Search results: encrypted cloud storage

Has cloud backup made the 3-2-1 rule redundant?

29 Apr

let’s talk about data protection strategies and their relevance

Have you ever wondered if the 3-2-1 rule is still used and if it’s even still relevant today? To determine whether it is still usable, we must first define the rule itself. The 3-2-1 rule states that there should be three copies of every piece of data you wish to be protected. One is the original copy of the data, and then you should have two additional copies that are securely stored.

the reasoning behind the 3-2-1 rule

All things considered, the implementation of the 3-2-1 rule makes a certain amount of sense. Before cloud data backups were popular, business owners and individuals had to save their sensitive data on devices and in print. It’s undeniable that having sufficient copies of data is extremely important if you want to eliminate the possibility of losing it. It also helps ensure that data recovery is possible if a technological or security issue crops up.

The 3-2-1 rule also encourages backing up data to an external data storage device that is stored at a different location. This makes it possible to access data if anything happens to your computers and laptops, such as a flood, fire, or theft. But what happens if something happens to the external storage device too? There are instances where all three copies of data have been lost.

That said, the question still begs to be answered; is the 3-2-1 rule still relevant given the fact that cloud backups are now the norm, or is it obsolete?

The simple answer is, it’s obsolete, or it should be! As a result, more pressure is falling on businesses to adopt cloud backup methods as their primary method of keeping data safe and secure.

enter the spotlight; cloud storage

The introduction of cloud storage has enhanced data security, doing away with the drudgery of having to make three copies of documents. Nowadays, all we need is a cloud backup service that stores all of our data incrementally. There’s no longer a need for external data storage – in fact, external hard drives are somewhat redundant to many people.

Not only does having a cloud service reduce the list for data storage/security, but it is also a whole lot cheaper than implementing the 3-2-1 rule.

Another benefit of utilising cloud backup services is that companies can set user limitations, ensuring that only key role players in the business have access to sensitive documents. It’s a lot harder for an opportunistic criminal to gain access to encrypted data backups in the cloud than it is to steal a document or hard drive for example.

in conclusion

It is easy to see why encrypted data cloud backup has quickly become the most effective and efficient way to store data. While some business owners hang on to the outdated storage methods, the efficiency, affordability, and exceptional reliability of cloud data backups are starting to make more decision-makers pay attention.

Who knows, perhaps the obsolete 3-2-1 rule will be but a distant memory in the near future. Have ideas and thoughts on the 3-2-1 Rule of your own? Let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

Cloud backup is a must – not an option

9 Feb

The global population as a whole would probably agree that without access to cloud computing, COVID-19 may have completely destroyed businesses. While not all businesses have survived the pandemic, many have been able to continue running and keep staff members working by moving their operations to the cloud. Because of stay-home orders on a worldwide basis, cloud backups and other cloud services are no longer optional for businesses but have become an integral part of any solid business IT solution.

While people are becoming more aware of the convenience and reliability of cloud services, many overlook their responsibilities when it comes to secure cloud backups.

Millions of people are now working from home, using their own (in many instances) insecure networks and devices (laptops and mobile phones) and storing sensitive data and information to those devices…at home.  There’s also a flurry of data (and documents) sent back and forth using cloud services between staff.

Unfortunately, many people still have their head in the clouds, living under the impression that their cloud service will automatically back these documents up!. While automated backup is usually offered as part of the service, it has to be initiated and this is not the responsibility of the service provider.

When companies overlook this crucial point, it’s a recipe for disaster for businesses and a dream-come-true for opportunistic hackers and fraudsters!

the impact of data breaches/data loss on finances & business image

There’s more than just money to be lost when your business has a data breach. Your business’ image is also tarnished. Clients who have been the victim of a breach feel betrayed and their trust in your business will waiver.

Studies have shown that nearly 50% of data incidents were as a result of malicious attacks on business customers, employees and corporate data.

In 2020, data breach incidents cost South African businesses a whopping R40.2 million. Now that’s a scary statistic. Business is lost, reputation is damaged, and new clients are apprehensive. And then, there’s the cost of recovering the data and setting a more secure system in place.

