Moving to the Cloud? Don’t forget data protection!

Dan Walkes, Senior Software Architect, Tandberg Data

"The cloud" has and will continue to revolutionize the way small- to medium-sized businesses do business. As your business-critical data begins to move into the cloud, it's essential to evaluate your overall data protection strategy. As the ease of data migration into the cloud increases, so does the potential to ignore consequences for data protection. Protection of data created on cloud-hosted services is a very important consideration for your business.

One example of cloud-hosted services your business may utilize are web hosting providers. Businesses may use companies to host forums, wiki's, homepages, or ecommerce. If you look closely at the data protection-related terms and conditions for web hosting providers you'll notice a recurring theme: backup and data protection are your responsibility! For instance, web hosting service Bluehost's terms state:

Backups. For its own operational efficiencies and purposes, Bluehost from time to time backs up data on its servers, but is under no obligation or duty to Subscriber to do so under these Terms.

Popular site GoDaddy's terms are even more explicit:

You agree to back-up all of your User Content so that you can access and use it when needed. Go Daddy does not warrant that it backs-up any Account or User Content, and you agree to accept as a risk the loss of any and all of your User Content.

After a quick glance at the terms of service everyone can agree it's important to keep your own backups of data stored on web hosting cloud providers. What about cloud services dedicated for backup? Certainly these services provide some type of assurance about data protection... right? If you look closely at the terms you might see a different story. For instance, online backup provider Carbonite states in their terms:

TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, IN NO EVENT SHALL CARBONITE BE LIABLE TO YOU OR ANY THIRD PARTY FOR ANY COST TO PROCURE SUBSTITUTE SERVICES OR DATA, OR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, EXEMPLARY OR ANY OTHER DAMAGES, INCLUDING DAMAGES FOR PERSONAL INJURY, LOST PROFITS, LOSS OF DATA, LOSS OF STORED DATA OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION, ARISING OUT OF YOUR USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE SERVICES

While stopping short of telling you that all backup responsibility is yours, the terms of use on these sites make it clear that the cloud providers ultimately won't be responsible for any loss of data. In truth, backup is still your responsibility. Tandberg Data offers affordable and reliable tape, disk and removable disk solutions that can provide the peace of mind associated with protection of your data, whether stored traditionally or in the cloud.

 

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