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Friday, June 28, 2013

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5 Sure-Fire Ways to Secure Your Cloud-Based Server

With the ease of use offered by cloud computing services, it can be hard to imagine what could go wrong. Just because cloud computing makes things easier, that doesn't mean you should let down your guard. You need to secure your data in the cloud and make sure any threats to security are handled properly. Here are five sure-fire tips for securing your cloud-based server.

Backup Everything
There are those who say that cloud-based servers are prefect and infallible. But security measures still need to be taken for the cloud. Just like you would with a physical data center, it is important to keep thorough backups of all your data stored on your cloud servers. It may feel redundant at the time, but when disaster strikes your cloud server, you will be glad you had a backup copy of all your business data.

Take Security Audits Seriously
It is important that you and your cloud service provider take security seriously. Ask questions about the standards that apply to data for your industry. If you are involved in financial services, make sure your data center provider complies with Sarbanes-Oxley regulations. If you handle payments, make sure your service is PCI compliant. If you work in the health industry, make sure everything is HIPAA compliant. If the provider gives you a run-around about compliance, then it's time to find another provider.

Ask Other Clients
Don’t be afraid to ask around about your cloud services provider. Contact their existing clients and ask some questions. Do they have a history of quality customer support? How did they handle a major emergency? How quickly do they bounce back from outages?

Know Where Your Data Is
It important you know exactly where in the physical world your business data resides. Your cloud services provider should be able to point to a single machine or a bank of machines and tell you that is the exact place where the bits and bytes of your business data sit. Using a cloud-based server as a marketing cloud can only be successful if you have instituted proper security measures and know where to go in case of a malfunction.

Test Relentlessly
No matter how much your test your systems, test them some more. Stay current with potential security vulnerabilities. Roll out new testing procedures as new threats emerge. And if they are no new threats, try to hack your systems with your own team.

No system will ever be 100% secure. That's just a fact of life in the digital age. For that reason, you need to remain aware. You need to ask questions. You need to stay on top of potential vulnerabilities. Stay vigilant and your cloud server will do right by you.


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