Is it really worth taking the risk of not doing a cloud backup? Safe and secure online data backups are easier, far less traumatising and a less costly option!

protecting your company’s most valuable asset: data

If you are keen to ensure that your business stays on top of its data security responsibilities, doing online data backups is the only way forward. Choosing a data backup service is something that should be done with care. You’d be best protected by finding a service that offers:

  • Up to 448-bit encryption
  • Automated data backups (without the employee having to manually do anything)
  • Replication to a second location (to be extra safe)
  • Sufficient storage space

The process of doing a cloud backup once you have chosen the data package that suits your needs and budget should also be easy.

It should be as simple as 1,2,3:

  1. Download the automated software to your computer
  2. Select the files you need to backup
  3. Set an automated daily or weekly backup time and a secure password

It’s that simple. The rest, the software will do itself. You can then restore files from the cloud when needed in just a few clicks (with the use of your encrypted password).

cloud backup is a must-do new year’s resolution

It’s not too late to set a few New Year resolutions for your business! Do the right thing for your business (and your clients and staff members) this year and get set up with a reliable, secure and affordable cloud backup service. Having cloud backup is no longer an option, it’s a must.

The Evolution of Cloud-Based Software Among Digital Transformation

27 Oct

According to statistics, cloud computing annual subscriptions will reach a whopping $1.7 billion by 2024 in South Africa alone. That’s saying a lot considering that the annual subscriptions in 2018 only reached a value of $370 million. The forecasts show an annual increase in subscriptions of 29% thanks to the evolution of cloud-based software. Aside from the COVID-19 pandemic forcing businesses to digitally transform and find new ways to share data, the world has been seeing the value in remote working (and remote systems access) for years.

While cloud-based computing is on the rise, so is the rise in companies and private individuals using cloud-based backups to store and protect data.

The future of cloud-based computing is undeniably thought-provoking (not to mention lucrative), but it is the past and how it came to be quite so dominant that really piques the interest.

cloud computing through the times

Many people don’t know this, but the very first sign and use of cloud computing was in the early 1960s. This is when the first remote job entry was put into a computer and various users were able to access the computer from a variety of different locations.

In the mid-1960s, J.C.R Licklider (a computer scientist) along with a psychologist conceived a version of a computer network. This concept was brought to life by Bob Taylor and Larry Roberts in the form of ARPANET, which in many ways was the internet before the internet as we now know it.

The true concept of the “cloud” was drawn up for patents in the late 1970s and 80s when various forms of remote storage were introduced. In the first diagrams of these remote storage concepts, the diagrams of the storage depicted real clouds.

The first time that the term “cloud” was used in a business plan was in 1996 by a company called Compaq Computer Corporation. From there, it seems as if cloud computing took off at a rapid pace with big brands such as Amazon deploying cloud-based applications in the mid-2000s and Google getting on board with things like Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Forms in the late 2000s.

And the rest, as they say, is “history” in the cloud!

cloud backup – an invaluable by-product of cloud computing

Encrypted cloud backup, which is invaluable to businesses nowadays, is a direct result of the Licklider’s cloud computing invention. And with data security in the spotlight in recent times, more businesses and private individuals are subscribing to online cloud backup services. Here’s a brief look at the benefits of cloud backups:

  • Remote access to stored documents from anywhere, as long as there is an internet connection available.
  • Data stored is encrypted for added security from unscrupulous third parties.
  • Automated backups of devices, ensuring minimal effort on the part of employees.

last word

With cloud computing and data encrypted cloud backups being so valuable to the local business and private user, subscriptions to these services (and the security that they offer) look set to increase. To chat with a professional about the benefits of cloud backup in South Africa, get in touch with us at Soteria Cloud.

New communication channels and cloud computing changing the way we work

1 Oct

Things have changed in the business landscape over the years, and it’s all thanks to IT development. Gone are the days when a consumer reached for a landline phone to make contact with a store or service provider. Nowadays, consumers turn to mobile phones, iPads, tablets, laptops, and even desktop computers before they give their old landline (if they still have one), a second thought.

Nowadays, consumers prefer to make contact on social media platforms or by using messenger services such as WhatsApp. And, before anyone even thinks about making a phone call to reach out, they send an SMS or an email.

Is this the end of the line for the landline? Probably! Especially when you consider that only 10% of broadband installations include the installation of a landline at the same time (current stats uncover this stat).

