Your business’s data may be flying high in the cloud, but it can quickly be brought back down to earth by security threats and restrictions that govern its storage and use.
When choosing a service provider, think about what hosting your data on cloud servers means for your data, privacy and security.
Is your data homesick?
The location of your host’s server matters. Each country has its own set of rules pertaining to cloud storage, and the differences may surprise you. If your host stores your data on servers in the U.S., laws such as the Patriot Act, PRISM and CLOUD will apply. In short, this means that U.S. authorities are allowed to read through your files. In contrast, if you opt for a host with Canadian servers, your files fall under Canadian law and are better protected, provided that the service provider isn’t U.S.-owned.1
Canada has robust provincial and federal laws that apply to cloud storage providers. While the ins and outs may get a little technical, we recommend reviewing the Acts that govern your data and privacy; they’re rather impressive and make a strong case for selecting a host with servers located in Canada.
Better safe than sorry
Regardless of where you store your data, hackers are constantly trying to wreak havoc on data stored in the cloud, which puts your information, and your business, at risk. Hosts that are serious about security should offer:2
- Firewalls—your main defence against cybercrime, malware and viruses.
- DDos protection (Distributed denial of service)—a cyber attack meant to overload servers. A good host will use counter-measures to protect itself (and subsequently, its clients) from an attack.
- Anti-malware protection—servers should be regularly scanned for hacker activity.
- Brute force protection—limits the number of failed login attempts to keep you safe from unauthorized users.
- Two-factor authentication—an extra layer of security using a separate device, such as a smartphone, to complete a login.
- Automatic updates—to apply new security measures to your content management systems as they become available.
While your host should set you up for operations and security success, remember that ignorance isn’t bliss when it comes to ensuring your cloud is managed appropriately:
- Ultimately, it’s your obligation to ensure your business is compliant with regulations and laws. It’s up to you to properly manage your systems.
- Be ready for additional costs—some providers charge additional fees for add-on security services.
- Read the fine print—some terms and conditions, like SLAs, omit some or all of the security risk to your data, meaning that the provider is not responsible for issues related to their response time.
The moral of the story? Be thorough. Review all elements of your agreement to avoid a false sense of security and costly security missteps.
Don’t be left hanging
When you have questions, you need answers. Choose a hosting company that offers 24/7 support in your language. Being able to connect with your host by chat or phone without long wait times is essential when an issue arises.3
Choose Cogeco—we’re happy to be Canadian hosted
Cogeco’s cloud servers are proudly hosted in Canada, which means that our customers’ data and privacy are rigorously protected by Canadian laws. To learn more about what this means for small businesses, visit cogeco.ca/business.