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The Cloud Does Not Equal Data Security

Nowadays, it’s commonplace for small businesses to make use of the cloud and Software as a Service. That includes backup storage services like Google Drive or productivity packages like Office 365.

It’s a far cry from the landscape when these services first hit the scene. Businesses were hesitant about handing over their data to other companies, having it stored across the world and being reliant on them to provide their day-to-day application services. If the service went down, or if the internet dropped, or if the data was deleted… there was lots of rightful concern.

Now, however, many have overcome these hesitancies thanks to the convenience and cost-saving benefits that the cloud offers. While these are factual positives, many companies are wrong to entirely trust third-party cloud services with their data. Just because the data is stored in the cloud, it doesn’t mean that it’s backed up.

According to a survey carried out by Capterra, polling 700 small businesses across the US, nearly half of technology teams budget for the use of cloud computing. Cloud computing reduces workloads and costs, though 11 percent of those respondents still spent over $1.2 million annually on cloud.

A separate survey by CyberArk found that one in three respondents are using the cloud in order to offset their security risk. However, less than half of these had a privileged access security strategy for their cloud data. That means the data it at risk of corruption or deletion, either accidentally or on purpose by a malicious party.

A key problem is that some businesses think that because their cloud data is always available from anywhere that it’s backed up. This isn’t true. If that data gets deleted, it’s gone. It’s very rare for a cloud provider to offer any sort of backup – and if they do, it certainly isn’t going to be included in the base price of the service.

In fact, you’ll find that many don’t even offer it as a paid service. This is why businesses need to turn to third-party vendors who specifically provide the specific backup service. These vendors will let you define backup regularity, recovery point objectives, selectively restore data, and so on.

You could also decide to back up your cloud data to your existing on-premises infrastructure. For larger businesses with a large enough IT team, this is probably the way to go. It means that you can fully control the policies, control versioning, manage deduplication – basically, have oversight of everything in the process and be safe in the knowledge that the data is solely within the control of the business.

Whatever option you decide to go with, the main takeaway here is that just because your data is in a cloud system, it doesn’t mean it’s being backed up. The likelihood is that it isn’t. You need to back up your local data, but you also need to do the same thing with your cloud data. It’s even more important when that data is part of your SaaS applications that you can’t go without.


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