Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Ravi Rajamiyer

Related Topics: Cloud Security, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, CMS

Cloud Security: Article

Could You Be the Biggest Threat to Your Email?

Quick tips for protecting your data

The digital age has forced a kind of dependency never before seen, a dependency on our inbox. The mere thought of losing these emails is inconceivable where the thought of it leaves us with a sense of panic, one similar to losing our credit cards or house key. Unfortunately, the potential for losing access to email is greater than one might think.

There are a multitude of threats that can bring about the loss of an email, or an entire email account. Simple user error, such as clicking the wrong button, can result in the loss of crucial information that could potentially make or break your business. A more daunting threat is cyber attack, wherein hackers target email accounts to gain access to personal information, which could also result in the deletion of critical communications.

Today, however, we rely on email not only as a means of communication but as a way of conducting business. We save our documents and back up important programs, why then do we forget to back up this critical data? The reality is simple - small to medium sized business (SMB) owners are generally focused on the operational responsibilities of running the business. Day-to-day activities and deadlines are top of mind for most business owners, leaving data backup management on a back burner, while many rely on dated methods such as tape backup. What many SMBs don't know is that, when tested, tape backup has been found to have as much as a 77 percent failure rate.

If the threat of losing access to your inbox puts the viability of your business at risk, it is time to re-consider your business's backup procedures.

What Is Your Status?
Email provides efficiency to our daily communications and the information enclosed in our email accounts is oftentimes the most crucial. In fact, many businesses today conduct a majority of their correspondence exclusively through email and securing the associated data should be a priority.

When evaluating your email backup strategy, ask yourself the following questions at a minimum:

  • If you are using an external backup drive, have you created additional copies? Are the extra copies kept off site for safekeeping?
  • Are you utilizing a cloud email provider such as Gmail or Yahoo? If so, do you know how to restore your email should these websites go down?
  • How often are you backing up your email? Do you have a backup plan?
  • Does your backup strategy include a restore procedure?

Answers to these questions will guide you towards developing a viable data backup and recovery solution.

Customize Your Solution
Although there are several data backup and recovery options, it is important to find the solution that best fits your needs. As previously noted, backup to tape, external hard drives or zip drives must be managed carefully. Zip drives and external hard drives are highly susceptible to viruses and hardware malfunctions. Ongoing maintenance can be easily forgotten and even worse, anything that can be carried has the potential to be lost or stolen.

Additionally, while these methods are certainly better than no method at all, the reality is that the individual who is responsible for executing the backup is oftentimes consumed by other tasks, or does not comprehend the significance of consistent backups.

Harnessing the services of an online data backup or cloud computing service provider is the most timely and cost-effective way to ensure the safety of your company's email. Online data backup today has become affordable for the SMBs and it is the most comprehensive solution available to protect digital information.

An Ideal Partner

Before utilizing an outside service to backup your data, consider these key questions when conducting your research:

  • Does the cloud provider offer onsite and offsite protection? Do they offer the means to quickly and efficiently backup your data to a secure offsite server, while maintaining a local copy for easy restoration of large application files?
  • What does the backup software look like? How easy is it to use, what does it protect and how much user input is needed to accomplish a regular backup procedure?
  • How long has the cloud provider or IT service company been in business? Look for companies that have been in business for longer than a couple of years. Ask for references and/or case studies that you can review.
  • Where is your data stored? Is it in a secure data center or is it sitting on a server in some obscure location?
  • How secure is the data center that will store your data? Ask for certifications that ensure that it has been audited by a third party, such as SSAE16. If you are a health provider, does the data center offer HIPAA compliancy?
  • How easy is it to backup and restore your email files? Ask for a demonstration or a trial period to test the software.
  • How much data capacity do you really need? Look for companies that will allow you to grow and won't charge you for unnecessary storage space.

When choosing a backup method it is important to seek an automated solution, removing the responsibility from over-burdened staff. This guarantees that all data will be backed up and protected, while eliminating the possibility of user error.

Moving Forward
Consider all your options when looking to protect your email. Any ideal cloud backup and recovery solution should be user friendly, easy to manage and provide you and your staff with ongoing support in the event of a disaster. A little planning will go a long way in assuring that your business's data is safe and secure.

More Stories By Jamie Brenzel

Jamie Brenzel brings over 15 years of experience in investment banking and entrepreneurial startups to his role as CEO of KineticD. His prior business accomplishments are long and varied. He was at Salomon Brothers in London, where he helped build the equity derivatives department into an important profit center. He then embarked on his future as an entrepreneur, acquiring Wood Printing & Graphics, and later co-founding integrated marketing communications company Sonar Group. Jamie then established a solid foundation for Truition, an eCommerce service company for clients such as Dell Financial Services, CompUSA and Sirius Satellite Radio. Jamie holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...