Can you trust cloud services? How safe is your data in the hands of Microsoft, Facebook, Google, or Amazon Web Services?
Even if your data are reasonably safe, how reliable are these cloud services? What are the cloud providers' uptime guarantees? Their demonstrated competency in providing responsive customer service? Can you put your faith in their security audits?
These are important questions to ask, whether you're a home or business user. As businesses increasingly move to cloud-hosted compute and data storage solutions, a few powerful companies control a larger and larger slice of the Internet itself. This presents practical problems to end users, as well as thorny political and social issues.
There has been no shortage of widely publicized data and security breaches stemming from bugs and exploits in the software that all but runs the public Internet. When Amazon Web Services (AWS) experiences a service outage, the ripple effects are felt in every corner of the world.
If Microsoft 365 goes down, millions of people who now work from home are left without a proverbial paddle. Zoom meetings aren't possible when Zoom suffers a service outage; how well can distance learning and remote work function under such a mercurial system?
Just today, Microsoft experienced a service outage that impacted multiple cloud services, affecting large swaths of home and business users who've chosen Microsoft 365 as their cloud document, storage, and collaboration platform.
One would think multi-billion dollar tech giants would have the resources to provide rapid fail-over and service resiliency, but consolidation in tech has made many services we all use on a daily basis increasingly reliant on single points of failure within these companies.
So what can you do? Adopt cloud services cautiously. Retain control of your data by keeping a copy of it physically on site, either in your home or business. It might appear old fashioned advice in the age of cloud everything, but local data and local computing resources are important for the resiliency of your business and your work- and school-from-home demands.
When you do use cloud services, make sure you understand which data you retain control of, the cloud provider's backup and data usage policies, pricing structures, security policies, and their track record for protecting customer data. For example, if you use Amazon Web Services for a hosted web server, ensure that you've properly secured your AWS instances.
"Leaky buckets", as they're colloquially known, are unsecured or poorly secured AWS instances that "leak" data for any hacker with a little skill to come along and use for their own purposes.
Geek Housecalls wants to help you secure your cloud services as well as help you establish a secure, local backup of your data so you're not left high and dry when cloud providers go offline. Call or email us today for a consultation!