As businesses shift their data storage to cloud technology, security risks rank high on the list of priorities to consider. Organizations must determine which cloud provider offers the most secure vault for storing and protecting critical data. When considering potential cloud providers, there are four key questions to ask that will help you determine the safest place for your organization’s data.

1. How will my data be encrypted?

This question is crucial when determining the level of security used to protect your information. Once you determine if encryption will be applied, the next question to ask is what functionality will be used. For example, does the provider use a specific PKI strategy, and do they use data loss prevention (DLP) tools? Each provider’s answers to these questions will help you decide which one has the best solutions for your needs.

2. What compliance regulations do you adhere to?

When you choose a cloud provider who already adheres to compliance regulations for your industry, it will help you rest assured that an auditor would find your data properly protected. Credible cloud providers should allow you to test the vulnerability of their facilities to ensure that they meet your compliance regulations.

3. How would you store my data?

It’s critical to have a solid understanding of the architecture and design of your provider’s virtual and physical environment in order to carefully access the provider’s level of accountability. Different providers can have different meanings for terms like “virtualization” and “cloud,” so make sure to clarify these definitions and understand the models and strategies providers use to create their virtual environment where your data will be housed.

4. Who are the people guarding the vault?

There will be a team of people who will essentially be an extension of your IT operations as they work to protect your data, so it is important to put a face to this team and know who is handling your information. Ask about the provider’s hiring process and the staff’s experience level when it comes to handling complex IT operations. A trustworthy provider should tell you how frequently the staff is tested to ensure that they maintain necessary technological competence.

How secure is your critical data in the cloud? To read more, check out the article at NetworkWorld.com.