For businesses in particular, a cloud-based backup service can be a godsend. Rather than procuring, installing and maintaining physical hardware on-site, you can now backup all of your critical business data to a secure third-party at a fraction of the cost it normally takes.
Still, the cloud is not a silver bullet and in order to get the most out of your spend (and stay protected), there are a few key things to keep in mind.
The Heartbleed Bug: Breaking Things Down
One of the most important things to understand about cloud-based backup services has to do with the types of vulnerabilities that your data could be exposed to. While cloud-based systems are highly secure by their very nature, they are not impervious. Case in point: the Heartbleed Bug.
The Heartbleed Bug is a vulnerability that impacts the OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This is what is used to create the SSL/TLS encryption which is what many cloud-based backup systems use for protection, along with many websites. If exploited, that protected data can then be stolen.
Essentially, Heartbleed works by allowing anybody with the right tools to read the memory of devices that are still using out-of-date versions of OpenSSL. Information that appears to be encrypted is actually available to those with malicious intentions, creating a dangerous situation for businesses in particular.
To make sure that yours is an organization that won’t fall victim to Heartbleed, make sure that your cloud-based backup provider is using the most recent version of OpenSSL. It’s very likely that they are, but it never hurts to verify.
Likewise, make sure that all backups on the cloud are encrypted as well. That way, even if they are intercepted, a hacker still won’t be able to access the information inside.
Practical Advice for Making the Most Out of Your Cloud Deployment
Beyond cybersecurity measures, there are a number of other practical steps that you can take to help make sure you’re getting the highest possible return on investment for your cloud-based backup solution.
In terms of performance efficiency, make sure that you or your colleagues are regularly looking at your utilization levels for things like compute, storage and more. Because you’re talking about the cloud, if you need to add additional storage (for example) it truly is as simple as picking up the phone and making a call to your provider. But before a lack of storage causes an unfortunate disruption, you need to know prior to getting to that point.
With regard to cost optimization, regularly review whether or not you are paying only for what you need – something that is one of the benefits of the cloud in the first place. Have you over-estimated what you’ll need in terms of resources or under-estimated due to seasonal fluctuations? These reviews are important to help achieve the highest possible ROI.
By following best practices like these, you’ll be able to enjoy all of the benefits of a cloud-based backup service with as few of the potential downsides as possible.