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Cloud hosted data and the importance to backup and test recover

Cloud hosted data and the importance to backup and test recover

Today I’m going to address one of the main questions potential clients raise. Where’s the potential value of our services when they are using cloud hosted data? Speaking to a lot of business owners who have migrated or begun businesses in the cloud; there is a perception that once something is in the cloud; it’s there and available forever.

While that statement is true to a point; cloud hosted data is also prone to change or loss (either by design or unintentionally).

Even if your data is in the cloud; you still need to have a backup and recovery strategy for this data.

Cloud hosted data still needs to be backed up; and importantly tested for it's restore capabilities.

Ransomware is able to affect cloud hosted data

All too often we still come across businesses that are affected by some form of ransomware attack. However; there is a myth in the general public that ransomware only hits the local environment and the cloud is immune to attack.

Unfortunately; this is false. With businesses opting to host their data in the cloud, and utilising Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions for mission critical applications and data – it’s become a target for ransomware.

What happens if your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, or your cloud hosted accounting solution suddenly become inaccessible? A blog article by Jill Linick outlines her real life scenario in September 2017 (only six months ago) where her bookkeeping practice experienced such an incident with their cloud hosting provider’s data center.

She was entirely reliant on a third party to save her (client’s) accounting data. While it’s well and good to say they have disaster recovery processes – it’s still your data and you also need to have a steadfast disaster recovery and business continuity plan in place.

Regular backups and recoveries of your cloud hosted data are necessary.  It’s no excuse to be unaware and unprepared for ransomware in 2018!

Cloud hosting companies are a business – and like any business can also close down

In a previous life, I used to work for an ISP on their Internet help desk. I was studying and my introduction into the world of IT and technology as a job. It also gave me good life lessons on how the business world works to a degree as well.

One particular day; we all turned up to do our job and ‘fix a bit of Internet’ when we found that our passes didn’t work. Long story short, overnight a deal had been made higher up and our entire call center was shut down. No warning, no real explanation.

The same thing has happened to some cloud hosting companies along the way. Some of these are very recognizable and reputable names as well.

Real life examples of cloud hosting companies shutting down their services

GoDaddy and Verizon have shut down their cloud hosted services since 2016.

Since 2016, both GoDaddy and Verizon have shut down their cloud hosted services.

Early into the cloud adoption phase; MegaUpload was a well-known player in providing online storage for anyone to utilize. However; the US justice department shut it down with no warning in early 2012. Two and a half years after shut down; users didn’t have access to their files.

In 2016, US telecommunications giant Verizon made the call to shut down their cloud hosting service as well. Their customers were given one to two months to move their data or lose it.

GoDaddy announced in mid-2017 they were ceasing their cloud hosting platform by the end of that calendar year.

These three examples are of well-known brands and companies with good reputation in the marketplace. It just goes to show that things can change unexpectedly; and very quickly.

Even with warning; all the planning to migrate data to another platform is unnecessary stress on businesses (and the staff involved). Part of any business continuity plan that a contingency is put in place for a cloud hosting provider to suddenly disappear.

Having access to a backup can help combat such situations.

By default, cloud hosting plans don’t include client data backup

Most cloud hosting providers contracts outline that they’ll provide the service and keep the infrastructure available within their SLA parameters. In other words; they’ll back up what they need to meet these clauses.

However; many times this doesn’t include the data which you’re placing on their platforms specifically.

This means if your data becomes unavailable due to no fault of the cloud hosting provider; it could mean they’ll charge additional amounts if they have a backup and it’s not part of your service agreement for access to it. In the end, they may not have breached the service contract due to the data loss.

To have this clause written in will also increase the cost of the overall cloud hosting package – which may make SaaS an unrealistic option for some businesses.

How and why can Test My Backups help?

For as little as AU$199 per month; Test My Backups is able to perform test recoveries of your cloud hosted data. We do this against your current backup strategy and will also inform you of any deficiencies we find and help improve them to become positives.

Don’t let the fine print on contracts, or the fortunes of third party cloud hosting companies put your business at risk. Get your free backup report audit; or if you’re wanting peace of mind immediately – we’ll comprehensively test your backups. Sign up for a service plan today.

#backupandrecovery #backuptesting #businesscontinuity #cloudhosting

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