Woman working on laptop communicating on cloud device

What You Need to Know About Cloud Storage

Ancient IconUnless you’re a history buff, you’ve likely never heard of Rhampsinitus. Don’t sweat it. We’d be sincerely impressed if you knew who he was.

Rhampsinitus was a fictional king of Egypt. Herodotus, sometimes called “the father of history,” included a couple of stories about him in his book, The History. The first story is about his attempts to deal with a couple of thieves. The second explores his visit to Hades, the underworld.

The story about the thieves is the one we’re interested in. It includes an unlikely connection to cloud storage . . . and a valuable lesson.

The loose stone.

According to legend, Rhampsinitus was a wealthy guy. He had plenty of gold and silver, and the insight to know that made him a target for thieves. So he built a fortified treasury. He placed guards around it. He was serious about keeping his valuables safe.

Unfortunately, he was also at the mercy of others. Not all of his people could be trusted.

BricksLike the treasure keeper who oversaw the building of the vault. Without letting anyone else know, he left just one stone loose when the vault was constructed. Even though it was the only weak spot, it was enough to get into the treasury.

Years later, the treasure keeper was close to death. There, on his deathbed, he told his sons about the loose stone. The brothers decide to put that knowledge to lucrative use.

And the king lost money.

Cloud security is a thing.

That’s all it takes – just one weak spot. And IT professionals know it.

According to a recent article published in Forbes, only 23% of businesses actually trust cloud storage as a safe place to store their data, and 49% of organizations are actively putting off a move to the cloud over security concerns. Their thinking is understandable. They don’t want to end up in the same situation Rhampsinitus found himself in.

When you trust someone else with your treasure (in this case, your data, which is certainly valuable and worth protecting), you’re at the mercy of others.

However, those fears may be somewhat misplaced. As proof, consider this. Gartner reports that cloud storage and infrastructure options “suffer at least 60% fewer security incidents than those in traditional data centers.” Concern about cloud storage security is trending downward. It’s no longer seen as the top challenge for cloud adoption. In fact, 90% of companies use the cloud in some capacity, with 50% of them citing it as their preferred solution.

All of which begs the question, what has changed? How can you be sure your data is safe if you go with a cloud storage solution?

Your cloud storage checklist.

Before you decide on a specific cloud storage solution, there are a few key questions to ask. Some of this may seem heavy on the technical side but trust us. You don’t want to store your precious data in a place that’s not well protected.

Said another way, these are questions worth asking. With that in mind, here is your cloud storage checklist.

CheckmarkDoes the data center have solid cybersecurity?

Cloud storage data centers are physical environments housing thousands of virtualized servers. As such, they’re vulnerable to cyber attacks just like your local network, your desktop computer or your mobile device. You absolutely want the assurance of some stout cybersecurity in any data center.

And every data center will have some form of security. That’s the easy part. But this is still an area where you should drill down.

Ask specifically about monitoring. At PCX, a core part of our managed services and cybersecurity services is 24/7 monitoring. Often, it’s possible to spot a potential problem before it has a chance to create real trouble. That’s true for non-malicious issues, like hardware failure, and for more sinister stuff, like cyber attacks.

You want a data center where the equipment is actively monitored around-the-clock to ensure the highest levels of cybersecurity.

 

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Does the data center have physical security?

Of course, cyber attacks are not the only possible issues a data center might have to deal with. Like any other facility, they’re subject to the possibility of power outages and break-ins. But unlike other buildings, data centers house servers full of sensitive information. If everything goes offline without warning, none of that data is available, and some of it could become corrupted.

Make sure the data center you go with is equipped with a redundant power supply, and make sure there’s active surveillance to guard against physical break-ins.

Also, servers require very specific environmental conditions. Factors like temperature and humidity can be a real problem if they’re not kept within a safe range. Electronic equipment doesn’t perform well in extreme conditions. Ask about the data center’s environmental control.

Technician looking at server

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Does the data center have a good record of uptime?

Even with cybersecurity and physical security addressed, there are all sorts of things that can interfere with uptime. Even if you’re only using cloud storage as an offsite backup solution, when you need your data, you need your data.

There are few scenarios worse than turning to your cloud storage solution to restore critical data only to find that the data center is offline.

Ask about their record for uptime, as well as their SLA-guaranteed uptime.

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Is the data center regulatory compliant?

This final point will only apply to you if you work in a regulated industry. If you don’t, regulatory compliance isn’t a concern. If you do, it’s critical.

Regulatory compliance includes all kinds of special provisions for security and privacy. Some data centers will meet the demands of regulations, and some will not. Never just assume a data center is compliant. Always ask.

Absolute Cloud with PCX

Here at PCX, we’re proud to offer cloud storage options that more than pass the test of our checklist. We’re confident of the cybersecurity, physical security and uptime of our data center. What’s more, our data center is SSAE16 SOC1 compliant and meets SEC, SOX and HIPAA security requirements.

We want you to know that our Absolute Cloud solution is a cloud storage solution you can trust.

If you’d like to learn more about Absolute Cloud and how it can benefit your business, the process is easy. Just give us a call and one of our team members will walk you through all the details, ensuring that your needs are meet.

We’re PCX Technologies, and we’re committed delivering the best IT solutions out there.