Five Best Practices for Backing up the CloudOctober 20, 2014 No Comments
Featured article by David Zimmerman, CEO of LC Technology International
Despite their falling costs and usually stellar security, recent large-scale data breaches showcase some of the cloud’s vulnerability, so firms should be careful about storing large amounts of customer data within the cloud. Another drawback with the cloud can be the issues that arrive when there isn’t reliable Internet connectivity. You can access data from an external drive if you have it with you, but you can’t pull from the cloud without Internet access. Many cloud services also make it possible to have mistakes occur. If twenty different staff people can access the company’s Google Drive or Box account, with the ability to add and move files, then you increase the chances of accidental deletions.
More and more companies are using the cloud, and are also looking to backup that cloud data for an extra layer of redundancy. Here are six tips on managing the cloud and building a plan to safely backup cloud data.
1. Complete an inventory – A prudent first step is to categorize which data you have stored in the cloud. These services have been around for many years now, so you might have some old (but valuable) data stored away that deserves backups. Create an inventory and then strategize about which data can be discarded and which warrants additional redundant backups.
2. Make a plan – After you know what data you hold, you need to create a formal plan surrounding data storage. A written plan gives every stakeholder a roadmap and tasks for the handling and movement of company information. Planning also has the benefit of forcing multiple layers of the company to think about data, perhaps spurring them to harness its value in new ways. A well-written plan instills efficiency and accountability to the process.
3. Choose redundant cloud backups – With the costs of the cloud falling, some firms are choosing to backup their files in real-time to two distinct cloud services at once. This provides them with two-levels of cloud backup, and an extra layer of protection from theft and other breaches.
4. Check your pertinent regulations – Some industries have strict rules about the handling of personally identifiable information (PII) which might govern how you use the cloud. Review these carefully to see how your cloud and backups of the cloud fit within the regulations.
5. Limit access – Access controls to both data in and out of the cloud is a simple yet effective way to curb theft or mismanagement issues. Should access rules should be established in the written plan, with contingencies for when staff members leave, for example you can’t have just one “super-user admin” who controls the data. Many breaches happen because of bad password or management practices, so be sure staff members use the latest tools, such as two-step authentication.
6. Use metrics to keep you on track – After cloud data is redundantly backed up on HDD’s or other devices, it’s time to review some metrics to be sure your plan is still sound. Use different metrics to help identify policy violations, view encryptions, and check staff training. Consistently review your cloud vendor’s uptime and other important metrics to be sure they are exceeding industry averages.
David Zimmerman has been in the hardware/software industry for over 30 years, specifically in the data recovery software market for 18 years. During this period, he has been involved in the creation; marketing and support of the earlier drive recovery software products to enter the PC market and successfully marketed them both nationally and internationally. His company makes data recovery products for most of his competitors. His experience in the market has made him uniquely familiar with the data recovery business.
LC Technology International, Inc. (http://www.lc-tech.com) is a global leader in data recovery, file system utilities and data security technology. Clients include original equipment manufacturers, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, corporate security specialists and IT consultants, among others. Available worldwide and published in more than 24 different languages, LC Technology products are available direct or through several major manufacturers of flash memory products. Founded in 1997, LC Technology is based in Clearwater, Florida.