Multiple Perspectives on Security

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Security Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Ravi Rajamiyer

Related Topics: Cloud Computing, Security Journal

Article

Redundancy Doesn't Equal Backup | @CloudExpo #Cloud

Protecting critical data

Currently, the preferred method of data protection of cloud giants, such as Google, is to replicate the data across different locations (i.e., data centers), rather than performing a true back up. This is done because a true back up seems logistically too complicated given the amount of data these giants store. These companies have turned to replicated data because, the assumed risk of all replications crashing simultaneously are extremely slim. This risk assumption may be accurate but it does not take into account unintentional data destruction.

From firsthand experience, we know that unintentional data destruction is real and may become one of prevalent issues with the cloud. There is no accounting for human error. Maybe a developer writes a bad query or deletes some data. This mistake replicates across all of the locations that store your data. For example, say you wanted to delete all users that equal "John Basso" but you accidentally wrote a command to delete all users greater than John Basso. In the one second it takes for you to realize what you've done, the mistake has been replicated across all of your systems. Without a backup, there is no way to restore data because there is no undo button when it comes to system operations.

In our (sometimes hasty) move to the Cloud, we've assumed that data redundancy is the same as data backup. Redundancy protects against physical failures but it doesn't protect against people. Because of the Death of IT, a lot of the system admin tasks are being passed to developers who by trade, by culture, and by experience, aren't as familiar with all the rigor and nuances involved in backing up data.

What now? You can either confirm that you have backups of your critical data or acknowledge that you don't and you're putting yourself at risk.

More Stories By John Basso

John Basso is an experienced technology executive with a unique ability to help businesses win through strategic roles both inside and across multiple organizations. He has been leading technical teams and implementing leading-edge business processes and custom technology solutions for over 20 years.

John’s versatile skill-set across all major business functions has made him an integral part of the success for Amadeus Consulting - where he is the CIO. As a dynamic executive, John is inserted into critical phases of the business lifecycle for Amadeus Consulting and works closely with its business partners to ensure their success.

John's demonstrated ability to manage complex custom software development programs across US and international teams has led to senior executive positions, including Chief Strategy Officer, CTO, and VP of Marketing, with several Amadeus Consulting clients and partners. Additionally, he has extensive experience with venture capital funding and was a key contributor to equity investment deals for three different promising startup companies of over $20 million each. Boards: Left Hand Design Corporation, Business Information & Analytics Advisory Board, University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business

Awards: "Forty Under 40 Business Leader" by the Denver Business Journal in 2005, Eco Hero by the Boulder County Business Report.