This is part of a series of interviews with Asigra Partners. In this post we’re talking with Nikolaos Prapas, Data and Recovery Solutions Engineer at TAS France who shares the importance of having a sound disaster recovery plan/DRaaS solution, trends in the European market related to backup and recovery, his opinion on ransomware best practices and the best way to prevent malicious attacks.
VM: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, the organization and the solutions/services provided by TAS France?
NP: TAS France is the French subsidiary of TAS Group, a European Fintech software company focused on state of the art services for digital payments and online financial transactions. As part of our core business strategy, we host and house services for TAS Group, deliver SaaS solutions to our clients and also act as a cloud and managed service provider for corporate companies who are looking to outsource IT services. We also run several data centers and hosted infrastructures mainly in France and Italy.
VM: What are some of the most common requests your company receives?
NP: Our clients approach us with questions about security, sustainability, economy and how our data centers can help facilitate their Business Recovery Plan (BRP).
VM: In your opinion, what should organizations/businesses look for when choosing a Cloud Service or Managed Service Provider (MSP)?
NP: When companies are looking for a managed service provider they should choose a provider that:
- Understands the scope of their business needs. The MSP should have a general understanding of their processes and business needs to make improvements which align with their architecture. The service provider should also bring the expertise necessary to find efficiencies within the existing processes, in addition to deploying the hardware and software assets for net-new solutions.
- A comprehensive MSP that offers a myriad of solutions. The cloud solutions provider should administrate their networks and systems without the need for third party/intermediate brokers or subcontractors.
- An MSP that provides technical assistance and sound project management advice as opposed to some providers that provide only general information and online resources.
VM: Does TAS France Offer a DRaaS solution?
NP: DRaaS services are core to our business and we’ve been running this service since the inception of TAS France. After exploring and implementing a lot of solutions, we chose Asigra’s DRaaS solutions as we wanted to be able to provide stable and robust solutions for not only our own infrastructure, but for our customers’ infrastructure and technology if a disaster were ever to occur.
VM: What are some top reasons why organizations should have a DRaaS solution in place?
- NP: Companies are exposed to many risks, but there are few as devastating as losing essential data. Therefore, having a solution that provides the robust reporting tools that managers need to assess and manage risk is essential. Most businesses without a data protection plan in place do not survive a significant data loss.
- So organizations can be self-sufficient. Companies not only want, but expect their information to be accessible whenever they need it. The only way to ensure business continuity is to have a fast recovery, backup and disaster recovery plan before a disaster happens.
- Failure of Technology and Hardware. Because technology and IT infrastructure aren’t immune to failure, data protection solutions such as Asigra that offer customizable backup for your data are an ideal way to ensure your business runs smoothly at all times.
VM: Data centers for the past few years are becoming more popular in the industry. What are some benefits of having centralized data centers?
NP: In general, data centers are the hubs of digital transformation. These centers provide many amenities for organizations to manage the challenges of maintaining their IT infrastructure including physical security, a footprint for their servers and power supply with venting and air conditioning in an off-site location to mitigate risks from natural disasters.
VM: Does the proliferation of data centers have anything to do with the fact that data sovereignty is becoming a hot topic within IT?
NP: Not really. The issue with sovereignty is not really related to data centers, but more related to how different countries approach data privacy. For example, the US is very different than Europe in how we manage digital identities. On a more granular level, France may have a different digital identity than Europe in general, which is why we store all of our French data locally, as there may be some instances where our privacy laws are different (i.e. we are certified PCI DSS, which may or may not be applicable in other parts of the globe).
VM: With Ransomware becoming so rampant, there is a broad mix of anti-malware services: anti-exploit, anti-malware and antivirus. Does an organization need to invest in all three security tools, or does one perform better than the other? What in your opinion is the option best suited for organizations?
NP: An organization does not necessarily have to invest in all three anti-malware services, however the option best suited for organizations is to choose an MSP that offers cloud backup, one that is able to handle cyber-attacks, penetration, malware and virus risks through a sound and robust backup and recovery solution. These solutions that MSP’s offer should be able to identify and mitigate risk, stop attacks and build resiliency plans if a client was ever hit with a ransomware attack. Backup is the best final line of defense against an intrusion, especially when it comes to recovering business critical data.
VM: In your opinion, what are some common mistakes Managed Service Providers are making today?
NP: Being too confident or presumptuous. Some MSPs tend to forget that maintaining others’ data centers is a permanent endeavor, which requires quality management, vigilance and an understanding of their customers’ expectations. A successful MSP should be curious and ask questions to make appropriate recommendations based on proven, enterprise-grade solutions, as opposed to building, running and operating fragile home-based or non-trusted solutions.
VM: What can organizations do in 2017 to ensure their data remains safe and secure?
NP: My advice to companies is to consider data protection as a global policy and choose providers that have a combination of comprehensive solutions and solid experience in implementing data security
Click here to see the full scope of services offered by TAS France.solutions.