Four Reasons to Consider the Cloud for Disaster Recovery

November 12th, 2013

Disaster recovery in the cloud has become a priority for businesses seeking a secure and reliable method for backing up and restoring critical data in the event of a hardware failure, everyday outage or natural disaster.

 

Cloud disaster recovery services provide off-site data storage, replication and mirrored facilities, helping companies recover quickly and maintain business continuity even in the wake of large-scale disasters. Here’s a look at the top four reasons why the cloud has become the best defense against disaster:

 

  • Indestructible: In the event your hardware fails or disaster wreaks havoc in your city, your data will be safe and accessible in the cloud. Using the cloud for disaster recovery means automatic recovery with faster restoration, minimal data loss and decreased downtime, even if your physical site is damaged during a disaster.

 

  • Affordable: Service providers manage all backup equipment and storage systems while also reducing the time and driving down the costs of doing the same work internally. In fact, disaster recovery in the cloud has provided significant cost savings over traditional tape-based systems or privately managed disaster recovery sites. Providers also offer trained experts, use documented best practices and invest in recovery automation tools your business likely wouldn’t purchase otherwise.

 

  • Strategic: The constant use of smart phones, email, apps and the web has created an explosion of data, increasing the disaster recovery workload for companies’ IT staff. In fact, many businesses report they don’t have sufficient staff to update and test their disaster recovery strategies on a regular basis. However, with disaster recovery in the cloud, your provider takes over a hefty share of the workload, freeing up your IT professionals to focus on strategic initiatives for your company.

 

  • Compliant: The cloud offers an extra measure of support for businesses in industries with strict or complex regulations and data retention requirements. Cloud-based back-up means data is secure during transmission, storage and access – particularly important benefits for privacy and record retention regulations.
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Tips for Document Security in the Cloud

October 13th, 2013

Working in the cloud has become a normal part of business for companies large and small. And if you’ve jumped onboard and are using the cloud in your business, you know the benefits significantly outweigh the risks. But how can you protect sensitive company information when it’s stored online, and how do you keep a record of who is accessing what? Read on for five tips for safeguarding your data in the cloud.

 

  • Cloud computing security conceptAudit your users: Keep close tabs on your users’ privileges and access activities. Employees with access to highly sensitive files should receive a high degree of scrutiny. It’s also important to train them on securely handling the data.
  • Secure your network: Work with your IT staff to protect your infrastructure from network and application threats. Provide extra protection and monitoring to highly valuable intellectual property, and build in analytics that show you which users are accessing what content.
  • Limit access according to device: While privileged users may have access to important company files while working in the office, you may want to limit access from home or on mobile devices where networks are much more vulnerable.
  • Separate work and home: It’s also important that users keep corporate data separate from personal info on smart phones, tablets and other devices. You may even consider scanning users’ devices for vulnerabilities to ensure your data is safe no matter what the access point.
  • Scan for threats: Add a security intelligence solution to give you full visibility into network, application and user activity. This extra layer of security will help you detect anomalies, identify vulnerabilities and pinpoint high-priority incidents among billions of data points – before it’s too late.

 

The cloud is never completely failsafe, but these tips will help your business mitigate the risks while maximizing the benefits of the cloud.

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Pros and Cons of Storing Digitized Data on the Cloud

April 8th, 2013

Working in the “cloud” is becoming more and more prevalent among large and small companies, and there are certainly benefits to online file storage. But, as with every technological innovation, there are costs involved, too, and not just the dollars and cents variety. While the benefits handily outweigh the drawbacks, here’s a look at the pros and cons of storing your data in the cloud:

 

Cloud computing security conceptPROS

 

24-Hour Accessibility: Storing your files on the internet allows you to access them from any networked computer in the world, any time of day. This is a especially useful for companies with a large virtual workforce or for staff who travel frequently or may be working on multiple devices throughout the day.

 

Storage Cost & Capacity: With online storage, capacity is almost unlimited and the price tag is surprisingly low. It’s often cheaper to store files on the internet than it is to store them locally, especially if your business requires large files that take up considerable space on local servers.  Storage vendors – such as Dropbox and SugarSync – can usually digitally encrypt data stored on their servers so that access to sensitive data is only available to authorized users.

 

Backup & Recovery: Online file storage backs up your files automatically. Backups are simple and fail-safe in the cloud, removing the potential for human error in a manual process. Some effective and affordable services include Mozy, Carbonite and Crashplan.

 

Operating System: Online storage is accessible regardless of your operating system or device. For example, you can access stored files  on any Mac, Windows, iPad,  iPhone or Android device.

 

Maintenance: It’s hard to beat the simplicity of maintaining internet storage, even at large companies. Users are simply given a login, password  and secure  access to  files online.

 

CONS

 

Internet dependence: The single-largest benefit of the Cloud is also its greatest weakness; you can’t access your files or save them online unless you’re connected to the Internet. In the case of spotty wifi or if your connection fails altogether, the Cloud will do you no good.

 

Security Risk: While your files are protected from local disasters, you assume a different kind of risk with online storage. No matter how secure your file – or how secure your storage program – there is always the potential for a breach.

 

Server Outages: As with local servers, there’s an outside chance the server storing your files online will crash, too, bringing your work to a grinding halt. Even with the very best cloud service providers, it’s a risk that comes with the territory.

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