By Ed Desorcy

A record number of consumers and businesses are relying on a cloud backup model as their only form of data backup. Cloud backups offer seamless ease of use, fast deployment, scalability and low up-front costs, but how safe are they really?

What is the cloud anyway?

Cloud storage is a digital data storage model in which data is stored remotely in large data centers, often across many different servers. Customers lease storage space from a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) who guarantees the data to be retrievable, available, and accessible 24 hours a day.

Out of sight, out of mind, right?

That sounds pretty good on paper, but there are a few cons you should be aware of. Your data is often pooled together with other clients and can be spread across multiple data centers in different geographical locations.

If data is not segregated at the service provider’s site, multitenancy can become a problem. With multitenancy, multiple tenants lease space on a CSP’s machine that can theoretically jump from tenant to tenant . In other words, if a security incident occurred with one of the other tenants, it could potentially to bleed over to your data.

Since your data could be spread over multiple data centers in different geographical regions, it can be difficult to determine which laws and regulations apply to your data.  The responsibility for the security of your data lies solely in your hands, and not the CSP’s.

Cloud service providers are vulnerable to the same attacks that affect the average computer, creating a false sense of security for businesses and consumers. Recently, a CSP was attacked by RYUK ransomware on a data center system they had acquired through a merger and acquisition. Although the attack was unsuccessful, imagine the implications if the ransomware spread to other servers in the data center.

The IT Support RI Approach

At IT Support RI, we take the safety, integrity, and security of your data seriously. We fully leverage the benefits of a cloud backup paired with a local on-site backup for all our business clients.

Servers and workstations are imaged and backed up nightly to the cloud as well as external storage or network-attached storage (NAS) devices. Working copies are also kept for immediate file recovery in case of accidental file deletion. A test restore is completed yearly consisting of a conversion of your server image backup to Hyper-V format, then booted and tested to confirm successful operation. When disaster strikes, you can rest assured knowing that your company’s data is safe and recovery time will be minimal.


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