What IT changes are affecting the way we work and communicate?

5G will make a big impact, especially in South Africa. In all likelihood we will have to wait until 2020 for 5G,but it will be well worth the wait when voice services, data management and storage spans become so much easier, and five times faster! And what’s more, it should be reliable and affordable.

Why pay for a landline service when you can do everything on your mobile phone for a whole lot less in terms of cost?

Blockchain is also making its way in the telecoms field, and it is said that, when it makes its official debut, it will offer user conveniences such as easy number portability and number blocking.

Cloud based services are also something worth a mention as they have brought about a mammoth change in communications and business operations. It’s not only data encrypted backups that on offer, but complete business systems that operate in the Cloud. Never before have businesses been able to get quite so much done without having a single person in the office. But that’s nothing new – Cloud services have been around for quite some time now.

The change is happening now

The fact that consumers are looking for more convenient ways to communicate – in fact, they are demanding it – and the fact that technology provides everything required to provide these conveniences means that businesses are being forced to change the way they work in order to keep up.

You will have noticed the change in your own life, and there’s little doutb that it has been beneficial in some way.

The next time you make enquiries about a product on social media, realise that you too are part of the change. And, if you are gearing up towards ensuring that your business is moving with the times to be better able to communicate with, and serve, your consumers in the modern ultra-connected ways they are looking for, make sure that you are protecting the data and interests of your business at the same time. You can read a few of our safety tips here.

In need of more advice on how to protect your business in an advancing market place? Get in touch with us at Soteria Cloud today.

2019 Data backup and storage trends

23 Jul

Many businesses that overlook their data backup and storage strategy (and processes) often learn the hard way. And the “hard way” is when they lose highly sensitive data and a lot of money at the same time. How you backup your data and where/how you store it are essential elements to running a successful business.

In 2019, several data backup and storage trends have been seen. This article features 5 top trends that could benefit your business.

1. Remove the chance of human error by automating critical backup processes

The latest trend is to automate backups of all devices. Not only does this make backups convenient, but it also eliminates the risk of staff members forgetting to follow a regular backup schedule. This means that you can restore backups from the cloud, regardless of what happens to your devices.

Automating backup processes reduces costly downtime from weeks to hours. Whether data is compromised through employee negligence, or from a malicious attack, with automatic backups, business owners have peace of mind that a recent version of their data is always readily available.

2. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in data centres

Artificial intelligence makes it possible to quickly and effectively gather and store information. It also ensures that the company is alerted to potential threats that can be detected in the early stages of an attack.

Security monitoring can be done 24 hours a day with the workload spread evenly across servers, avoiding potential overload.

3. Flash SSDs (Solid-state drives) are replacing traditional HDD (Hard Disc Drive) infrastructure

Solid State Drives are quickly replacing Hard Disc Drives as the SSD tends to be faster, presenting data in next to near time. It’s also available at a lower cost of ownership in addition to providing more power.

4. Keeping multiple copies

This might sound a bit strange, but many companies have adopted a 3-2-1 data storage approach. This approach involves keeping three copies of data all in different formats. Two copies are kept on-site while the final copy is stored off-site, usually as an encrypted data backup. Business owners feel more secure with this type of approach.

5. Software-defined storage

This means that software is used to define data storage regulations within a business. All virtual storage, networking, servers, and security resources that are needed for an application are therefore defined by the software and provided automatically. Not all businesses adopt this approach, but it is certainly something to keep your eye on.

By keeping yourself up to date with the latest trends, you can take an active and informed approach to ensure that your data storage efforts are safe, secure, and up to date.

Cloud Migration – Is it what your business needs?

9 Jul

Have you been concerned that your business is lagging behind because it hasn’t migrated to the Cloud yet? Well, you might have made an excellent decision for yourself in the long run. Being slow to adopt Cloud business systems might have saved you a lot of money and frustration after all.

When Cloud computing first came about, businesses clamoured for it because it promised cost-effective data storage and a convenient way to connect everyone within an organisation. With Cloud computing systems, documents could be shared, and projects could be worked on, without having to set foot outside of your office, or be physically in the office – regardless of whether your business is local or global.

