28 Jun 2019

4 Reasons to Use a Multi-Cloud Strategy for Your Data

Data Management on Multiple Cloud Platforms

Plenty of IT providers have been moving toward multi-cloud strategies, both internally and for their clients. Why is that? We’ll dive deeper into the benefits of multi-cloud strategies. But first, let’s define exactly what they are.

Multi-cloud strategies provide data management across several cloud platforms. This may include any cloud deployment model, including private cloud, public cloud, community cloud, or hybrid cloud services. The multi-cloud approach prevents single-vendor dependency. That means more options so you can really optimize your digital systems for your business. That’s just one benefit, though.

According to CIO, “the drivers behind the trend are crystal clear. Benefits, such as avoiding vendor lock-in, cost savings, performance optimization, a lowered risk of DDoS attacks, as well as improved reliability, are all critical as businesses jockey for position in today’s new digital economy.”

 

The Top 4 Benefits of Multi-Cloud Services

 

1. Security

There are pros and cons to security in multi-cloud strategies. It’s not necessarily safer overall to use a multi-cloud strategy. Just like in a house, multiple entry points provide more room for intruders to get in. However, when you have your business spread out over multiple platforms, it also becomes more difficult for intruders to take everything. Plus, disaster recovery is often faster and more effective in this scenario.

 

2. Leverage

Single-service cloud providers hold a lot of control when you only use one. You’re at their mercy, and you often don’t have a fast alternative. That means switching to new cloud technology can cost you a lot of downtime.

Meanwhile, when you use different cloud services, you get to keep more control within your business. From a cost-savings perspective, that’s a major advantage. If one provider suddenly skyrockets their pricing, you can quickly make a switch to your other providers. The same goes for providers that add or remove services, or make significant platform changes.

 

3. Performance Optimization

Working with multiple cloud providers offers a ton of benefits for businesses. It’s not the right system for everyone, but for those it does work for, it can easily optimize many different components of the business. That’s because you can custom fit features of different platforms to suit your operations, finances, R&D, CMS, CRM, and more.

Different aspects of your business may function better in distinct cloud environments. For example, Google could be optimized for your operations, while research might function better with Microsoft Azure’s cloud computing system.

 

4. Multi-Feature Functionality

In a lot of cases, when businesses try out software, it’s like all the ladies of the kingdom trying on Cinderella’s glass slipper. Machine learning can only go so far in some cases, leaving you with single cloud solutions that only work half the time.

A multi-cloud environment combats this by giving you more selection for the features you need or combining features of different systems to integrate your own custom solution. You can keep most of your data in your data center, but shop out different features of other solutions.

 

Getting Started with a Multi-Cloud Database Strategy

It’s important to have the right developers and IT technicians in place to help you manage your cloud services.

If you want to find out what a multi-cloud strategy would look like for your business, book a consultation with Alt-Tech’s IT professionals and software developers. We’ll map out your best options, your best and worst case scenarios, and a cost-benefit analysis to help you decide if it’s the right move. Then, we’ll help you implement your custom solution.

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14 Jun 2019

3 Tips to Destroy Sensitive Data & Information

Data destruction used to be simple. You’d take your files to the office shredder, toss them in, and they’d be effectively destroyed.

Unfortunately, it’s much harder to destroy electronic files. You might think you’ve completely destroyed your files by emptying the trash folder, but that’s usually not enough to permanently delete files from your computer. Emptying your recycling bin appears to delete sensitive information, but really, all you’re doing is erasing the file’s “easy to find” location. It still exists on your computer.

 

Why Can You Still Recover Files?

Have you ever felt that moment of panic when you accidentally delete an important document? Or when you can’t find Monday morning’s presentation? We’ve all accidentally deleted files before. That’s why our computer systems are designed to protect our files. According to How to Geek, this is how it works:

Your operating system keeps track of the files you have on your computer with pointers. These pointers show your computer where each file lives. When you delete a file, there’s free disk space where the old file once lived. That space can now be used to store a new file. However, until your computer saves another file in that free space, the previous file still has a footprint there and can be recovered.

 

Why is it Done this Way?

For speed and recovery. Deleting a file’s pointer and marking the space as available is a much quicker process than rewriting or writing over large files. It also means we have the chance to recover files if they’re accidentally deleted.

So how can you permanently delete documents from your computer?

 

  1. Overwrite It

When you delete sensitive files, they can still be recovered from your hard drive. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to prevent recovery: by overwriting your sensitive data.

Overwriting is usually done with a specialized program or software. When you’re overwriting, you’ll be literally writing over sensitive information with unimportant, meaningless data. The more times a file is overwritten, the harder it is to decode. There’s still some debate about how many times you need to overwrite to effectively wipe the file, but it’s generally recommended that you overwrite a file 3 times, if not more.

 

  1. Degaussing

Degaussing is a process where your hard drive is passed through a powerful magnetic field to make it completely unreadable. While this method doesn’t actually delete your files, the magnetics scramble the magnetic fields of your electronics to the point that data recovery is nearly impossible.

Unfortunately, you can’t just run a fridge magnet over your hard drive. This method requires you to use a trained professional to ensure the magnetic fields are properly shuffled. Which means it probably isn’t the go-to method for most small businesses.

 

  1. Destroy It

If you store sensitive information on a hard drive there’s one sure fire way to permanently destroy the data: physically destroy the hard drive. It’s kind of like shredding a paper document – except you’ll be shredding the electronics inside your hard drives.

Some companies offer this service for you, but it’s simple enough to do on your own. All you need to do is stop the electronics from running completely. You can do this by nailing through the drive, crushing it, or cutting it into pieces – however you can safely manage it. And this can be done for any electronic device, including memory cards or flash drives. The only downside? You’ve lost your entire storage device in the process!

It’s not the ideal destruction method for files, so if you’re about to head in this direction as a last resort, come see the professionals at Alt-Tech for a security consultation first. We can save you money and make sure all your sensitive files are securely stored or deleted.

 

To learn more about securely deleting files from your hard drive or if you need help recovering a file, schedule your free consult. We’re ready to help you with all your managed cyber security needs, big or small.

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