Data storage is an issue for businesses everywhere. If you’re using the cloud for your data storage, it’s important to make sure you’re doing so securely. Here are three key questions to ask yourself about your online data storage process.
While cloud platforms don’t have the risk of external drives which can be damaged, lost or stolen, they are not immune to cyber hacking, malware or viruses. Ask about your provider’s security arrangements, including firewalls and encryption. The best practice is for your data to be protected with 128-bit encryption. It’s also important to ask your provider about the redundancies they have in place in case something does happen to their servers, and their back up process.
You want to have easy, unfettered access to your data, 24/7 from any device. But at the same time, it’s not desirable for everyone in your business to have the same sort of access. It’s important to use passwords to determine who can access certain data, based on business rules you create. For example, you might want to limit access to sensitive financial details, while all your employees might require access to documents relating to client projects.
It sounds obvious, but one of the most significant issues for online storage is how regularly you back up your information. You want to make sure that you set an automatic back-up schedule for your data, based on your business requirements. For example, critical operational data should be backed up more regularly than data that you need to keep for archival purposes. Depending on need, your cloud platform should enable you to set back ups for any timeframe, from hourly right up to monthly. Some cloud platforms, such as virtual fax systems, automatically store data in the cloud as soon as it is sent, so it’s simple to recover business communications.
Nothing is completely fail-safe when it comes to data storage. But the cloud is a secure way to store data, as long as you take a bit of care with choosing your cloud provider and put rules in place within your business to protect your data, and ensure you’re using the storage correctly. After all, cloud storage won’t help in the event you need to restore data quickly if it was never backed up in the first place!