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Why & How to Integrate the Cloud into Your Company in 2018

Integrate the Cloud into Your CompanyBusiness and technology are two fields where one can’t work without the other. These days, businesses need technology to grow, and technology needs business to spread. Times are changing, and it’s harder to keep up and stay relevant when new companies are popping up left and right. It is crucial for business owners to find the best ways to continue to innovate and improve. So, how to: Integrate the Cloud into Your Company

Integrate the Cloud into Your Company

Integrating cloud-based services such as cloud backup software into your business could be just the right move to get one step ahead of the competition. The cloud works by keeping and using data that is kept within the internet rather than on local storage. Cloud services include Cloud services include:

• Platform as a service (PaaS)
• Software as a service (SaaS)
• Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)

Within these three sections businesses can determine what they need, such as network equipment (IaaS), resource tracking software (SaaS), and databases (PaaS). Businesses can pick and choose what they need, or utilize all three “departments”. By working with one vendor that can provide all three services, it leaves businesses with beneficial interconnective opportunities.

Why Collaborate

The cloud can bring collaboration to a team. More often than not, team members work together via email and share documents virtually. The cloud can provide this as well, serving as a central location to share executed work, completed research and gathered data. According to Trackvia, it has been discovered that working within the cloud can increase productivity and quality of work overall. It can also support remote employees and help them feel included with the “work from anywhere” feature the cloud can provide. According to INC.com, employees that have the ability to work from home are happier and healthier. A positive outlook on the day-to-day responsibilities from employees can result in better productivity and increased quality of work.

What about Security?

Security is becoming a larger scale issue as the internet becomes the primary channel for individual needs like online banking and photo storage along with enterprise use cases for data storage and project management. According to Salesforce’s former executive vice president, Vivek Kundra, “Cloud computing is often far more secure than traditional computing, because companies like Google and Amazon can attract and retain cyber-security personnel of a higher quality than many governmental agencies.” When working with a cloud vendor, they become responsible for the client’s data security, providing benefits such as faster patching. Cloud data centers offer larger enterprise teams, increasing security and threat detection capabilities.

How about Disaster Recovery – Cloud Computing!

There was once a time when businesses both big and small didn’t prioritize disaster recovery. Up to 50% of organizations have insufficient disaster recovery plans, according to the International Data Corporation. With cloud backup for business, companies now have a built-in backup where data and files are stored without having to invest in their own data centers. Incorporating the cloud into a business, in turn, is less expensive than creating an in-house disaster recovery center. No matter the size of a business, there is the opportunity to invest in an “insurance policy” that will actually save them money. It also opens up a new market for cloud companies that can now target organizations with lower budgets but similar needs.

Environmentally Friendly

A short and sweet benefit, but a benefit nonetheless. Moving to the cloud can benefit both an organization and the environment. Saving money on supplies such as paper, ink, hardware, and big investment pieces like printers can make a heavy impact in the long run. In turn, there will be less waste and paper usage, supporting the environment and a good cause.

How

Once a company has decided to integrate cloud capabilities into its plan, the next step is finding the best way to do so. A balance must be found between the company moving forward for modernization purposes, while keeping up with already successful legacy system strategies. It isn’t required to move everything to the cloud, but finding where it fits best and where it’s needed is an important step in the process.

For example, utilizing systems such as G Suite or Office 365 is a smooth and relatively simple transition for a company to take when integrating cloud systems into their repertoire. G Suite is a collection of different business applications, including Gmail, Docs, Drive, and Calendar. All these separate apps work together and become an effective tool used by companies worldwide. This type of system creates consistency within all departments leading to seamless processes throughout the company. It can also aid in-house communication in aspects such as improved workflow, organization, and team collaboration.

For the transition to be effective, employees need to have an understanding of the technology. The creation of a company-wide strategy will ensure everyone has a clear understanding of what cloud services are being used, and what applications are suitable for this. Establishing training for employees should be a requirement to confirm that their skills are up to date, and that realistic expectations are set. On an administrative side, it is essential to remember that this will take time, and some employees may be hesitant to the initial change.

Ensuring they understand the benefits to this transition will be vital while making such an impactful change within an organization. Oracle CEO Mark Hurd recently spoke at NetSuite’s SuiteWorld Conference where he commented on a similar topic, stating “part of the reason this whole movement to the cloud is so attractive is the opportunity to get to standardization and simplification while you get to modernization.” Technology is evolving every day and to be successful it’s important to stay relevant and current in the field. Whether trying to avoid a security breach or simplifying and updating current business tech, the modernization of systems will be rewarding. Business leaders, big and small, agree movement to the cloud is something that should be done for a company to succeed.

