The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has offered guidelines for the evaluation of countries with regard to Cloud readiness through their Global Cloud Computing Scorecard. There are seven criteria. While not the intended purpose, we thought four of their criteria would provide a good model for selecting a quality Cloud provider. They are: ensuring privacy, promoting security, battling cyber-crime, and ensuring data portability.
Most countries have data protection laws to ensure users data and information is not used or exposed in harmful ways. Privacy guidelines should be presented in an easy-to-understand format. Privacy protection is an important attribute for any safe Cloud provider, especially if your industry is subject to regulation (like HIPAA HITECH or PCI DSS).
Privacy protection is an important attribute for any safe Cloud provider, especially if your industry is subject to regulation (like HIPAA HITECH or PCI DSS).
This criterion measures a Cloud providers understanding of potential risks and threats involved with running applications and software on the Cloud. Look for pages on a Cloud provider’s website devoted to application security, as this shows they understand its importance.
Since cloud computing providers hold massive amounts of important information, it’s vital that a cloud service has business rules and technology in place to prevent cyber attacks and unwanted intrusions. Look for information related to cyber-crime on a Cloud provider’s website, or ask the Cloud service directly about their procedures. An example would be distributed denial of service (DDOS) mitigation.
Ensuring Data Portability
This is about interoperability and openness of your Cloud provider. Your data should be able to flow smoothly from one Cloud provider to the next. In other words, you and your data should not be held captive.
Leading cloud providers will meet each of these criteria.. It’s important to take into account the location of the cloud provider and the local laws that may or may not restrict the portability of Cloud data. If you’d like to review the BSA’s criteria firsthand, visit: http://thecloudmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/BSA_GlobalCloudScorecard.pdf