It is important to recognize that risk cannot be 100% eliminated. However, it can be significantly reduced to a level that is acceptable for a given business. The most crucial step in reducing risk is vendor selection. The right vendor will work in partnership with a client company at every step in order to maximize cloud security. This is key: security is a collaborative effort between the vendor and the client. The vendor cannot guarantee absolute security, but can provide the means so that the vendor and client together can make security a practical reality. With this in mind, companies should take a layered approach when assessing cloud vendors.