Cliff Saran’s Enterprise blog

Feb 10 2020   11:43AM GMT

Prepare for a fail in cloud services

Cliff Saran Profile: Cliff Saran

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This is a guest blog post from Bola Rotibi, Research Director, Software Development, CCS Insight, looking at disaster recovery in cloud services.

The comfort blanket of the cloud can make us somewhat blasé with the common practice of protection through an integrated cloud storage service providing anywhere access.

Yet, even with this, we and organisations have experienced data loss that has deviated workflows, caused frustration, impacted productivity and have been financially detrimental.

When it comes to data and information that is valued in any capacity, protecting against loss becomes paramount. Putting in place disaster recovery is a time-honoured practice and necessary requirement for doing business in the modern world. Internationally applied regulations ensure sensitive customer data is kept safe, secure, private and traceable at all times to prevent malicious, erroneous and non-consensual use by third parties. The fines for non-compliance can seriously hurt.

However, you don’t have to investigate too hard to find how even with disaster recovery plans in place, too many organisations are in danger of losing large amounts of data has significant financial implications. Organisations are being caught out through lack of regular testing and necessary plans. Worryingly still, some smaller organisations don’t feel they have resources to match disaster recovery investment and planning made by larger organisations.

Many organisations falsely assume that data and information stored in cloud applications and services is safe from loss. However, without a plan that actively addresses protecting critical data stored in the cloud through Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions in operations, that comfort blanket could just as easily smother an organisation when the light gets turned off.

Hyper scale cloud platform providers having security, redundancy and recovery measures in place that make it very unlikely for them to lose your data, but they are not infallible.

That said, cloud disaster recovery has come a long way with respect to the tools and services that are now available that significantly ease the support of backing up and restoring data held within cloud solutions. A number of providers now actively work to give flexible levels of backup and restore control to many of the widely adopted SaaS and integrated cloud storage solutions in the market. Cloud levels the field for smaller organisations to implement disaster recovery plans comparable to those implemented by larger firms. The ability for cloud to remotely store valued data and information so it can be recovered faster through a variety of access points and devices, makes it a strong platform for data replication and failover services.

A cloud disaster recovery plan is a necessary addition to wider disaster recovery, not least because it brings a level of versatility that is open to the broadest range of requirements, individuals and organisations. But what it doesn’t do is substitute for well thought-out planning, investigation and regular testing to continuously identify weakness and evolve maturity. True resiliency is a state of mind that can’t be backed up by a technology only approach

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