CloudAlly provides cloud to cloud backup for GSuite, Office 365 and other leading business solutions.  If your business already has one of these business solutions why not give our 14 day free backup trial a go, backup your critical business data, so that you can restore it from any point in time in case of Malware, malicious activity, or even accidental employee error.

GDPR – Do you need to worry about it?

GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation EU’s New Standard for Consumer Privacy

In April 2016, the EU decided it was time to update their current Data Protection Directive which became the standard in 1995. The outdated policy did not offer residents the level of protection so desperately needed in a world where information is available at the click of a button. The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets a stricter guideline and stiffer penalties for those in non-compliance.

New Requirements

GDPR’s requirements change significantly from the outdated directive of the 1990’s. The new rules focus on getting companies to follow stricter handling practices for customer data collected, specifically the following areas.

  • Removal: In the past, customers did not have the right to require companies to remove and delete their information. GDPR requires businesses to remove any consumer records upon their request. Corporations must wipe all personal information from their systems.
  • Portability: In addition to being able to request a removal from company databases, consumers have the right to ask their personal data be transferred from one company to another. Corporations must comply with the request.
  • Accessibility: EU residents have a legal right to request access to the information collected by companies with which they do business. Corporations must provide copies of all data collected upon request.
  • Transparency: Gone are the complicated end user releases used by companies. GDPR requires that businesses make their language easy to understand and detail exactly how they use personal consumer data.

In addition to these areas, companies must adopt stricter breach notification policies. In the event of a data breach, corporations must notify their customers within 72 hours of the intrusion.

Increased Fines – GDPR

Under the new GDPR system, companies found in non-compliance with the regulations face stiff fines. While the penalties are tiered, it still costs a significant amount for those affected. Companies who do not keep their paperwork in order may see a penalty 2% of their annual global turnover. However, if a company experiences a security breach, they see fines of up to 4% of their annual worldwide turnover or €20 Million, whichever is greater.

Fining companies experiencing security breaches is not unheard of under old EU policy. However, a loophole protected businesses that process data to another firm. New regulations do away with this protection. According to Article 32 of the GDPR, data processors are just as liable for security as controllers. Corporations that process data receive a smaller penalty, under the new regulation with fines of 2% of the annual global turnover of €10 Million, whichever is greater.

Data Recovery and Security

All EU companies must employ a disaster recovery plan. GDPR not only requires a plan in place, but companies must also test it at regular intervals. Under these new protocols, the data recovery plans must give companies the ability to restore any information lost due to technological or physical issues.

Companies must instill policies which restrict access suppliers and staff have to consumer information. Policies are just the beginning, management technology such as multi-factor authentication, granular passwords, and role-based privileges need to be in place.

While Windows is one of the most popular operating systems, as a North American based company, EU corporations cannot rely on built-in securities to bring their business into compliance. Instead, using third-party intrusion detection systems and virtual private networks can help bring EU corporations into line with the new rules.

In the event of a breach, quick response is necessary. Regulations require not just an immediate response to fix the issue, but also a plan of action to prevent future violations. An analysis log and subsequent management assist IT personnel in locating the source of the breach. The record gives insight into why the violation occurred and is a starting point for problem resolution.

GDPR

Not Just Limited to EU

The GDPR is the new privacy policy of the EU. However, that does not mean that it does not affect contractors and providers in outlying areas. Thanks to the worldwide nature of the internet, businesses work together across the oceans. For countries outside the EU, ensuring their practices line up with GDPR regulations is essential.

EU residents expect the same protection whether their data is collected and retained by a local company or a foreign entity. Corporations outside of the EU should review data protection and privacy policies to ensure they match up with GDPR standards. Hiring a Chief Protection Officer (CPO) familiar with GDPR requirements can consult with legal counsel and help others in the company understand legal obligations to EU clientele.

GDPR is the standard for consumer privacy in the EU. However, companies still have time to adapt these protocols before they face the hefty penalties called for under the new guidelines. With a deadline of May 25, 2018 looming, it is time for businesses to complete their updates to comply and not wait until the last minute to do so.

