August 4, 2021

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The Importance of Using the Right Cloud Service Provider

Cloud computing is a simple way for companies to upscale their operations without incurring huge infrastructural costs. Firms currently use an average of 8 clouds and expect this to increase to around 11 by the end of 2023.

The cloud industry is enjoying unprecedented growth and will hit a new high in 2022. Forecasts suggest that the market will be worth a whopping $397 billion by the end of the year. 

What This Growth Means for Your Company

The increasingly competitive market makes it easier for your firm to secure a reasonable rate. As the market grows, we’ll see more cost-effective, innovative solutions coming to the fore. Firms will have more opportunities to save money using these products. 

The downside of the growing cloud industry is the increase in cyber attacks. PayPal, for example, processed transactions worth $936 billion. What self-respecting hacker won’t try to get a piece of that action? 

Unless service providers make themselves a hard target, criminals may use cloud accounts to: 

  • Exploit unpatched systems
  • Levy brute force attacks to steal user information
  • Access servers without passwords
  • Cryptojack other computers or use them in DDoS attacks

Users of these services considered the following to be the top 5 risks in any public cloud network as of May 2020: 

  • Around 68% of consumers worried about the incorrect setup of the network.
  • As many as 58% of them expressed concerns about unauthorized access.
  • About 52% of consumers felt there was a risk of insecure APIs.
  • Half of the users were wary of the risk of someone hijacking their account or email
  • Finally, 43% were worried about external data sharing.

Do Cloud Networks Pose a Threat to Network Safety? 

That depends on the company running the service and how secure their systems are. No public network system is ever completely invulnerable, but you can say the same about private networks. 

 

In fact, private networks may be less secure if not set up correctly. Businesses using a private intranet may:  

  • Fail to use strong security codes
  • Not have sufficient protection against DDoS attacks
  • Be entirely paralyzed by a ransomware attack 
  • Have crucial security gaps caused by undetected bugs

To stay safe online, businesses should select their cloud provider thoroughly.

How to Choose the Correct Service Provider

Finding the right service provider is the first step in making this work for your business. Here are some criteria to consider: 

  • Certifications and Standards: Check what certifications the company holds and whether these are up to date. 
  • System Compatibility: Will it be easy to adapt your internal systems to work with the providers? 
  • Data Security: How does the company protect its data? What physical and cybersecurity measures does it implement? 
  • Vendors: Who are the main vendors with whom the company partners? What impact do they have on the service you receive? Do the vendors commit to the data security standards that you do? 
  • Dependencies: Does the company rely on anyone else to supplement its services? They may, for example, partner with another company with a server farm. It’s vital to ensure that these subcontractors will provide the same quality service the principal firm does. 
  • Performance and Reliability: Check online for reviews about the company’s service and reliability. How much downtime do they allow for their network? How quickly can their servers deliver the information you need to your computer?
  • Conditions of the Contract: What service level agreements are in place? How do they identify a breach of these terms? They should also give you a clear indication of the services they will provide, the escalation of potential issues, and the responsibility in the case of a breach. 
  • Vendor Lock-In: The contract is not the only thing to lock you into a relationship with a company. If they use proprietary software, you may find it difficult to move to a new provider later. Work out an exit strategy upfront in case the provider doesn’t meet your requirements. 
  • Company Status: How well is the company doing? If it’s in financial trouble, it may not be able to make important security upgrades and other improvements to its systems. 

Final Notes

Using cloud services helps companies to improve efficiency and reduce their costs. Chosen carefully, your service partner may even bolster your firm’s cybersecurity. Follow the tips outlined above, and you can enjoy the full benefits of using the cloud. 

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