Monday, 18 September 2017 16:37

What your cloud provider 'should' be protecting you from

By Nicki Pereira, Chief Technology Officer Zettagrid

There is a common misconception that the migration of services to a cloud provider means that businesses hand the keys of responsibility over to their new virtual landlord. However, understanding the threats to your business and what your service partner should be making you aware of has never been more important.

The reality facing organisations of all sizes is a lack of resources or expertise around their increasingly complex cloud or hybrid environment. Naturally, most businesses are turning to their providers for both protection and leadership.

When the ‘WannaCry’ ransomware virus affected 200,000 organisations in 150 countries, it acted as a wake-up call to those that were guilty of taking security for granted. Any reputable cloud provider should have the agility to react faster than your business by using the latest advancements in technology to be proactive towards security threats rather than reactive.

Armed with superior knowledge and skills, they should be working with you to make your business more efficient. Collaboration is crucial to securing the support your business needs to thrive. Leaders should start looking at their cloud provider as a research and development team too.

The apocalyptic headlines around the ‘WannaCry’ attack failed to tell the whole story. The reports highlighted how many organisations were neglecting their core responsibilities. For example, regular backups of data that allow you to roll back to the moment before an attack is considered the best protection from ransomware.

Availability

Availability should also never be taken for granted. As we enter a mobile first and always-online digital age, customers have increasingly high, and some might argue unrealistic expectation levels. But, when your business goes offline, don't expect your audience to wait around patiently until service has been restored.

The inconvenient truth is that any downtime will not only hurt sales but will also damage your reputation. Ultimately, the inability to serve your audience can quickly lead to widespread negative publicity about your brand. When a customer begins to associate your business with frequent downtime issues, your name quickly becomes tarnished.

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” Warren Buffet

Website monitoring can detect and alert you of any potential issues that could be responsible for taking the site offline. Having a proactive rather than a reactive mindset can dramatically reduce the risks associated with any potential website failures.

After years of living in denial, most leaders now nervously accept that it’s no longer a matter of if a cybersecurity breach or attack will happen, but when. An effective disaster recovery plan is crucial to ensuring you remain open for business 24/7 when the inevitable occurs.

Security

 News of yet another major cyber-attack, hack, leak, or breach seems to bombard our timelines on an almost daily basis. The bad news for businesses is that consumers believe that all organisations should accept responsibility. Meanwhile, they also have very little patience with those that repeatedly make the same security mistakes.

The good news is that the fear around cloud security has diminished considerably in recent years. In fact, cloud security is often much tighter than traditional on-premise IT due to the emphasis providers place on building secure environments.

However, organisations should not take any element of security for granted. Equally, you shouldn't be afraid to ask your cloud provider the right questions. A belt and braces approach to fundamentals such as authentication, backups, encryption and breach alerts is crucial to your cloud setup.

It's important to remember that there is no one size fits all approach when choosing a cloud provider. Any decision must be made on your unique requirements. When you find yourself handling a P1 incident and an offline business, do you know the person that will take your call and how long they have to respond to your crisis?

When the inevitable occurs, how confident are you that all the correct measures are in place to get you back up and running as soon as possible? If there is any element of doubt in your answer, maybe you need to speak with a cloud provider sooner rather than later.

Zettagrid is an Australian owned and operated cloud provider offering a suite of products that help your business to remain protected and secure. SecondSite powered by Zerto is an award-winning disaster recovery solution enabling your business to recover in real-time, reduce the cost of downtime, and minimise interruptions to your operations.

Find out more about SecondSite by visiting our website.

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