For more information read our blog post on: The Importance of Regional Data Centers for Office 365 Backup

Cloud Backup Infographics Roundup

According to a forecast by Computerworld, 42 percent IT leaders plan to invest more on cloud computing this year. There will be an 11 percent shift of IT budget toward various cloud computing versions as a new delivery model by 2016, as per IDC predictions. That’s an impressive statistic and proof of how shiny the future of cloud is.

While the majority of enterprises plan to embrace or use cloud more, they often underrate the security part. What if the data stored in the cloud gets lost due to some virus attack, phishing, or accidental deletion. How can it be recovered? An inevitable solution to prevent data loss is back up.

In this article we are going to list the top 10 infographics that will help visualize why backups are important – be it a cloud or a cloud-to-cloud network, how it evolved, and where it stands now. Let’s get rolling then.

1. What Can Cause Data Loss?

Before, we talk about backup; we should talk about what causes data loss; viruses, phishing scams, hacking, or something else? Here is a detailed infographic about that.

2. How Data Loss Could Be Deadly for a Business

Here is an informative infographic from DSS Datacenter that depicts what data loss could cost a business. It has some shocking data loss statistics that will convince any business to implement cloud backup today.

3. Evolution of Backups

To protect a business from data loss, backups are crucial, but what brought around the concept in the first place, and how did it evolve? This infographic from Axcient explains.

Evolution of backup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Women Are More Unlikely to Backup Their Data Than Men – Seagate Study

According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive and Seagate, 30 percent of the women that participated in the survey acknowledged that they do not back up their data at all! Curious about what men do? Here is an interesting infographic with more information.

5. What Can Cloud Backup Do for You?

An excellent infographic  and a revelation for companies that are unsure about whether they need a cloud backup solution, and how it can influence their business, by Acronis.

6. Why Companies Are Moving to Cloud Backup Solutions

Cloud backup solutions play a significant role in a company’s data recovery strategy and an increasing number of businesses have started realizing this as of late. So, why is cloud backup the toast of the town? This infographic from CloudBacko explains.

7. How to Ensure Business Continuity With Cloud Backup

Business continuity is crucial for every enterprise. Wondering how cloud backup solutions can help ensure zero downtime?

8. Is Backup Reliable?

By now, it is clear that data recovery and backup solutions are important and can’t be ignored. However, are they reliable enough so that businesses can focus on their core needs without worrying about data loss anymore? Here is an interesting infographic from Kroll On track on what you need to know.

9. The CIO’s Essential Checklist for Cloud Backup

Cloud storage and backup can bring elasticity and agility but it is critically important for CIOs to address the basics of cloud backup first, including access control, availability, data encryption, and uptime. Druva made this job easier with an excellent security checklist for CIOs.

10. Look for a Cloud pro, Not a Poser

Many cloud solution providers claim to have a stolid security system that is ideal for securing enterprise data, but the fact is, they don’t have adequate knowledge and experience required and like other industries, they are self-claimed gurus. How can a business identify the posers? Here is an interesting infographic from Autotask that can help distinguish the good from the bad.

There are many other infographics on Cloud Backup, these were our top 10 favorite ones. The awareness to Cloud Backup is enormous by now, every business has a backup, and if they didn’t migrate it to the cloud yet –  they are probably considering  it. What about Cloud To Cloud Backup? Do you know you must also backup your SaaS applications? If you are not familiar with it, you should read our overview  “Why Backup Online Data” and learn why we all need to backup online data (YES! although it’s already in the cloud)  before it’s too late.

SaaS Data Loss: Your Online Data Isn’t Safe.

SaaS Data Loss – The Possibility Exists

Your organization might have important data stored in the cloud. From important statistics to data required for daily needs, your organization might rely heavily on the cloud for its day-to-day work. However, what if this data stored in the cloud is lost? Getting a cloud provider for storing your applications and data might just not be enough. Having a cloud provider for your application and service does not mean that you are protected from ALL types of data loss and actually you are much more vulnerable than you were when you worked on-premise. SaaS Data Loss is an issue for most organisations.

Here is a look at some of the possible reasons for data loss in cloud.

1. Data center of your Cloud system won’t  always retrieve your data

Spiceworks study reported that over 45 percent of respondents had reported data loss in their organization. Fourteen percent of those respondents said that they were unable to retrieve the valuable information they had lost. This is a common misconception. The data center of your SaaS provider won’t always retrieve your data. Read more