Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Disaster Mitigation And Recovery Power Of Cloud Computing

The Disaster Mitigation And Recovery Power Of Cloud Computing

In a world where digital connectivity and online presence are a significant part of life and businesses alike, a disaster that disables online services is undoubtedly going to ruin some people’s day, to say the least. Hurricane Katrina and others like it around the world have proven that no data center or server facility is safe from natural disasters and other freak accidents. The effects of such events can at least be mitigated with cloud computing services and technology, making disaster mitigation and recovery easier.
Imagine if a bank losses all its customer’s data including all digital backups because of some calamity, it certainly is a disaster for everyone, the bank most especially. However, not to worry for there are backups in the form of paper, age old reliable paper; well, one can just imagine the banks clerks trudging through tons of paper and slaving in front of computers as they quickly try to get everything into electronic form while their cheeks slowly turn gaunt and their eyes white. It is a highly unlikely event with today’s standards for backing up data, but still a possible worst case scenario.
The nature of cloud computing makes disaster recovery an extremely logical solution, and as a service it can be tremendously lucrative. Because cloud computing can allow one to offload data into “offshore” installations, anywhere and everywhere around the world with multiple backups, the chances that all of them can be wiped out in the same instance are pretty slim. This can be accomplished with the old setup one might say. Yes, it can, but not as well and not as economically as cloud computing can, especially if you consider the public cloud option. Because of virtualization, service providers are able to provide the resources required for disaster mitigation and recovery for a small fraction of the price that it would cost an organization to setup its own. This is because hardware resources are shared by multiple customers and clients through virtualization. This allows providers to accommodate more customers using the same amount of resources as with non-cloud computing technology. This affordability opens up the market to not just the leading companies but also to SMB’s and startups, which brings more competition and hence more options and better service for customers.
The area of disaster mitigation and recovery is not just limited to backup and storage but is also applicable with any other online service. Servers or data centers that become unavailable due to disaster can quickly be replicated in another location in a matter of a few hours. This minimizes downtime for those that are providing services like online games and streaming services, and even those that rely on online transactions like e-stores and financial institutions. When it comes to disaster mitigation and recovery, nothing simply does it better and cheaper than cloud computing.
By Abdul Salam

5 Tips for Secure IT in a Mobile Computing Environment

mobile IT security

Ever evolving information technology (e.g. smart phones, tablets, cloud computing) deliver increased mobility, productivity and ROI… but they also provide growing mobile IT security concerns. Here are 5 tips to help guard against mobile IT security breaches and data loss:

Design Safe Systems for Mobile IT Security

Decrease exposure to hackers by limiting access to your technology infrastructure. Reduce points of failure by prohibiting unnecessary access to equipment, software and data. Minimize potential damage to your networks by using a unique set of domain names, logins and email addresses for each user, work group and department.

Screen New Hires and Conduct Background Checks

While external hackers get most of the attention, the majority of mobile IT security breaches occur from inside network firewalls. Screen all prospective employees. And after hiring, institute an initial trial period during which new employees are monitored for risky network activity.

Provide Basic Training

Most data losses occur as a result of human error or carelessness. Build a corporate culture that emphasizes computer and mobile IT security via training programs that communicate the risks of sloppy password practices and the careless use of devices and data. All security precautions, from proper records disposal to protocols for changing/sharing passwords, should be explained and enforced.

Deploy an Industrial Strength Virus Scanner and Keep all Software Up-To-Date

Keeping software of all types up-to-date is crucial. Schedule and install frequent downloads of security updates and patches to guard against new viruses and variations on older ones.

Use a Robust, Reliable, and Easily Managed Backup Tool

Being able to address multiple forms of data loss is critical. Is it a workstation or is it a server that needs a restore? Is a bare metal restore required? Is it a physical device that needs to be brought online quickly in a virtualized environment? All of these issues should be considered when choosing your backup tools.
A backup solution for computer and mobile IT security such as Kaseya Remote Backup provides real-time automated disk remote backup, disk imaging and bare metal restore for Windows servers and workstations. Unlike conventional file-based only products, Remote Backup creates an image of the entire system state (including operating system, business applications, user settings, drivers and data) giving administrators the framework to completely rebuild a downed system in less than an hour.