Cloud services are necessary tools in our hyper-connected world that already had its fair share of cyber attacks. Individuals, start-ups, and giant companies rely on cloud Storage service providers to safeguard their information and keep them protected against malicious activities. Cloud storage also saves people and businesses a lot of hard disks (and room) space, money, time, and effort. Let’s learn how to pick the best for you!
Where do You Start in Your Quest for Finding the Best Cloud Storage Service Providers ?
Most cloud services satisfy the need for collaboration and productivity, while others focus more on security and compliance. It matters less, however, if you choose a cloud storage to keep your files safe or a service that ensures seamless and reliable work. You need to select your Service provider beyond storage space and pricing plans. While these are important, they are not everything.
Getting the best cloud Storage service provider does not happen overnight, and this is why we recommend you to begin your search with the CloudStorageAdvice database. There, you will find extensive reviews, pricing plans, comparisons in between two or more similar services, details about features, functions, and even customer support services. If you make the best out of the database, you will probably achieve a short list of candidates to analyze even further.
Today, we will discuss more details about some of the most important criteria you need to factor in before you make your final buying decision.
1. Security and Compliance
Experts can never emphasize enough the importance of safety in the cloud. The discussion about data security and privacy is endless, but here are some main issues to keep on your radar at all times:
- Look for providers that offer you choice and control regarding the jurisdiction in which they store, process, and manage your data, mainly if you work with sensitive information that follows laws, regulations, and compliance provisions;
- The Cloud Storage Service providers should tell you where their data centers are – some are “hardened,” and some are in countries with impeccable data protection laws in place;
- Most reviews and expert articles on cloud services will offer information about encryption protocols for in-rest and in-transit data; you may want to know more about SSL protocols, the AES-256 encryption protocol, TLS, two-factor authentication, and zero-knowledge encryption.
In a world shaken by DDoS attacks, natural disasters, and brute-force password cracking attempts, your data can never be too safe. If you work with susceptible data under HIPPA, OC 2, PCI DSS, etc., make sure your cloud Storage provider also complies with such national or international policies and provisions.
2. Provider and Service Manageability
A cloud Storage service provider may look perfect on paper: high prices, fantastic storage, and full security. However, by manageability, we talk about both the provider and the cloud service. Most expert reviews speak about the manageability of the cloud – and it is a crucial aspect of your purchase decision, as you want to help your work and not make it harder. As provider manageability goes, you need to run things through your legal department as well.
- When assessing providers’ agreements pay attention to contracts, cloud laws, and SLAs.
- If you want transparency and certainty, do not be shy in asking them about their precise definition of the services and deliverables, contractual and service governance, indemnification, protection of intellectual property rights, limitation of liability, warranties, and remediation policies, among others.
- Look for a cloud service provider able to offer all these information in an explicit, measurable, unambiguous, and relevant manner. You will want to know everything, inside and out, in case their data center (and your TB of information) falls under a cyber attack or a natural disaster.
3. Customer Support
Most people ignore this issue after dealing with terms of service, budget, features, space, workflow, and so on. However, if you think about your cloud service regarding the engine running your car, you need to find the closest workshop.
In many cases, cloud services come with decent customer support. Others come with excellent customer support, which works 24/7 and allow human contact and problem solving via social media, phone, email, chat, and more. However, some reputable cloud service providers offer a joke of support and assistance.
If you ask what can go wrong and why you need immediate intervention from your provider’s team the second you contact them, let us remind you that your data – as encrypted as you can get it – is at the mercy of the elements and people.
In other words, if somebody or something compromises your data (an accidental “delete,” a thunderstorm, or one of the infamous DDoS attacks), you need your provider up and running.
- Look for cloud Storage service offering real contact details that they use. If you are not confident you will find somebody at the other end of the line, consult reviews, forums, and other customers;
- Look for cloud Storage service that historically tackled security problems and outages in a transparent, proactive manner. Hiding behind vague press releases is never a good sign;
- Shop for a service provider that can answer your questions on the spot – if you spend half a day sending tickets and hoping somebody will respond, you are not making a good deal.
If you accidentally lose data from your computer, you can use professional tools to retrieve it. If something goes AWOL from your cloud, you need your service provider to step in. Their level of implication depends on their security protocols and architecture, but you need someone to answer your email or phone – especially if retrieval does not work with the clouds’ versioning features.
You can pick one of the famous or one of the promising cloud storage service out there, based on price and storage. However, remember that the legal aspects, cybersecurity, and reliable support are just as important to safely store and manage your data or your client’s information.