Cloud Security in 2016 and Beyond

Cloud Security in 2016 and Beyond

When it comes to the security of data for your business, opinions abound regarding which technology you should put your trust in. Although a lot of focus is placed (rightfully so) on ramping up security to protect from hackers, viruses, and other sources of data breaches; attention should also be given to which infrastructure will allow you greater data resiliency.

Data resiliency refers to how able you, or your cloud provider, are to recover data that has been lost. After a traumatic event, such as the failure of an operating system, physical damage to storage devices, malfunction of storage devices, or accidental deletion, the main focus should be to utilize your redundant data centers and  quickly get things back to normal. Loss of data in these scenarios are almost never predictable, or completely avoidable. Therefore a company’s resiliency from data loss call into question the manner of data recovery techniques.

Keeping Your Data Close vs. Keeping your Data Safe

When your data is managed on site, you have the comfort of seeing and knowing where the heartbeat of your IT infrastructure is hosted. This gives some direct insight to what security threats or safeguards exist in the day-to-day environment. A storage facility from a Cloud data provider, on the other hand, may be located thousands of miles away, managed by people you’ve never met, in buildings you’ve never seen. The cost associated with all that control, is often beyond what an average business can afford for IT security.

So what an IT manager ends up considering is the level of risk associated with bringing on a reliable cloud provider. The risks associated with on-site data recovery are often directly related to the fact that hardware and software are all located in the same place. In the event of a natural disaster, break-in, etc., will damage to the computers be catastrophic? If your hardware is compromised, will your data also be lost? Does your shared building or co-working facility include security from non-personnel having access to your computer?

The Fortified Cloud

When it comes to physical threats of data loss, a reliable cloud provider should spare no expense for protecting and backing up their own data centers. Armed security and security clearances that may require multiple forms of authentication (badges, thumbprints, retinal scans, etc.) prohibit unwanted persons from accessing storage centers. It sounds futuristic, but it’s becoming the “new normal” at the benefit of the customer. Sophisticated temperature controls, reinforced architecture to keep computers sheltered from outside elements, and fire suppression systems that refrain from immediate water use keep computers and storage devices in optimal states to run efficiently and continually. Surveillance and staffing that are maintained 24/7 ensure continuous operation. Just like your business, quality cloud providers will have recovery plans for power failure and business continuity action steps readily available in case of a disaster within or near the data center.

This is all a long way of saying that a quality cloud provider’s facility is usually going to shine when it comes to physical security and physical hardware. Again, cloud providers will usually invest a lot of time and money into protecting against physical damage and instating recovery plans, but you as a customer should be sure of what this includes. If you choose on-site data storage, similar precautions should be taken into consideration for keeping data secure.

Resiliency in Recovery

Natural disasters and physical destruction are not the only ways in which data can be compromised. Accidental deletions, file corruption, or hardware malfunctions can also threaten your data, whether stored in the cloud or on-site.

Precautionary actions can aid in increasing your data resiliency in these instances. Up-to-date hardware and software maintenance and constant surveillance will help you catch situations before they have a chance to affect your data. But remember, the most important security measure against data loss is a comprehensive IT recovery plan. This will usually include a contingency plan of having data stored in multiple places and employing real time updates for software. Well thought out retention policies, virtualization of servers, built-in archiving, and 24/7 management are more assets within a well-rounded recovery plan.

Whether you store your data partially or wholly on the cloud, or on-site, achieving complete data security is going to be a struggle, it’s a marathon not a sprint. Some disruptions are unpredictable. But building and enforcing a data backup and recovery plan, is going to increase your data resiliency and, by consequence, the overall security of your business.

Our IT staff has the capability and knowledge to create this kind of reality for your business, if you’re interested in learning more just give us a call.