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SSL protection essential for cloud security

Cloud security has become a common theme in business discussions in recent months due to the proliferation of the technology. Cloud vendors may even claim that their infrastructures are better protected than a company's in-house servers, but most businesses would be wise to maintain scrutiny. Social media strategist and technology writer Liz Alton highlighted several protections that should be ensured when selecting a provider.

One of the key takeaways is that a provider thatis ideal for one deployment may not be able to meet the needs of another. Alton recommended that SSL should be a requirement for establishing a baseline level of data protection, but noted that the level of necessary security will vary significantly depending on a company's goals. For example, a business may decide it wants to use the cloud for email, but not for managing the sensitive data that flows through an enterprise resource planning platform. As a result, companies must match a provider's offerings and security functionality to their unique business needs.

"In certain business situations, such as institutions dealing with classified data or patient confidentiality laws, cloud hosting solutions may need to offer more specialized or rigorous data protections," Alton wrote for Business 2 Community. "If you've got special requirements, evaluate the security protections offer by the host and carefully read their customer reviews before proceeding."

Evaluating cloud security frameworks
It may also be beneficial to evaluate the security frameworks a provider uses to govern its implementation. While the specifics of such a paradigm will likely vary, there some ways to tell whether it is effective. Writing for Data Center Journal, Bob Deutsche of Intel recently outlined several rules for determining the effectiveness of a security framework.

The first item on Deutsche's list is to match policy to specific value. In terms of cloud security, this means being able to connect features to risk avoidance practices. For example, the use of SSL certificates is a step toward Payment Card Industry compliance. Cloud providers should be able to demonstrate which common vulnerabilities are addressed by their offerings as well as the cost savings achieved by specific functionality.

The cloud ecosystem may become increasingly complex as numerous vendors enter into the landscape, but businesses can better navigate the market by making critical security questions a focal point of the negotiation phase.

Just as cloud providers must address their buyers' security concerns, businesses can benefit from building a better protected online environment. Improve your security posture by getting an SSL certificate today.

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