CYBER SECURITY CHECKLIST: 10 KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE SELECTING A CLOUD STORAGE SERVICE
- October 25, 2023
- 7:18 am
With an increasing requirement for cloud storage, both individuals and businesses are confronted with the crucial decision of selecting a credible and secure cloud storage provider.
Although cloud storage provides its customers with great advantages like convenience and accessibility, it is important to keep cyber security and data safeguarding at the forefront when giving sensitive information to a third-party provider.
With higher vulnerability in cyber security and cyber security threats rising at a rapid pace, introducing cyber security in India is becoming a standard practice for all organizations. It is essential to spread cyber security awareness and adapt to cyber security tools to safeguard your private information.
This article will give you a brief introduction to cyber security and delve into the important cyber security questions to be asked before selecting a cloud storage service.
Following Are The 10 Cyber Security Information Questions To Be Asked Before Selecting A Cloud Storage Service:
Considering these following questions will help you in making a good and informed decision that will protect your data and guarantee a peaceful mind.
1. What methods of encryption are employed?
Encryption is a foundational aspect of cloud storage for the protection of data. Even if any unauthorized parties enter the cloud storage, encryption ensures the confidentiality of the data. Encryption methods used by the cloud storage providers should be inquired about, when you are inquiring about cloud storage providers. Strong encryption protocols like AES-256, which is a standard protocol in the industry, should be used.
Furthermore, it is important to know whether the provider provides client-side encryption. In this case, the data is first encrypted on the user’s device before being uploaded to the cloud. This guarantees that only the user has the encryption keys, which adds an extra layer of security. Encryption comes under cyber security basics and is an essential element to be kept in mind as it will act as a barrier to cyber security attacks and keep your data safe.
2. How do the transmission and storage of data take place?
Comprehending how the data is transmitted and stored is paramount to assessing its security standards. Asking about the transmission protocols used by the cloud service provider, such as SSL/TLS, which encrypts the data when in transit to prevent it from interception by unauthorized entities.
Furthermore, you should inquire about how the data is stored by the provider. Is the data distributed to multiple servers or data centers by them? Do they keep unnecessary data? These measures contribute to data availability and flexibility against failures and hardware disasters.
The data transmission could open holes for vulnerability from which hackers could enter the network, hence network cyber security is essential to mitigate cyber security risk.
3. What are the various security measures put in place to avoid unauthorized access?
The risk of unauthorized access to important data is of primary importance. Therefore, it is important to understand what security measures the provider takes to secure the data from breaches.
You should focus on finding features like two-factor authentication (2FA), which acts as an extra layer of verification while logging in. You should also inquire about invasion detection systems and firewalls to observe and obstruct suspicious activities. A reputed provider must have proper access controls and active steps to avoid unauthorized invasions of your data.
Having the cyber security fundamentals covered is essential and having two-factor authentication is a part of fundamentals to ensure you are following the correct cyber security management protocols.
4. How is data separated and safeguarded from other users?
Multi-occupancy is a prevalent practice in cloud storage, as several users are sharing the same infrastructure. This approach has advantages like scalability and cost efficiency; however, the separation and privacy of data can be a matter of great concern.
Ask the provider how they ensure the separation of data between various users. Do they have strict measures to avoid unauthorized invasions of your data? Do they use high-level virtualization techniques to keep the data of various users segregated? Having a proper understanding of such nuances is important for the safety of safety data in such a shared environment.
Conducting penetration testing in cyber security will also help you ensure the data is safeguarded from other users as it finds vulnerable points to be actioned upon.
5. What backup and disaster recovery strategy is provided by the provider?
Hardware failure, natural calamities, malicious attacks, and other various reasons can lead to losing data. Thus, it is essential to understand what kind of backup and disaster recovery strategies the provider offers.
Do they back up data regularly in different files or separate devices? Do they have a good disaster recovery plan to reduce downtime and data loss?
A trustworthy provider should have an overabundance of mechanisms and backups that are off-site to make sure that data is available and can be recovered timely if any unexpected scenario occurs.
With a cyber security shortage in the current world, it is essential to strategize a backup plan so that you do not lose out on your data.
6. How clear is the provider about security incidents and breaches?
No system is completely impervious to security incidents or data breaches. Therefore, you need to select a cloud service provider that ensures transparency about such incidents and take immediate action to lessen them. You should inquire about the provider’s incident response plan and how they handled such instances earlier.
You should find a provider who informs the users about security breaches and promptly takes measures to mitigate them. To maintain a healthy relationship with the provider it is important to ensure transparency and accountability.
The scope of cyber security and cloud storage is vast and it is essential to have a trusted and transparent partner to ensure complete 360-degree protection.
7. What are the various compliance certificates and regulations followed?
Regulatory requirements that assure how certain types of data should be handled and stored, depend on your industry and your geographical location. Thus, it is essential to know the compliance certificates and regulations the provider follows. Examples of common compliance certifications are- ISO 27001 for the management of information security and SOC 2 for privacy and securing data.
HIPAA and GDPR are examples of compliance required for data by specific industries like healthcare data and European Union residents’ data respectively. If the provider follows the necessary compliance standards, then the security of data will be assured completely.
There are various cyber security standards to ensure that one covers all components of cyber security to combat various types of cyber security threats and follow all cyber security policies to optimize cyber security risk management.
8. How do they address data privacy?
Whether the provider share or sell the user data to another party? Do they have strict measures to prevent unauthorized invasions or misuse of data? These questions should be of immense importance to you. It is essential to select a provider who respects the privacy of your data and has policies in place that state that they will secure your personal and sensitive data.
