Aug
7

How MSPs Can Take Cloud Security Into Their Own Hands

How MSPs Can Take Cloud Security Into Their Own Hands

August 7
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We know by now that the cloud isn’t going anywhere. While some businesses are hesitant to move things like infrastructure items into the cloud, others are diving in head first. Some of them dive in before they really think about what that entails.

We’ve mentioned the company Code Spaces a few times in previous posts, but the story is worth repeating because it’s helpful for any business hoping to take full advantage of the cloud, while also being safe.

Basically, Code Spaces was hacked to death. Much of their company was built using hosted solutions inside Amazon Web Services. A hacker managed to gain access to the portal that controls everything, and threatened to delete things until a ransom was paid. Code Spaces said no, and the hacker deleted everything, just as promised. InfoWorld details the soul-crushing events in some detail.

As MSP Guy Baroan noted in a recent interview, these instances don’t need to be deterrents, but they should certainly be lessons. Data isn’t automatically safe in the cloud, which is why MSPs like Guy take a few precautions when it comes to cloud computing.

Doubling up on data

Code Spaces had no backups to speak of, which is why a cybercriminal was able to wipe them out completely. If something like that happened to your business, you’d be out of luck, but that’s why Guy suggested taking things into your own hands. You can’t always trust that a vendor has you covered—they might not.

Important to note is that even though trustworthy names like Amazon and Microsoft offer cloud options, they’re not immune to failure. When you click “agree” on their lengthy agreements, you’re likely absolving them of any responsibility where your data is concerned. If they have a failure and lose your data, they won’t necessarily help you.

To remedy this problem, Guy takes backups of systems running in the cloud and replicates them back to a local site. This way, if something goes wrong in the cloud and there’s data loss, everything is still backed up locally and can be up and doing work within fifteen minutes. Guy says you can’t simply trust a vendor because of a big name, you’ve got to keep control of your data and secondary backups are a great way to do so.

Multiplying Internet Pipes

Back when we wrote our popular ebook “Making Disaster Recovery Easy,” Guy told us that it’s important to think about dependencies when it comes to the cloud, and one in particular stands out: the Internet. The more you rely on the cloud, the more you rely on the Internet. If your web access goes down, you start bleeding money.

Guy suggests making sure you’ve got multiple Internet providers so that you’ve got redundant internet access. These services can often be set up to run either in tandem, or you can have one dedicated line that automatically switches over to a secondary line if there’s an outage. Another option is to have both lines running simultaneously, which will allow you to replicate backups from or to the cloud with a dedicated line, without draining resources from your main pipe. This way employee productivity doesn’t falter while backups are uploaded or downloaded.

Choosing Wisely

For Guy, moving certain things to the cloud is a no-brainer. Trading Exchange for Office 365 often saves businesses plenty of money and time, but that’s not the case for everything. Things that require a lot of computing resources like SQL servers and other databases don’t always function as well when put in the cloud, there’s a lot of information to send through Internet cables that only move a finite amount of information. This also applies to things like CAD files and high-definition video, these things take a long time to move from datacenter to you, meaning it’s not always beneficial—the pipes can only do so much. Things like CRM also don’t necessarily make sense to use in the cloud. Some all-cloud CRM options can be more expensive than maintaining a local CRM server.

Building better weather machines

In many ways, the cloud is still the Wild West. Nobody can guarantee a certain level of uptime, and nobody is willing to say they will never lose your data. The good news is that we’re getting there. Yes, we’ve seen dozens of cloud outages over the last few years, resulting in downtime for services as varied as Netflix and Gmail. These serve as nice reminders that the cloud isn’t foolproof, but we can take solace in the fact that the cloud really hasn’t been around very long. Think back five years. Who has talking about the cloud then? It’s still relatively new—even the best of the best are figuring out how to best use it.

The cloud isn’t perfect, which is why it’s still wise to take whatever matters you can into your own hands. There’s no sense in putting full faith in something that’s known to have issues. Cloud technology is becoming more reliable all the time, but until vendors can start making guarantees, MSPs and other IT providers will still want to take some precautions to protect your business and your clients.

Interested in being able to instantly recover cloud backups with a vendor you can trust? Learn more about StorageCraft Cloud Services.

Photo credit: Kewl via Pixabay