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3 Ways to Reduce Cloud Security Risks

by | May 17, 2016 | Blog, Thought

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Cloud-based enterprise applications offer tremendous benefits, from increased accessibility and real-time metrics to faster implementation times. Yet, enterprise organizations looking for these benefits must also carefully evaluate each vendor’s approach in order to reduce cloud security risks. At WorkForce Software, we recommend you:

  1. Find out what security measures are in place. Make sure you choose a vendor that takes all aspects of cloud security seriously. There should be strict physical, technical, and administrative measures in place to protect your data at rest and during transmission. From employee background checks, to restricted access protocols, firewalls, 256-bit encryption, redundancy measures, and regular backups, each vendor should be able to provide detailed information about their practices and how they mitigate cloud security risks. You’ll also want to know what your data center options are, particularly if you have employees in multiple countries with different data protection protocols. At WorkForce Software, we maintain secure data centers on three continents and store encrypted backups of client data at separate primary and disaster recovery facilities. We also provide ‘move-ready’ portability, in the event that your business requirements or data center preferences change as your needs evolve.
  2. Find out what third-party audits are performed annually. Several third-party organizations routinely evaluate and verify cloud providers’ security controls and procedures. Examples include:
  • Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE 16)
  • The International Standards for Assurance Engagements (ISAE 3402)
  • The International Organization for Standardization’s ISO-27001
  • Service Organization Control (SOC 2)
  • S.-EU Safe Harbor and/or EU-U.S. Privacy Shield

These certifications are important because they validate the vendor’s security practices and provide assurance that your data—which may include your employees’ personally identifiable information, as well as financial data about your organization—will be protected. Remember that it is equally important to find out which certifications each vendor’s individual data center providers maintain, as well.

  1. Find out exactly what’s included in your SaaS fees. Unfortunately, not every cloud provider includes updates in their cloud subscription fees. Yet, staying up-to-date with new releases is essential to protecting your organization against cloud security risks. To avoid last-minute surprises, ask each provider up front exactly what your SaaS fees include. Ideally, per-employee, per-year pricing should cover the cost of the solution, incremental updates, and some level of ongoing customer support. Be sure to find out about any hidden costs, as well, such as fees associated with needing additional capacity or disk space in the future.

Taking these steps early in the vendor evaluation process can help reduce cloud security risks and ensure that you choose a provider who infrastructure meets the most stringent standards in the industry. To learn how WorkForce Software keeps our customers’ data secure, read our Cloud Delivery data sheet or request a personalized demonstration.

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