3 key considerations for data protection in the cloud

Data security and availability are key concerns for risk management and compliance. These concerns have gained greater attention with personal data protection regulations and increasing IT outsourcing and cloud adoption.

Growing adoption of cloud technologies will see more workloads and data reside in the cloud, drawing online attacks that had traditionally been the bane of on-premise infrastructures. Hence, enterprise-grade security capabilities to protect cloud-based data are a necessity.

The main data protection rules of Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act, which will come into force in July 2014, requires any cloud service provider receiving personal data transferred from Singapore to provide a standard of protection acceptable by the Act.

Meanwhile, 60% of Singapore banks and financial services companies surveyed by recruitment firm Robert Half are already increasing their spending on IT security compared to 2013. This is well above the global average of 50%.

Stella Tang, managing director of Robert Half in Singapore, says that financial institutions are responding to Technology Risk Management guidelines issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore last year. For example, the guidelines outlined requirements for financial institutions to implement IT controls to protect customer information from unauthorized access or disclosure.

So, to ensure the security and availability of customers’ data, the following three considerations are important.

Easy to use and manage secure data access

Today’s mobile workforce needs improved remote access to web applications and files from virtually any device without having to deploy or support full VPN clients. A solution like the Barracuda SSL VPN with secure access control offers that and the option to secure resources with one-time passwords to mobile phones; security prompt questions; or integration with authentication systems like hardware tokens and RADIUS.

Secure data access also maintains business continuity during natural disasters or other emergency events. “During the floods, we were able to quickly deploy the Barracuda SSL VPN to allow our staff to continue working remotely,” says Chris Robinson, IT manager at Queensland Art Gallery.

“The Barracuda [SSL VPN] solution is as easy as opening a web browser and logging in,” says Jon Hilliker, IT guru for Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. Network resources and files employees would have if they were in the office can be launched with just a couple of mouse clicks. Ease of management was also a consideration for Hilliker, who has a small IT department.

Barracuda itself has adopted multi-factor authentication in its Barracuda Cloud Control – a management interface that allows organizations to manage Barracuda Backup, Barracuda Web Security, Barracuda Email Security Service, and Barracuda Appliance Control from a single browser window.

Efficient and flexible backup and cloud storage

When it comes to storing business critical data, administrators typically desire flexibility and efficiency. The Barracuda Backup solution leverages cloud storage to offload older backups; reduce demands on the local cache; and enable longer retention periods for backups.

“With Barracuda Backup’s extended cloud storage, we can support longer retention policies while reducing our overall cost and risk,” says Michael Barker, IT director of The Thomas Kinkade Company. “This added functionality increases the efficiency of our data protection and minimizes onsite caching of backups.”

“It’s so easy,”says Allwyn Griffith, director of Enterprise Infrastructure at advanced marine chemicals and equipment provider Drew Marine, which deployed eight Barracuda Backup appliances within three years. “I get a call from Japan, roll out of bed, connect to the Internet, log in to theportal, restore the file, and go back to bed. The entire process takes less than five minutes.”

Further, Barracuda Backup’s Cloud LiveBoot capability allows critical virtual machines (VMs) to boot from the backup appliance or from the cloud if the primary server or storage fails.

“Virtualization provides a multitude of benefits yet backup and recovery still can be fraught with challenges,” says Craig Sauvigne, systems administrator at Winthrop University. “With Barracuda Backup Cloud LiveBoot, we get a new rapid recovery option that reduces the risk of primary storage failure without the need to create redundant infrastructure.”

Enterprises can also purchase Barracuda Backup as a bundled subscription – offered worldwide as the Barracuda Backup-as-a-Service offering.

Secure and convenient file sync and share

Afile sync and share platform can simplify the way organizations safely access, sign and share critical business data. The Barracuda Copy platform integrates enterprise requirements like policy-based controls to allow or revoke users’ ability to access and share files or to join shares outside of the company.

Integrations with other solutions help improve collaboration and workflow automation for businesses. For example, integration with the SignNow mobile esignature platform allows users to electronically sign and share documents in a single location.

Redbooth automates workflow processes seamlessly, including collecting forms and signatures such as stakeholder information or approvals, while Kloudless allows users to access and store files from within their email inboxes directly into their Copy account.

With these considerations in mind, the IT team at DJ equipment manufacturer InMusic deployed eight Barracuda Backup appliances globally in less than 16 months. The team arranged for local branch office users to operate Barracuda Backup Servers at their sites while keeping the majority of control.

“I especially like the fact that I can control who sees what [web] site along with great logging for inspection of activity,” says InMusic’s system administrator Kyle Mello, for whom ease of use and convenient remote access are major considerations. “When users mistakenly delete important files or entire directories, I can even restore their files from my mobile phone if necessary.”