Just Because Your Data Is In The Cloud, Doesn’t Mean It’s Backed Up
For those of us old enough to remember the days when all data had to be stored on discs, hard drive units, or printed on paper and kept in unwieldy binders, the cloud is a miracle of modern technology. No more running around the office handing people the right disk or the proper hard drive. No more searching a library of binders to find the correct document. It’s all easily accessible through the cloud where it stays safe and sound, right?
While it’s true that using a cloud service reduces the necessity to create physical copies of all data, the cloud isn’t exactly an iron fortress of safety and security. This is where a common misconception comes into play. Many people think of cloud storage and cloud backup as the same thing. They are not and have very different missions in the technology world.
The purpose of cloud storage is to store your data online where you can get to it whenever you need, wherever you happen to be. Cloud backup is insurance. Your files are safely copied and stored in case of some emergency where it becomes necessary for you to restore your server.
So, how does cloud backup work?
As said above, cloud backup takes copies of data from one cloud service (say, Office 365) and keeps a copy at a different cloud service provider as a backup. Cloud to Cloud backup has gained in popularity with both businesses and home owners for several reasons. With no additional hardware required, not only are the initial costs lower but management and maintenance is taken out of the equation. Backups can be run automatically and without manual intervention.
In business, cloud backup is not only a convenient option for data storage, it’s essential to the security of your information. When it comes to security, there are three considerations to keep in mind. Confidentiality, integrity and availability.
Since most data moves across the public internet where it could be put at risk, many backup providers will encrypt the data throughout the process to ensure confidentiality. Integrity of your data ensures that your backup is identical to the original copy. The availability of your data refers to how quickly your data can become available to you in the event of an emergency when you need it.
Fortunately, cloud backing is readily available, with many companies offering the service including Backupify and Datto. The process involves sending a copy of your data over a network to a server in a data center.
Threats to your cloud data
There are many dangers stalking the dark jungles of the internet. From botnets and malware to Trojan horses and viruses, cyber threats are very present. When it comes to data stored on the cloud, there are a few other threats that play a key role in your security. What are some of these dangers?
First and foremost, you. Countless amounts of data are lost every day due to simple user error. If you accidentally delete something in your cloud storage and you don’t have a backup, that’s it. Gone, just like that. Cloud backup helps eliminate this threat, turning a critical mistake into an inconvenience.
A sometimes overlooked danger to your data is when a worker ends their employment. As employee files are deleted, it’s fairly common for important documents to get destroyed accidentally. Cloud backup gives that data a second chance at life.
Of course, viruses and hackers are another potent threat. A particularly nasty form of internet darkness employed by hackers is the ransom virus, which steals data from your network and does as the name suggests. It holds your data for ransom until payment is made to the hacker. If you have cloud backup, this debilitating threat becomes much easier to deal with.
Of course, the ultimate protection is ensuring you have the right backup partner.
Choosing a backup provider
As soon as you start looking for backup providers, you’ll find enough of them to make your head spin. Instead of just going with whichever one catches your eye, you should measure your choices against four key metrics: speed, data security, ease of use and availability.
When you want to access your information, you want it to be fast. Slow datastores and servers can cost you unseemly amounts of operation time. For availability, check the contracts of your prospective providers to ensure that the availability of your files is exactly what you want.
For ease of use, be aware that some providers have very convoluted procedures of use in the name of security, but if the service is too complicated to use, employees are unlikely to take advantage. Make sure that a provider offers a simple enough process that you could easily integrate it into your workflow.
In terms of data security, on top of everything else mentioned, you should ensure that whatever provider you decide to go with is up to date with the latest standards of protocol, storage plans and processes. And, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help.
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