“Cloud is the powerhouse that drives today’s digital organizations” – Sid Nag, Gartner
Over the past decade, the public cloud adoption rate has been increasing rapidly. Businesses among all the industries are moving their infrastructure partly or fully to the cloud. According to Gartner reports, worldwide end-user spending for Public Cloud is expected to reach nearly $600 billion by 2023.
However, with the increase in public cloud adoption by businesses, there is an increase in security challenges as there is lack of cloud expertise, insufficient staff to manage cloud environments, etc. This is where the cloud service providers come in the picture.
Public cloud service providers do regular audits, have cloud experts onboard, have disaster recovery polices, etc. to ensure business continuity, cost management, and seamless management of remote workforce.
Nevertheless, there are a number of cloud service providers in the market and choosing the wrong one can also lead to data breaches and outages. Hence, it is necessary for the business owners to understand cloud security before choosing the right cloud service provider.
In this article, we will discuss what are the key security factors business owners need to consider while searching the cloud service providers.
What is a Cloud Service Provider?
First, let’s understand what exactly is a cloud service provider. They are a third-party company who have their own data centers which they use to offer services such as Public Cloud, Managed Private Clouds, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Desktop as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, Managed Security Services, etc. Cloud service providers often charge based on subscriptions, monthly usage, or pay-per-use basis.
It is the role of the cloud service provider to ensure the seamless migration of data from physical storage to the cloud servers. Additionally, they are also responsible for the security of the data stored on their servers.
Also Read: Block Storage Vs Object Storage
Advantages of Having a Cloud Service Provider
Cloud service providers offer many benefits to companies. With cloud services, business owners become more flexible as they are no longer limited to the office premises. They can build a remote workforce with no hinderance in any operation.
They can easily scale up or scale down the resources as per the changing demands of the industry.
Moreover, cloud service providers take care of data backup, security, maintenance, and all the other backend processes.
Hence, business owners don’t need to worry about infrastructure issues and can focus all their time on building strategies to scale up their business.
How to Assess the Security of CSP
Since all the critical business information is stored on cloud servers, it is important for the business owners to choose a cloud service provider who ensures the complete security of the data.
Here is a checklist to understand how a service provider should be assessed for security.
Adherence to Standards and Framework
Check if the cloud service provider is adhering to the security standards, such as ISO 27001:2013, ISO-27017, ISO-27002, and ISO-27001 as it is crucial to determine whether the security provider is adhering to the best practices of reducing risks and enhancing the security.
In addition, the security standard, ISO-27018 needs to be checked to ensure that the provider protects personal information.
Check Authentication and Identity Controls
Migration of information to the cloud comes with access risks as instead of having on-premise access to the data, the employees can access it from anywhere across the globe.
Hence, to avoid any misuse, check that the service provider offers multi factor authentication or MFA along with real-time identity monitoring and CIFA to have a close eye on the identities of the environment.
The agreement between the cloud provider and the organization is termed SLA. The SLA states the level of services to be provided to the customers.
Along with that, it includes security measures like reliability, governance, maintenance and support, shared responsibilities and data auditing.
Internal Management Resources
When you migrate the workloads to the cloud, you cannot only put it there and forget about it. An in-depth understanding of the resources being utilized needs to exist while being fully aware of the measures to be taken in case of threat to the cloud environment.
Data Center/Storage Locations
Classification of data is of utmost importance while migrating the workloads to the cloud. In simple words, the security and protection required for your data needs to be thoroughly analyzed.
This will assist you in identifying whether the cloud environment provided suits your work and data requirements or not.
Uptime and Performance
Like every business, cloud providers can also face outages and downtimes at times and this leads to a direct impact on their clientele. Evaluate the performance and uptime metrics of the provider and do not forget to check their resolution time.
Backup & Data Recovery Process
Failures and outages are inevitable hence, a robust backup and disaster recovery process needs to exist for protecting the assets on the cloud. Ensure that your public cloud provider has the processes to retrieve and process the data accordingly.
Migration Services and Support
Switching from on-premise infrastructure to cloud environments is a big decision. Having in-house resources to manage the cloud challenges can lead to bigger problems. Thu, it is better to make sure that your provider also presents migration services and support.
Also Read: What is Public Cloud
Though migrating to the cloud has many advantages for organizations, security can become a major concern if not taken into account while choosing a provider.
A cloud service provider should be chosen carefully by considering all the security factors mentioned above to avoid any breach or outage.
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