A primary concern for any business should be the security of the systems on which they are storing their backups. If backed up data is compromised by hackers then it could potentially represent a threat to a business’s customers as well as the operation of the business itself, depending on the information that has been revealed. The cloud environment provides the best example of a secure storage system that can be used by businesses for backup purposes as the disk space available for backups can be expanded automatically as per the client’s needs so that they are never in a position where they have are paying for resources that they aren’t utilising. Cloud storage providers have taken multiple steps to guarantee the security of data in the cloud, with hardware firewalls in place to deflect DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks and monitoring services in place to make support teams aware of any discrepancies in the traffic accessing the cloud.
The storage environments used by cloud hosting providers introduce an extra level of security because rather than using ordinary servers for the purpose of data storage, the cloud uses Storage Area Networks (SANs) for the purpose of hosting information. SANs are large machines that contain a number of hard drives and are there for one purpose – to provide large storage capacities for networked servers. The hard drives in SANs are server-grade which is vital to data integrity, whilst RAID formations are used to complement the reliability and security of data hosted in the cloud. SAN storage arrays operate independently from the servers that power the cloud so that if there is an issue with these servers, data won’t be impacted.
A practical function that you can put into place when storing your backups is to encrypt them during the process so that only people within your business are able to unlock the backups and access the data stored within them. By encrypting your data, if a hacker does come into possession of one of your backup files then unless they have the encryption key, the file will be of no use to them because access won’t be possible.
You should aim to use industry-grade encryption techniques that can’t be compromised in any way. One way to achieve this is through the use of systems that utilise a public/private key system because this means that a user will need both keys in order to gain access to the encrypted data.
Safety of Data
Compared with other storage options available to system administrators looking to introduce a backup system, the cloud is probably the safest option available because 100% uptime and preventing data loss are two of the core values of the cloud environment. The issue with other options such as remote backup servers is that system administrators often fail to implement additional measures to secure their data, instead relying on servers that contain singular hard drives and if this one drive fails then this will incur downtime and data loss.
SLA (Service Level Agreement)
Any reputable cloud hosting provider will have an SLA in place that details the levels of uptime that a customer can expect from their cloud hosting service along with a guarantee regarding the safety of their data. SLAs are in place to protect the cloud host as well as the client; details regarding compensation are uusually included and it makes both sides aware of their responsibilities to one another. The more you are spending on a cloud backup environment, the more detailed your SLA should be.
The cloud provides a safe environment that can be used by businesses for backing up their data and critical business information. When choosing a cloud hosting provider, consider the level of uptime that you will be providing with along with the details of any SLA that is applicable. Support is often available to setup advance techniques that can assist with protecting your data, such as the inclusion of encryption techniques and firewall systems.