Not every cloud has a silver lining for everyone

Unfortunately, Cloud computing hasn’t really been “all of that” for businesses looking to cut back on costs. Perhaps what those businesses were looking for was a data storage solution. These businesses would better benefit from Cloud backups and storage, instead of the Cloud computing business systems that were touted as “the thing to have” by the industry at the time.

Data security is a problem that some Cloud-based businesses are currently struggling with. It comes as no surprise that online data breaches have cost many businesses millions of rand. And that again is where Cloud backup and storage may outshine a Cloud storage business system. Let’s face it, Cloud migration and business operations in the Cloud cost money and of course, whoever you are “hiring” your Cloud space from is going to limit just how much space you get. You basically have the very same problem you had before, except now it is in the Cloud.

The fact of the matter is that the Cloud offers businesses, and individuals, great conveniences – that cannot be disputed, but it’s not always going to be the most viable option for every business.

How Cloud Backup & Storage Makes for a More Viable Alternative

With Cloud Backup, you can have backups automated on your business devices to transfer data to the Cloud and remove local copies (if you feel this is safer). Now your data is safely stored. Best of all, Cloud backups offer data encryption, which eliminates the risk of a Cloud data breach. You could save yourself a lot of time, money, and security risks by opting for secure encrypted regular data backups, instead of moving your entire business to the Cloud.

Get in Touch

Have you transferred your business to the Cloud? How did you find the experience? We would love to know – share your experiences.

Microsoft lets South Africa down with cloud storage

25 Feb

On May 2017, Microsoft made some pretty big promises to the South African market, and as you might have guessed, they have failed to deliver!

The Microsoft promise (the one they broke!)

Microsoft promised that two Azure cloud data centres would be launched in South Africa at Cape Town and Johannesburg locations in 2018. The data centres, the very first Azure centres in Africa would ensure that local customers have access to Azure, Dynamics 365, and Office 365 services. The most surprising thing is that the company imposed the 2018 deadline themselves and doesn’t seem to be showing much remorse at missing it!

Rumour has it that the delay was linked to a third-party supplier’s inability to deliver exactly what was required for the project. This problem seems to have been sorted out as Microsoft has confirmed that the data centres will launch in 2019. Some might say that it’s better late than never.

According to Julia White, vice president of Azure and Security, Microsoft chose to develop the proposed data centres as the African continent was showing incredible innovation and growth. She also said that it’s important for African businesses to have access to local data residency and cloud services that are high-performing and of course, reliable too.

No solid commitment from Microsoft

Now that the deadline has been missed, Microsoft has gone silent on any mentions of new deadlines. The South African representative for Microsoft, Ashleigh Fenwick, has mentioned to industry professionals that while work is underway on the data centres, no definitive answer can be given about the official commercial launch date. She did, however, state that the company is working on creating a local infrastructure that’s of an unprecedented level/quality.

“We’re focused on building the right solutions for our customers and are working towards availability of our new enterprise-grade cloud data centres in South Africa in 2019.”Ashleigh Fenwick

Can you trust Microsoft’s wishy-washy promises?

Business owners should use the lengthy waiting period to consider just how reliable Microsoft is (or isn’t, in this case). If the company cannot be trusted to deliver on promised deadlines, how can they be trusted with something as sensitive as data? And if there happens to be some a breach or data security problems, will they have the same elusive response/approach as they have regarding the new launch date?

Support local

Businesses should be concerned about the reliability and trustworthiness of the cloud service providers they entrust their sensitive data to.

By putting your data in the hands of a local, reputable service provider, you can eliminate a lot of the potential risk involved. At Soteria Cloud, we provide encrypted cloud storage services, around the clock. And on top of that, our launch date has long since passed, and we continue to deliver on our promises to our client base, every day. To learn more about our data backup services, click here.

Exciting times ahead for Cloud backup in South Africa

6 Mar

As more and more businesses migrate their data and processes to the cloud in South Africa, it’s become blatantly obvious that a new focus has been acquired on the benefits of cloud backup strategies and the type of security that it provides. (more…)

Safeguarding Your Data from Ransomware In the Cloud

30 May

2016 seemed to be the year of ransomware and you would think that by now businesses would have it under control and be able to safeguard themselves, but that just doesn’t seem to be the case.

