One of the most frequently asked questions we get asked here at Tech Impact about cloud computing is: “How safe is my data in the cloud?"
We have answered in blog posts before, and the answer is unequivocally yes. And we’re not the only ones who think so.
The cloud alleviates safety concerns that have historically haunted nonprofits and businesses of all sizes. The physical loss of data, documents and information through fires, burglary, or incidental destruction of hard drives is completely eliminated with the use of the cloud.
The truth is, it makes sense that people are questioning the effectiveness of cloud security. With the recent hacks at major brands like Target, Wal-Mart, and Apple being brought to the public’s attention, why should a nonprofit feel their security stacks up to those big names?
But with the world’s IT sector adopting the cloud at alarming rates, and the nonprofit sector specifically is getting comfortable with the cloud, there’s never been a better time than now to get your nonprofit up and running in the cloud. Getting ahead is the first step in staying ahead.
To make sure your nonprofit is up to snuff in its cloud security, here are a few areas of interest for you to consider.
Industries like healthcare and banking have have stringent guidelines and rules that are in place that ensure safety in cloud environments. To ensure your nonprofit’s safety in the cloud, you must first make sure you’re, and more importantly your cloud provider, in full compliance with all regulations and and requirements for that technology.
Make sure your IT staff is completely up to date with any changes in compliance, and what needs to be done on their end to make sure your nonprofit is meeting these standards.
2. Optional security isn’t optional
One of the most passed-on security options is potentially one of the most effective at keeping a cloud environment safe from hackers. Two-factor authentication, or multi-factor authentication, is the process in which a user can pass by a security authenticator by successfully presenting at least two of the following three things: knowledge factor (a password the individual has memorized), possession factors (think ATM cards), or inherence / realistic factors (think a finger print or eye recognition).
While you might think that simply having a knowledge factor authentication like a password is secure enough, it is rendered useless once that password is guessed one time. That hacker now has the same access to your information as your employee.
The bottom line is, the more layers of security your nonprofit puts in place the safer your information is. Veering away from “optional” security features like multi-factor authentication because of cost is like running a race without shoes because they ‘add weight.'
3. Find the right provider
The best way to safe is finding the cloud service provider who’s as dedicated to security as you are, and has a proven safety safety record. Before heading out and talking to a potential cloud service provider, check out this list of questions and items that they need to have answers to.