5 Tips for Evaluating Your Cloud Service Provider's Securityby@zacamos
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5 Tips for Evaluating Your Cloud Service Provider's Security

by Zac AmosApril 2nd, 2023
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Using the cloud has many benefits, but it's important to be cautious about security. When evaluating a cloud service provider's security posture, look for whether the company does the following: performs third-party testing, adheres to compliance requirements and industry standards, provides migration services and support, uses the best cybersecurity practices, and enlists security experts to teach customers. Always determine a CSP's security posture before investing!
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Cloud computing has dominated the IT landscape since its inception. Gartner predicts that worldwide end-user spending on cloud services will reach nearly $600 billion by next year — quite impressive for a technology that's only a decade old.

Businesses and individuals reap several benefits when they use the cloud, from sharing files easily to storing massive amounts of data. Companies should consider migrating to the cloud by working with a cloud service provider (CSP), especially in today's fiercely competitive business environment.

While most platforms offer the same basic features and capabilities, not all cloud security approaches are the same. CSPs must ensure strong security, data protection, and privacy for their users. How can a user determine if their cloud service provider has reasonable security measures in place?

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of CSP security and the steps to take when evaluating its protection capabilities.

Using Cloud Services While Prioritizing Security

Some of the benefits of the cloud speak for themselves — accessing files from any location with an internet connection, avoiding full laptop storage, and data backup are a few examples. One reason why cloud services are so popular is they're more secure than storing data on a hard drive.

CSPs typically store their servers in warehouses most employees cannot access. Additionally, any data stored on the cloud is encrypted, making it more challenging for hackers to infiltrate. However, cybersecurity attacks are becoming more frequent and intense, meaning that security is a significant concern for most people using any digital technology.

Companies will work with a cloud service provider if they do not have a dedicated IT staff to manage their infrastructure. Without sufficient expertise, the average employee would be unable to troubleshoot issues, implement the best cybersecurity measures and create a disaster recovery plan.

But while cloud security is robust, they’re not all built the same. When using the cloud, the user or business has to believe their CSP will protect them from most dangers. After all, even if your own business has strong security measures, you are still relying on a third-party vendor. Their security measures are beyond your control, leaving you open to potential insider threats if they falter. To establish trust with a CSP, first determine the strength of its solution's security posture.

How to Evaluate a CSP's Security

While there is high demand for cloud computing experts in most industries, not all companies focus on developing their IT departments. C-suite executives with little to no knowledge of cloud computing or cybersecurity may not know where to start when choosing a potential cloud provider. Some of the tips listed below could be a good starting point.

1. Performs Third-Party Testing

When evaluating a cloud service provider, determine if the provider works with a third-party security company. CSPs regularly testing their servers and software will often have suitable protective measures to keep users safe.

Outside testing boosts the chances the platform has the proper defense mechanisms to keep hackers at bay and prevent users from experiencing a cyberattack or data breach.

2. Adheres to Compliance Requirements, Regulations, and Industry Standards

Most CSPs identify security as one of the most critical factors in their operations. Ensuring data security for users essentially keeps cloud service providers in the business. Poor security means a poor reputation and performance, resulting in an inability to compete with other CSPs.

Because of this, CSPs aim to follow the highest standards for security. For example, Amazon Web Services — one of the most widely used platforms — meets scores of global compliance requirements and has thousands of world-class security experts monitoring its infrastructure.

3. Provides Migration Services and Support

In recent years, more companies transitioned to the cloud — meaning they had to migrate from their on-premise solutions. Most high-performing CSPs offer migrations services and customer support for businesses and individuals.

Switching from on-premise infrastructure to a cloud environment offers several business benefits, including gaining a competitive edge, flexibility, cost savings and robust cybersecurity. It's best to work with a cloud service provider so they can make the migration process simple and efficient.

4. Uses the Best Cybersecurity Practices

While this tip might seem obvious, it's still just as important as the others on the list. A CSP must use the best cybersecurity practices. This would mean the platform's solution is built on deep knowledge, well-rounded expertise and ethical business decisions.

Those interested in working with a CSP should look at the provider’s website to determine if they keep up with the latest cybersecurity trends, learn about new approaches and focus on continuous security improvements. These platforms must stay on top of the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape to offer the best security strategies for their users.

5. Enlists Security Experts to Teach Customers

Last but not least, consider contacting the CSP directly. A good cloud provider must have a skilled workforce well-versed in all things cybersecurity and IT.

When speaking with a cloud service provider's sales team, ask plenty of questions, find out what educational resources it offers and inquire about potential employee training opportunities. It's crucial to learn all about cloud security and the CSP's approach to cybersecurity before investing in its platform.

Determine a Cloud Service Provider's Security Posture Before Investing

Anyone concerned with today's threatening cybersecurity landscape knows how important it is to do their due diligence and assess a CSP's security measures. Investing in a cloud-based solution with poor security could backfire and increase the risk of experiencing a cyberattack.

It's best for businesses, large corporations, government agencies, and even the average consumer to evaluate a cloud service provider's security before using its services. Consider using the tips above when conducting an analysis and reach out to customer support for further information.