Are Law Enforcement Data Really Safe in the Cloud?

Searching Google for “Is My Stuff Safe in the Cloud?” produces 3,280,000 results. Likely many more people have wondered about than actually asked the question. Whether you are a parent wondering about your kid’s grades being stored there or a CIO leading enterprise wide efforts to “move to the Cloud,” this is a fundamental question you will face. The answer, like those to many of life’s questions, is “it depends.” Well-designed and managed Cloud services can provide unprecedented levels of security and other benefits. But how do you know if that’s what you have?

The good news is you don’t need to be a cybersecurity expert to gain a level of confidence in being in the Cloud. But, you should exercise whatever level of due diligence is appropriate to what you’re doing in the cloud. If you are just backing up personal emails that you wouldn’t mind losing you may be good to go with no further investigation.

But, if your stuff and the stuff of your customers matters to you, some effort may be required to become an “educated consumer” of the Cloud. You (or your designated resources) should be able to readily determine the answers to questions like these:

  • Who is your (or your potential) Cloud Service Provider (CSP)?
  • Who has access to your data, for what purpose, and under what circumstances?
  • How and how often are back-ups performed?
  • What security controls are in place?
  • How are outages handled? What about data spills?
  • What happens to your data if the CSP stops operating?
  • What’s the process for rolling back to an earlier version of your data?

If your current or potential CSP does not have this information readily available or does not answer your questions satisfactorily, it’s time for a new CSP.

Visionations provides cloud services for CrimePad® using Microsoft’s Windows Azure which provides high levels of both physical and software-based security.