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Cloud-Based Backups: Great Idea or Dangerous Proposition?

By the DynaSis Team

With all the media coverage of data breaches, many companies and individuals may be asking themselves if cloud-based backups (or for that matter, cloud-based prime storage) are safe. The reality is that although cloud storage CAN be riskier than on-premise file storage (server and/or desktop), it can also be much more secure. Prudent companies can take precautions―beginning with vetting their cloud providers and solutions―to ensure their files are as safe, if not safer, in the cloud than anywhere else.

Following are a few protections you should require of any cloud backup or storage provider. DynaSis incorporates all these protections into its cloud-based solutions.

  1. Encryption―Don’t accept anything less than AES 256-bit encryption, preferably in the Cipher Block Chaining (CMC) mode with 256-bit keys. There are no known methods to compromise this type of encryption. DynaSis’ cloud-based backup solution uses this type of encryption―and its “private cloud” file storage and sharing solution, DynaSis Blue, uses 448-bit Blowfish encryption (on-device and in-transit).
  2. Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) to dynamically monitor and remediate security incidents.
  3. Incident Response and Notification Plan.
  4. The ability to provide access to security information on customer data in response to a customer’s regulatory request or internal investigation.
  5. Cyber insurance liability policy to cover cloud-based losses, assuming there is a breach and customer records are stolen or otherwise compromised.

In addition to these protections, we recommend such administrative controls as customizable deleted-file retention periods, granular controls of user access and security, and continuous, real-time, multiple-folder backup, including revised-file backup. Of course, the solution must also incorporate sufficient bandwidth to enable rapid transfers and the ability to easily and dynamically increase your storage allocation if your current allowance reaches a pre-set percentage of capacity.

Managing data is a challenge in any organization. Taking it to the cloud adds a few additional considerations, but that doesn’t mean it necessarily adds complexity. Working with an experienced cloud provider, you should be able to enjoy more security and continuity of file backup and retrieval―with less involvement and fewer headaches―than your on-premise solution can provide.

Many companies choose to have their entire systems backed up, including not only data but also applications and other elements. Many cloud providers (including DynaSis) can use these whole-system backups to build an off-site server for a firm in the event that their on-premise equipment fails. At the minimum, we strongly recommend that companies backup their email files and folders to the cloud. This not only keeps the email archive in a central location, facilitating message search and retrieval, but it also builds a segregated archive that will help the company protect itself should emails be required in the event of eDiscovery or compliance requests.

To learn more about our cloud-based backups and other cloud solutions, please fill out our inquiry form or give us a call at (770) 569-4600.

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