You need to have guidance from a cyber security expert to install cyber security applications and cover everything about cyber security to protect your data from getting stolen.
9. How much service and customer support is provided?
Reliable customer support is important during times of need. Therefore, it is important to have an idea about the level of service and customer support the provider offers you.
Do they provide 24/7 customer service? Do they have a different team of people to help with any security-related issues? The answers to these questions are very important, as it is essential to have a responsive and knowledgeable support team that can address any questions or concerns immediately.
Having an internal red team cyber security is also important in times of cyber attacks to give you the right cyber security solutions.
10. How does the provider handle the completion of service and relocation of the information?
As cloud storage has long-term consequences, it is important to know how the provider handles the completion of the service and the relocation of the information. You should also inquire about the processes and support offered by the provider when relocating the data to another provider or when discontinuing the service.
You should know whether the provider will help with migrating data or offer tools to transfer the data. If you have clarity about the exit strategy, then there can be surety as well that your data will be safe even if you change providers in the future.
Other Things to Keep in Mind While Choosing Cloud Storage
There are other factors besides cyber security that you need to note down while selecting a cloud storage provider. These factors will assist you in ensuring that the services provided by the provider coordinate with your needs and requirements. Following are some considerations that you might make:
1. Capacity Of Storage And Scalability:
You should assess the storage capacity that is being offered by the provider and understand whether it will be able to fulfill your existing requirements along with the needs for future development. Your storage needs may rise over the years; thus, scalability is essential. It must be ensured by you that the provider makes adjustable plans so that you can easily increase your storage capacity without any hindrance or disruption.
2. Cost And Pricing Module:
There are various pricing modules offered by cloud storage services. Some examples of these pricing modules include pay-as-you-go, tiered pricing, and fixed plans. You should keep in mind your budget and compare the price structures of various providers with each other. Make sure to note down factors such as storage size, bandwidth usage, or additional features that might affect the pricing. You should also note down additional hidden costs, like a fee for transferring data or the amount you have to pay for exceeding the storage limits.
3. User Platform And Convenience:
An innate and user-friendly platform is important for a smooth interaction with the cloud storage service. You should assess the provider’s user confluence, file management features, and collaboration tools. You should pursue features like drag-and-drop function, syncing of files, options for sharing files, and features for collaboration like real-time editing or version control. A well-made platform can increase productivity and an effective workflow.
4. Amalgamation With Existing Systems And Applications:
How the cloud storage services integrate with your current systems and applications should also be considered when selecting a cloud storage provider. You should keep in mind that it supports the platforms and operating systems you use, like Windows, macOS, and mobile devices. Furthermore, you have to make sure that it integrates with famous productivity tools like Microsoft Office, G Suite, or project management software. Smooth amalgamation allows for effortless file access and management across different platforms and applications.
5. Accessibility Of Data And Syncing:
Cloud storage should offer you smooth and good access to your data from various devices and places. Evaluate if the provider provides you with native applications for various devices, ranging from desktops to mobile phones. You should seek out features like automatic syncing, offline access to files, and file versioning. These attributes will assess your ability to work and access your files efficiently, even when you are not online or on the go.
6. Features For Sharing And Collaborating:
If your company requires collaboration within your team or external shareholders, then you should assess the sharing and collaborating attributes of the cloud storage service. You should seek attributes like authorization control, file-sharing options, comment threads, and real-time collaboration. These attributes will help you in improving teamwork, assessment of documents, and exchange of feedback.
7. Dependability And Uptime:
Access to important information can be disrupted by downtime, which can also affect your productivity. You should know the provider’s uptime assurance and service level agreements (SLA). You should find providers who have a good record of uptime and have redundant infrastructure to reduce the probability of data unavailability. Furthermore, you should ensure that the provider has multiple centers and certify redundancy and resilience.
8. Client Report And Reputation:
Before selecting a cloud storage service provider, you must read their customer reviews and testimonials. Gain insights from other users based on security, reliability, customer support, and overall satisfaction. Furthermore, you should find out the reputation of the provider in the industry and evaluate their longevity and stability. Quality support will be provided only by a provider with good customer reviews and a reputation in the industry.
9. Transferring And Relocation Of Data:
You should evaluate how smooth it is for you to transfer your existing data to the cloud storage service. Furthermore, you should evaluate whether the provider provides tools and documentation. or assistance to initiate a seamless process for data migration. Furthermore, assess how convenient it is to transfer your data to another provider if needed. It is important to have flexibility in data transfer and migration so that you can keep away from vendor lock-in.
10. Support And Services:
Finally, you should evaluate the provider’s service and support systems. You should find reliable support channels like phone, email, or live interaction. You will want to contact someone in case of any problems.
How to Choose the Best Cloud Storage for you?
Choosing a cloud storage provider is an important decision that requires careful attention to cyber security software, cyber security services, and data protection practices.
You can make a good decision that integrates with your security requirements by asking the right questions and grasping the provider’s security infrastructure, encryption protocols, data separation practices, and incident response capabilities.
You should focus on transparency, compliance, and privacy to ensure the safety and integrity of your data in cloud storage. By taking the time to select a cloud storage service provider based on cyber security questions, you can reduce risk and enjoy the advantages of cloud storage with full certainty.
You can also initiate a SOC in cyber security or hire top cyber security companies in India to give you the latest cyber security news, provide you with cyber security training on all cyber security topics to help you combat risk in cyber security, and avail all the advantages of cyber security.