Cloud computing is brimming with benefits, but – as the old adage goes – with great power comes great responsibility.
With cloud technologies now standard across all UK businesses, it’s important to remember these common mistakes as you move more of your systems online.
Don’t Assume Security is Standard
As with any technical solution security comes first, so we couldn’t start the list without this important reminder.
Cloud data doesn’t sit on any of your internal hardware. It doesn’t sit on your office devices at all. Rather it’s stored – and we’re being slightly reductionist here – on somebody else’s computer. Sure, that computer is a colossal device in a tightly secured data centre, protected by the strongest cyber-security around, but all the protection in the world counts for nothing if you don’t configure your data appropriately.
A common error we see repeatedly in our Threat Thursday column is cloud data being erroneously uploaded to public servers. All it takes is somebody with the right skills (and presumably, a lot of spare time) to sniff out your public data and a wealth of personal info could be compromised. When saving anything to the cloud, you must ensure that it is accessible only to those who use it.
Don’t Move Everything at Once
Sometimes, it’s tempting to move all of your data to the cloud and indeed, many businesses do adopt this ‘cloud only’ approach. None of them ever did it in one fell swoop, however. Not successfully, anyway.
You want your data to migrate in perfect synchronicity, without overloading servers or suffering the complications of an unexpected disconnect. That’s why your migration needs to be done slowly and steadily, moving your essential or sensitive data only when other migrations have completed successfully.
Don’t Move for the Sake of Moving
Understanding the power of the cloud is one thing; assuming it’s a quick fix for all your projects and processes is another. While it’s likely that several of your systems would benefit from a cloud equivalent, others might not be half as profitable.
It’s important that your every cloud consideration is budgeted accordingly, their benefits weighed appropriately and their on-prem equivalents considered; you could save money and time with an internal solution. Carefully considering all three could be the difference between notable savings and a potentially expensive mistake.
Don’t Overlook Your Deletion Process
Whether your data is exclusively in the cloud or synced with your hardware as part of a hybrid model, it’s important to have a safe policy in place for the deletion of data.
Remember, your cloud data isn’t saved to any device that you own; it’s stored wherever your cloud provider designates. That’s why, when deleting sensitive data, you need to know it’s erased both from your internal systems and across your cloud environment.
If you want to comply with your company policy – not to mention GDPR legislations – it’s important to clarify a company data deletion process with your users. It’s also vital that you understand your provider’s approach to data storage and erasure, so you know how and when your data will be gone for good.
Don’t Forget to Talk to Your Provider
Your cloud service provider exists to serve your needs, so it’s vital you know exactly what you want from their solution. Without a clear and communicative vision, you run the risk of a cloud environment that not only fails at the first hurdle, but begins to work against your strategy.
Yet you’ll also need a partner you can trust; one with a proven track record that’s honest about all it can deliver, provides you with a satisfactory Service Level Agreement (SLA) and clearly outlines the shared responsibilities of themselves and your business. Only when you’re confident in your partner’s abilities can you truly start to settle into your new cloud-enabled infrastructure.
By staying aware of these common cloud errors, you can start to develop your new strategy in confidence – but you needn’t do it alone.
At Mirus, we’ve helped hundreds of UK SMEs develop a cloud-conscious environment to help steer them through 2020. If you’re considering an online-enabled future, get in touch with us today!
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