Cloud Security Debunked

May 2012

Cloud Security Debunked

Posted by Bonnie Malec

I recently had the pleasure to attend Gartner’s Top Predictions for 2012 seminar in Toronto, presented by Research Vice President Hung LeHong.

Working in the cloud backup industry, I wasn’t surprised to hear that while the “Cloud” is driving change, there continues to be concerns around security.  While there are real solutions to cloud security problems, it made me realize how challenging it can be for an enterprise or SMB to wade through all the information relating to security.  It can be difficult to choose a cloud data protection solution that will meet security and regulatory compliance while achieving the technological requirements to ensure data recoverability in the event of human-error and disaster.

When looking for an enterprise-class Cloud Backup solution, you’ll need to understand what you want to achieve and the elements that are important to your organization.  It’s definitely more than just backing up your data.  There are many software offerings in the marketplace that boast their ability to restore at lightening speeds, but what often appears to be missing in the equation is the inability to provide a guarantee that data is restorable in its full integrity. 

Below are some things to consider when looking at cloud data protection solutions:

Your data has to be conditioned constantly to ensure restorability. The following factors can cause data corruption:

  1. Disc malfunction
  2. Disc controller malfunction
  3. Bad sectors on the disc
  4. File system corruption

You should ensure the following data integrity and consistency check functionality is embedded in the software to ensure, data restorability:

  1. Data consistency – this process should ensure that all the data components have been collected sequentially by the data collector at the enterprise customer’s premises before sending the data to offsite storage in the cloud. 
  2. Data has arrived offsite before storage – the online data repository should write all the data being backed up offsite to a temporary location, checks and ensures that all the data has arrived before storing it.
  3. Restore validation – this is an actual restore simulation that conducts an actual data restore to a temporary location to ensure data restorability. Think of it as the data restore dry run to prepare for the actual disaster.
  4. Autonomic healing – this automated process will run in the background and scan storage in its entirety to ensure data integrity. Data that leaves your firewall should always be  encrypted,  the “Autonomic Healing“ process will check links between data blocks and compare digital signatures between different components for inconsistencies. When corrupted data is uncovered, it is noted and a notification is sent to the originating database to resend the portion of that data that was marked corrupted. This ensures that the data is always recoverable in its entirety in case of a disaster.

When you're shopping for a data protection solution, inquire with your vendor to ensure that the functionality they provide will restore your data, not just during a Disaster Recovery (DR) drill but in the event of an actual disaster (accidently deleted file, damaged hard drive, machine loss or lost site).  There’s a lot you can outsource to the cloud, but responsibility isn’t one of them. Make sure you do your research and due diligence before choosing a cloud data protection solution.

If you would like some more information about the local briefing, you can comment on this blog post or contact me via Twitter -- @CloudBackupGirl  

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You have come along way since

You have come along way since back in NAC YOUTH. I am very proud of you. Its 12:30am and for some reason you popped up in my head. You ARE very intelligent and current on todays changing OS. Thats it for now, till next time.


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