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Securing Your Data: Is Your Head in the Clouds?

July 10, 2012

Storing data in “the cloud” is all the rage these days.  A few months back,cloud Google released a new version of its Docs service called Google Drive, Apple’s iCloud debuted late last year, and Dropbox has been around since 2008.  All of these services allow you to store music, photos, documents and videos in “the cloud.”  Using any of these services is pretty painless and can save you the headache of remembering to bring that USB drive with you and allows multiple individuals to work on the same document minutes apart.  But how secure is data when someone else is responsible for it?

Just like storing data in the cloud, storing important and/or sensitive information outside of your walls should be a concern.  Most of the time your concerns can be alleviated by taking a few crucial steps.  When choosing a data or software vendor that will house important and/or sensitive information, make sure you keep the following topics in mind and ask the right questions to ensure the safety of your data.

This is arguably the most important topic to discuss with a potential software vendor since the wrong individual with access to too much data could have serious consequences, negatively impacting your organization long after a security breach occurs.  Be sure to examine:

  • - What privacy policies do you have in place?
  • - Who has access to my data?
  • - What are they allowed to do with my data?
  • - Is security provided to individuals for what is minimally necessary for them to perform their jobs?

Availability simply means having the ability to retrieve the data that I need when I need it.  Some important questions for your software vendor are:

  • - Is my data going to be available when I need it?
  • - Are there redundant systems in place to reduce downtime?

Data Integrity refers to who has the ability to update your data and by what means can they update it.  Important questions include:

  • - Is my data authorized to be updated by specific personnel?
  • - What tools do authorized individuals use to update my data?

securitySelect International takes securing and storing client data very seriously.  We only partner with “best of breed” organizations and utilize the industry standards and best practices for securing and storing data.  Be sure that whatever systems you have in place follow the guidelines listed above.  If you have any questions about this topic, don't hesitate to contact us to find out more.

Drew Lukac