Part 4 of a five-part series on what to keep in mind for cloud security.

In part 1 we considered the importance of knowing the details of your company’s network and in part 2 we discussed the need for keeping data backup onsite in case of an emergency, along with the acronym D2D2C and the 3-2-1 rule for maximum protection. Then in part 3 we considered the importance of addressing end user issues as they arise and keeping accurate documentation of most common issues.

Controlling wide-area network (WAN) traffic in the cloud results in optimized network performance and helps direct users in case of a networking-related cloud outage. In a cloud environment, data may be spread across multiple locations and access times, and when added up may considerably slow the process of recovery.

It is good practice to understand WAN traffic and optimize the network by creating highly efficient network paths between data sites. Evenly distributing traffic across the WAN is called load balancing and improves availability and integrity of the system. A number of software solutions handle this traffic easily and can be deployed at the virtual routing layer.

One way of getting a handle on this process is to conduct frequent health checks on your system. This thorough process should be conducted quarterly and provides a means of identifying any spikes in usage, misconfigurations, and potential problem areas before an outage occurs. Most cloud platforms offer the benefit of increased agility and accessibility, but another great benefit is the remote dashboard features, which tabulate usage rates and compute power. In short, it will keep track of your cloud traffic, allowing you to make adjustments as needed. This can be done either onsite or through your service provider.

A comprehensive health check will examine all parts of the network, including:

Make sure you’re covering all the bases in providing your organization with the safest possible cloud computing experience. One way to optimize performance is to control the flow of traffic in your system, which helps prevent costly system outages.

Check back in for part five, in which we discuss the importance of testing your backup plan.