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October_2015_Cloud
“As-a-Service” technology is changing the way we do business — and the ways we protect ourselves from outside threats. Traditionally, there have been on-site infrastructures that allow IT specialists to configure and monitor firewalls and other security protocols to protect a company’s data. But as we move towards cloud-based tech, the way we approach security is dramatically different.

There are two different approaches to verifying the security of your cloud service, depending on whether you’re using Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). By covering all of your bases with each, you’ll guarantee that your cloud service is safe.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service

For companies looking for extra control over their data security, IaaS is your best option. By operating under IaaS, you have access to virtual machines (VMs) that can be configured much the same way as traditional on-site servers. For companies with VMs, you can custom configure your firewall and control every aspect of your cloud’s security, without having to rely on your service provider. Many companies using IaaS choose to work with third party security firms to ensure that their infrastructure is as secure as possible.

Software-as-a-Service

SaaS, on the other hand, is less complicated but less controllable than its more advanced counterpart. Instead of working with VMs, IT specialists will work with hosted applications to accomplish their business needs. While there is less control, that doesn’t mean that this option is less secure. It simply means that the onus of creating security protocols is on the service provider, who is required to follow compliance regulations.

However, it is important that you verify these security measures — both for your own peace of mind and to guarantee that you’re fully protected. In many cases, your provider may have incorrectly configured some aspect of your infrastructure, including middleware, OS, or databases. By double checking their work, you can avoid error and protect your organization from disaster.

There is a lot of variation in how SaaS providers handle your cloud service’s security. They may have different authentication or encryption protocols, and these methods may not be what you’re looking for in a provider. It’s important that you know ahead of time whether you need single-factor or multi-factor authentication, or whether you need your cloud provider to provide the same encryption level as it would an onsite data center.

If you’re considering SaaS, know your requirements ahead of time so you can choose the right provider, and be sure to request full documentation of any security protocols you have in place. Whether you’re using SaaS or IaaS, the better you know your security measures, the better able you’ll be to protect your organization when it needs it most.

 

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