You may wonder how Quorum manages to keep your data (and ours) safe no matter what comes our way. Well, when you live and breathe disaster planning and recovery solutions, you pick up a few pointers. I thought we’d share some of Quorum’s cloud security knowledge with you to help you keep your data solidly protected, as well.
Cloud Use Growing
The cloud is becoming increasingly useful for data computing, backup, storage and recovery solutions. In fact, Garter predicts that over half of Global 1000 companies will keep sensitive consumer data in the cloud by 2016. The benefits of scalability, flexibility, and quicker development just make sense, providing an edge against competitors. Even so, many organizations don’t use cloud computing and other cloud services because they worry about security.
But the cloud is a safe environment. Even with the recent Heartbleed scare, Quorum’s data and the data of its customers remained secure. BusinessInsurance.com reports that, of the handful of reported cloud breaches in the last few years, most only resulted in some downtime, not the loss of sensitive data. The truth is, criminals go after the easiest targets. These are usually small firms with their own on-site systems that lack the budget or knowledge needed for robust security. They tend to avoid large cloud-based storage and disaster recovery firms who have good security budgets, technology, and knowledge.
Businesses Increasingly Confident in the Cloud
And, in a recent Switzerland Storage podcast, our VP of Marketing John Gallagher explained that businesses are learning by experience how useful the cloud can be. Demand for Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), where backup systems are in the cloud, has exploded. Quorum began 2013 with a third of business coming from DRaaS. By the end of the year, it was 50 percent.
We couldn’t accomplish that kind of growth if businesses weren’t comfortable with the cloud. In fact, the Hybrid model our clients have traditionally preferred is increasingly moving entirely to the cloud. Once companies bring their applications and operating environment to the cloud, it just makes sense to put everything there.
Businesses are even finding new uses for DRaaS. Rather than using it as just a backup system, they are using it as a virtual operating environment. They can flip a switch, start working in the cloud, and shut off real-world systems for maintenance or repair. When maintenance is done, they just switch back in one click.
For Those Who Still Have Reservations
It’s absolutely true that the moment you place your data in the cloud, you lose some level of control over it. This one sticking point will keep many companies from relying solely on the cloud. These businesses instead share the perceived risk. They use solutions like Quorum’s Hybrid DRaaS, which decreases the company’s dependence on the cloud for business continuity, but it also creates two security points to monitor.
Managing Hybrid Security
When working with Quorum or any other cloud provider, you should check into the security protocols they use. In the cloud, encryption is the industry standard. Data must be encrypted both at rest (while stored in the cloud) and on the move (when being accessed by the user). Quorum keeps data safe this way, encrypting data traveling between your on-site device and cloud backup via an SSL tunnel. The data stored in the cloud is encrypted, as well. Be sure any cloud services provider you use, whether for storage or DRaaS like Quorum, uses this level of security.
This lets you focus on your own system security, knowing that your information is safe in the cloud. Most organizations, especially smaller ones, will outsource this function to a managed security service provider (MSSP). The provider will manage firewalls, data hosting, code development, vulnerability assessment, and monitoring, among other things. Choose a provider carefully. Not everyone has the expertise, software options, or regulatory compliance background to handle your security appropriately. Look for good recommendations from others in your industry and check the credentials of a firm before you hire. Computer Weekly offers a detailed resource guide on hiring an MSSP that you should consider using.
The Cloud Is Easier, but Hybrids Are Cheaper
For most businesses, it’s just easier to move everything to the cloud. Clouds, when properly configured, don’t break down. They have no parts to replace. They don’t require miles of cable and a hot server room. They simply make it easier by putting your operating environment into a virtual location, freeing your business from a lot of technical drama.
All these benefits aren’t cheap, so you may choose a hybrid system out of necessity rather than convenience. In either case, Quorum has the disaster recovery system to protect your data. Contact us to find out more.
Posted on 04/28/2014 at 12:00:00 AM
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