It may come as a surprise, but ransomware is not really new, it’s probably just never been this bad. It’s believed to have been around for more than 10 years already! Back in 2014, 3.2 million cases of ransomware were reported. These numbers are particularly surprising, as we know that many people don’t report cyber-crime, so the figures are probably considerably worse!

What’s ransomware?

Similar to the kidnapping and ransom request of humans, ransomware is a nasty little way for hackers to steal your data and then force you to pay them to return it.

It’s usually activated by means of phishing. You receive an enticing email, click on it or open an attachment and your system is contaminated with software that’s used to encrypt all the data on the computer. When you try to access your files, the computer will present a notice demanding payment in bitcoins in order to gain access to your data. It’s frustrating and there’s little to be done to reverse it once it’s happened, unless you pay the ransom (but then there’s also no guarantee that you will get anything back either).

There’s no magic cure to avoiding a ransomware attack, but one can ensure that everything is done to limit the consequences of such an occurrence.

Protect your data

In choosing to back up your data and systems your business can’t be held to ransom if your network is breached. However, your back up strategy needs to extend beyond simply keeping a copy of your data on your computer. The best solution is to rely on the cloud for storing your data.

Why is cloud storage the answer?

Cloud systems are equipped to detect, deter and destroy ransomware attacks before the criminals are able to enter the network and gain control of data. With cloud computing, you have more visibility of the potential risks and threats faced.

Cloud back up is a fail proof way of ensuring that you don’t have to pay ransoms and worry about losing data. If your system is hacked, you have a backup safe and secure in the cloud and better yet, it’s all encrypted in cloud so pesky hackers can’t do anything with it, even if they tried.

Simply signing up for cloud storage is not enough to protect your data from ransomware. Your IT team will need to do a bit more to ensure security and take full advantage of the security features offered by the cloud. Here’s a taste of what that “bit” more includes:

  • Ensure that all advanced cloud security features are understood, activated and working correctly at all times
  • Take advantage of cloud services’ disaster recovery capabilities
  • Educate all of your network users on the risks and threats and how to conduct themselves in a responsible and secure manner when making use of systems and networks.

It’s not really a case of IF ransomware will affect your business. It’s more a case of when. Make sure that you’re safeguarded against its potentially devastating effects by backing up to the cloud. Find out more about cloud backup features today. Get in touch with us at Soteria Cloud.

How online backup is better than cloud storage

5 Apr

Many people assume that online backup and cloud storage is the same thing and it’s easy to see why.  It can be a modern dilemma trying to decide which service you actually need, if you aren’t familiar with the differences between the two, and they are significant.  Online storage / cloud storage and online backup are designed to do different things.  Let’s take a look at each:

Cloud storage

This online service is designed to allow users to save and share select photos and documents.  With this service, you will select which files are to be stored and saved.  You can update or delete them as you see fit as well as access them from other devices.  Most people opt for cloud storage when they want to free up space on a drive.

Online backup

This service is designed to offer users protection of their files and data – automatically.  With this service, the files on your computer will be routinely backed up to the server at a time specified by the user, daily.  Should you lose an important document or data due to system malfunction, human error or even theft you can easily restore the data from the saved versions online.

Features of online backup:

  • Automated backups of your business data
  • After first full backup – incremental backups
  • Quick and easy restoring of lost data
  • Access files remotely
  • Encrypted and secure

What makes online backup better than cloud storage?

Cloud storage is quite simply a manual method of storing files and data in the cloud, but online backup takes things a few steps further.  Once you have chosen all your important documents and folders and files to backup, an automatic online backup of the selected files and folders in these locations is done on a regular basis. And your backup is encrypted so no-one can access your files. The files that you store on your computer will be automatically copied and kept safe and secure (it’s best if the data is encrypted in the process – which is what Soteria online backup does) on a remote server – ready for you immediately should you need to restore or retrieve data that your computer has lost.

 Why you should opt for online cloud backup instead of cloud storage

  • Cloud storage doesn’t have a replica of all of your system files and folders as in most instances you will select to store only files that you access often.
  • Not all devices offer restore options and you might not be able to restore data from cloud storage across a variety of platforms when it has been encoded.

Want to learn more about the great features of online backup?  Get in touch with us at Soteria Cloud and we’ll provide you with all the information and advice that you need!