How To Choose An Online Storage Provider

Posted by Theresa Hietpas

Dec 17, 2015 9:41:12 AM

part II: So How Do You choose A Provider?

cloud_storage.jpgStorage and file sharing services vary in feature set and price. What you choose – and whether you need one at all – depends on your needs. 

If you primarily want access for yourself or your staff from home or remote office, simple storage may be adequate. 

 If you plan to use it as a portal for exchanging particularly sensitive documents, you should be looking for a service that allows you document level control over access rights (ability to save, print, forward); and an audit trail to track who has accessed and/or edited the documents and when.

If there is any likelihood that you could be required to produce those documents for liability or regulatory reasons you need the ability to do granular searching and to “freeze” those documents to prevent modification or deletion. 

If you have some data that should not be stored online at all, you should look for a service that has Data Loss Prevention features that will prohibit or notify an administrator if protected or particularly sensitive information is saved. Examples would be PII or PHI subject to financial or HIPAA regulations, credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc.

If you frequently need to search and locate documents, some services have better indexing and search capability than others. And if you frequently need to restore or roll-back documents, or just want the peace of mind of regular document backups, you may want to choose a service that does them more frequently than others.

If you manage a large number of users, particularly with mobile access, you may need more advanced management and distribution tools.

In general, your basic requirements should be:

  • Adequate storage in a secure data center
  • Silent background synchronization to/from your computer(s)
  • Adequate file sharing capability for your needs
  • Mobile access for the type of devices and web-browser you use

Better:

  • ID and access management for shared documents
  • Solid and detailed audit trail to track access and changes
  • Centralized management controls for authorized administrator(s)

Best:

  • Data rights management (DRM) – the ability to control printing, saving, forwarding of documents you share, and the ability to set time limits or revoke access to the links.
  • Text indexing and robust/flexible search capability
  • Data Loss Prevention features to control the saving/sharing of particularly sensitive information
  • Device management that allows you to control mobile device access, and revoke access in the event of loss or theft.

Interested in more? Contact Us and let us know! We can offer you recommendations on storage size needed and providers that we have worked with.

Stay tuned for the third blog in this series: "What does it mean to store in the cloud?"

Topics: Security, data, storage

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