With so many companies offering public cloud services such as Microsoft Onedrive, Google Drive, Apple iCloud, Dropbox, etc, it is a tempting choice for hosting your sensitive data, but there are alternatives that are not only significantly more secure but also bring with them unique advantages.
Ensuring the Security of your business sensitive data is probably the most important concern to be addressed. Accessing a public cloud service usually only requires a username and password. Your username is often easily guessed because its your email address and passwords can be hacked, cracked, brute-forced and intercepted fairly easily. We have over the years taken on many customers who have fallen foul of this inherent weakness in public cloud services, some of which have harrowing tales of public embarrassment and industrial espionage. Consider what your confidential corporate data is worth to your competitors, or, how having your corporate data exposed online would affect your business continuity?
Having corporate data available on your desktop and laptop is a benefit to any business person who regularly operates out of the office, but sharing files brings with it an ever increasing circle of risk. The more 'copies' you have out there, the more risk you introduce that one copy will be compromised.
Ensuring that files are shared, but different users can see different parts of the tree, with different access levels such as read-only, read-write, create, delete etc is virtually impossible with common public cloud servers, and yet its a critical feature for any business.
Most public cloud services offer some form of backup, but how and what is backed up and how easy is it to restore? These questions are often not asked until you need it and when you do its not always a good day.
Private Cloud from GEN
Now let's talk about the many benefits of Private Cloud Services and why you should consider them all before making a decision to host data off-site. Private cloud is significantly more secure than public cloud with a full compliment of authentication techniques and restrictions. Ensuring that ONLY your staff have access off-site can be achieved with two factor authentication, GeoFencing, Client Certificates, SaS and VPN and more. Selecting an appropriate authentication scheme that is not prohibitive but provides access where needed is a feature exclusive to Private Cloud.
Flexible Access Control; Is another feature exclusively found in Private Cloud, setting individual and group permissions by share, folder and file allows granular control over access and with that selective reduction in data exposure at your endpoints.
Auditing; Another feature exclusive to Private Cloud allows you to track changes to files right across the data estate, by group, user, and endpoint. When a file is created, changed or deleted, it's important to know who did that and from what computer.
Multi Sync Options; are again a Private Cloud exclusive, allowing complex synchronisation strategies to be setup. A common strategy is to have one or more local servers on site and then synchronise certain folders to your private cloud, synchronising that further to key laptops, tablets and phones. Sync can be one-way or bi-directional, allowing read-only files to be pushed out to team members whilst other files are synchronised two-way. Synchronisation Conflicts are often an issue with Public Cloud, but in the Private Cloud conflicts can be resolved in a number of ways but by default where conflicts occur, two files are created with their filenames indicating the users who made the change. This way you can quickly resolve conflicts, and remove the opportunity for conflicts going forward.
Multigenerational backup; One significant feature of Private Cloud allows every file change to create another backup ensuring that you cannot only can you restore accidentally deleted files, but revert file changes back of months or even years of history, and if there was even an issue that effects businesses today, this is it.
Encryption; Ensuring data is protected at rest is often a concern whilst some public cloud providers will assure you that it is, with the key being stored on the same platform, they may well have not bothered. Encryption is ONLY EFFECTIVE if the key used to decrypt it is entered by a person and not stored anywhere. Private Cloud encryption allows keys to be entered on start-up and not stored on the servers. This means in the event of server theft, your business critical data is safe and secure. Localised Encryption Containers can further protect business critical data on laptops and mobile devices by again requiring a personal key to be entered.
Given these considerations, Private Cloud is becoming increasingly popular as a business solution which is more flexible, secure and cost effective than Public Cloud services. Unlike public cloud services which are priced per user, we cannot price it in that way due to the infinately variable configuration options, but If you are considering hosting your data on cloud platforms, or are concerned about security then contact us for a consultation and quotation.