Guest Column | December 2, 2015

Yes, Storing Data In The Right Cloud Is Secure

Neal Bradbury

By Neal Bradbury, Senior Director of Channel Development, Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda

Not long ago, the idea of cloud computing wasn’t even on the radar of most small and midsize (SMB) companies. Today, though, with cloud-based technologies becoming an integral part of daily life for both businesses and consumers, SMBs are generally more comfortable with the concept of the cloud because they have a better understanding of how it works.

Yet, despite the fact that they may be using the cloud in other areas of their businesses such as communications and collaboration, there are still many SMBs that are reluctant to store their data in the cloud. And some of the most common objections voiced by SMBs when it comes to cloud storage are concerns about data security. So, how can managed services providers (MSPs) and solutions providers overcome this objection and convince their SMBs that the cloud is secure?

First of all, MSPs and solutions providers need to be able to articulate the importance of encryption, and how it is used to keep critical and confidential data safe from prying eyes. These days, military-grade 256-bit AES encryption is the only way to go when it comes to ensuring data security in the cloud. When coupled with strong SSL encryption protocols, it can to provide end-to-end protection of the SMB’s data while it is being stored and transmitted to and from the data center.

Next, SMBs need to know that storing data in the cloud is the best way to ensure redundancy — an important element in data protection. For example, when data is stored on the premises there is only one backup copy of the business’ files — a copy that can easily be lost or corrupted due to human error, outages, and equipment failure. When data is stored in the cloud, there will always be a copy of the SMB’s critical business data at another location, which makes it faster and easier to restore data in the event that the SMB loses its technology infrastructure due to flood, fire, or theft. And, because some cloud storage providers will store data in two geographically dispersed data centers, this provides yet another layer of protection, in the event that one of the data centers goes offline. It is also important to note that data centers put a number of safeguards in place including fire control systems, biometric controlled access, backup generators, redundant Internet connections, and even 24/7 monitoring by security guards to help protect their customers’ data.

Last, but not least, it is critical for an SMB to know that when data is stored locally, the business may not be meeting the requirements of many industry compliance regulations. For example, HIPAA requires businesses serving healthcare organizations, and their business associates, to have certain security measures in place to protect critical data — including redundancy. Leveraging cloud storage is the best way to achieve compliance because cloud backup providers are already certified and/or state that they are compliant with standards imposed by regulated industries such as healthcare and finance.

The bottom line for MSPs and solutions providers is that they must be diligent in their efforts to educate their customers on why cloud storage really is the most secure (and compliant) option currently available to them. By understanding the importance of encryption, redundancy, and compliance, they will be able to position themselves as a trusted advisor to their SMB customers, and build a reputation as an expert in cloud storage, which will in turn help them to achieve greater success in growing their business.


Neal Bradbury is Senior Director of Channel Development and a co-founder at cloud-based backup and disaster recovery provider Intronis. Working closely with the company’s MSP partner community and alliance partners, he is responsible for generating greater business value for the company’s MSP partner community and alliance partners.