IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Cloud Considerations: Security

I've talked to a lot of clients about cloud computing and moving their services off to the cloud. The first question for almost every one of them is security.

If you're interested in cloud computing, then keep an eye out for upcoming "Cloud Considerations" posts. I want to make it easy for you to highlight these if you wish.

This is kind of the first installment, but I have to say that it's founded in my past postings on cloud computing. For those, go to http://blog.smallbizthoughts.com/search/label/Cloud%20Computing.

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I've talked to a lot of clients about cloud computing and moving their services off to the cloud.

The first question for almost every one of them is security. This is odd from some of them who regularly click on every shiny object they find. But we're all human and our minds are capable of holding two completely opposite beliefs at the same time.

No matter what their personal habits are, they want their company data to be secured. Questions include . . .

- Where will our data actually BE?

- Who will have access to our data?

- How is our data kept separate from other companies' data?

- Is our data backed up? Is this separate from others' data?
- - If not, how can they ever purge our data if we drop the service?

- If the company housing our data is sued, can the courts force them to hand over our data for any reason?

- If the company housing our data goes out of business, what happens to our data?

- As the government regulates my industry more and more, how will we know that we're complying with government guidelines?

- If there is a security breach, is the service company required to tell us that our data has been compromised?

(I REALLY welcome your additional security questions in the comments area.)

You get the picture. And if you can answer all those questions right now then I have to call you a BSer. Very few industries have figured out all these things. And the government will regulate all industries more and more going forward. But in the meantime, we need to come up with some answers (we as an industry).

We are just beginning to see buzz about security and hosted services (e.g., http://lawyerist.com/lawyers-should-not-be-wary-of-saas-and-cloud-computing). Trend-followers can bet on a huge increase in this.

In the great someday, every product will have a security notice that explains all this.

In the short term, you need to come up with reasonable answers for your clients.

Before that, you need to come up with the actual products and services you're going to sell. Details Details.

:-)

About the Author

Karl W. Palachuk, is a technology consultant, author, speaker, trainer, and coach. He is the author of fifteen books. He has built several successful businesses, including two managed services companies. His books include Managed Services in a Month and The Network Documentation Workbook. Karl is a frequent trainer and speaker in the SMB Community. His popular blog can be found at SmallBizThoughts.com. He has more than twenty years experience as an I.T. professional and serves on advisory panels for several hardware and software companies.

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