and what additional network security is in place.

How does the cloud service provider keep software secure?
Many security breaches occur due to software issues, so ask your hosting partner about auditing and find out how often they update security patches. Inquire about automatic update installation and reboots as well to see if these are permitted.

Does the cloud hosting company submit to audits from independent agencies?
One way companies can demonstrate compliance is by submitting to independent audits. SSAE 16 standards verify that an independent auditor assessed the company to make sure their service description matches their organization system.

What backup and redundancy capabilities are available?
Another good question for cloud service providers is what volume of backup space they maintain and how long they keep stored data. Also ask about the cloud infrastructure - specifically inquire about performance levels and system availability as well as failover capabilities and use of redundant clusters.

What kind of protection is available for data during transmission?
It's crucial to make sure confidential information like passwords and client information remain secure during transmission. Ask the company about how firewalls protect this information and if data is protected by VPN encryption. Also inquire about remote access and the use of SSL for logins.

Is it possible to connect physical and virtual resources?
To maintain tight security, potential hosting partners may require safeguards for physical servers that interact with cloud assets. Ask if this can be configured so that you can use both solutions in a single environment for greater efficiency.

What kind of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are offered?
It's important to pay close attention to the SLAs a cloud service provider offers since this is how providers define their services and describe the performance levels you can expect. Make sure your hosting partner backs promises up with SLAs.

Companies are increasingly using hosted cloud services because it enables them to do more with less and expand capabilities without huge investments in infrastructure. But hacking is on the rise, so it's crucial to make sure a prospective cloud provider offers robust security.

If you're currently using cloud services or thinking about partnering with a hosting provider, take the time to investigate the security measures the company uses to keep client data safe. It takes a bit of time and effort, but it's well worth it to avoid a costly data breach.

More Stories By Jim Potter

Jim Potter is Vice President of Product Management at Hostway. He leads the product management and product marketing activities for the cloud hosting service provider.

Comments (2)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@BigDataExpo Stories
IT organizations are moving to the cloud in hopes to approve efficiency, increase agility and save money. Migrating workloads might seem like a simple task, but what many businesses don’t realize is that application migration criteria differs across organizations, making it difficult for architects to arrive at an accurate TCO number. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Joe Kinsella, CTO of CloudHealth Technologies, will offer a systematic approach to understanding the TCO of a cloud application...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels, a cybersecurity firm, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Channels, Inc. offers several products and solutions to its many clients, helping them protect critical data from being compromised and access to computer networks from the unauthorized. The company develops comprehensive data encryption security strategie...
"With Digital Experience Monitoring what used to be a simple visit to a web page has exploded into app on phones, data from social media feeds, competitive benchmarking - these are all components that are only available because of some type of digital asset," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that App2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. App2Cloud is an online Platform, specializing in migrating legacy applications to any Cloud Providers (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud).
Cloud resources, although available in abundance, are inherently volatile. For transactional computing, like ERP and most enterprise software, this is a challenge as transactional integrity and data fidelity is paramount – making it a challenge to create cloud native applications while relying on RDBMS. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Claus Jepsen, Chief Architect and Head of Innovation Labs at Unit4, will explore that in order to create distributed and scalable solutions ensuring high availa...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics ...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, shared examples from a wide range of industries – including en...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. Jack Norris reviews best practices to show how companies develop, deploy, and dynamically update these applications and how this data-first...
Intelligent Automation is now one of the key business imperatives for CIOs and CISOs impacting all areas of business today. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Boeggeman, VP Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, will talk about how business value is created and delivered through intelligent automation to today’s enterprises. The open ecosystem platform approach toward Intelligent Automation that Ayehu delivers to the market is core to enabling the creation of the self-driving enterprise.
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, presented an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He then expounded on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and ...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, will provide a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to ...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arvind Radhakrishnen discussed how IoT offers new business models in banking and financial services organizations with the capability to revolutionize products, payments, channels, business processes and asset management built on strong architectural foundation. The following topics were covered: How IoT stands to impact various business parameters including customer experience, cost and risk management within BFS organizations.