Data protection. It sounds boring but stick with us. When it’s not taken seriously by , it can quickly become the stuff of nightmares. As Equifax, Uber and Marriott International (among so many others) have learned the hard way.

Equifax fell victim to hackers in 2017 who absconded with data from an estimated 143 million customers. The root cause for this brutal cyberattack? Failure on the part of Equifax to do a simple patch update.

Uber paid upwards of $148 million to settle claims resulting from a 2016 data breach involving stolen data from 25 million customers and drivers. The cybercriminals had obtained Uber’s source code and cloud credentials and used that information to download their data. Rather than reporting the breach, as is legally required, Uber paid the hackers $100,000 and quietly hoped that the problem would go away. Spoiler alert – it didn’t.

500 million Marriott International guests were affected by the hotel chain’s massive data breach – many who had their credit card information and passport details stolen. The breach was ultimately traced back to a user with administrator privileges having their account hacked and account control taken over.

Scary stuff. And while these cybersecurity nightmare stories involve huge multinationals with tremendous data stores, data breaches can be incredibly detrimental to smaller companies as well. Data collection comes with great responsibility. The reality is that any organization that is collecting and storing data has an obligation to their customers to keep that data safe and secure and off the Dark Web. So, how can an organization avoid their own data breach nightmare scenario?

Data Storage Done Right

If your data does not exist in at least 2 places, then it doesn’t exist. Having your data solely hosted on your premises is the technological version of keeping all your eggs in one risk-laden basket. Earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods. These disasters are not just bad dream fodder. They are happening at an increasing rate, and they are catastrophic. 2020 saw 22 separate billion-dollar natural disasters in the United States alone, costing the nation $95 billion in damages. This is where data centers come into the picture.

Data centers are offsite, dedicated physical locations that house critical systems and data. Medicine Bow Technologies (MBT) is a managed services provider (MSP) that understands just how critical data centers are to data protection. With data centers in 3 continents, MBT applies best-in-class practices, such as:

  • 24x7x365 security, including CCTV digital cameras and biometric hand geometry readers for every door and server cage
  • Data centers are built above sea level and include moisture sensors and barriers, dedicated pumps and more, to ensure protection against water damage
  • Being equipped with full uninterruptable power supplies, backup systems and N+1 (or greater) redundancy
  • Shipping and receiving areas are walled off from colocation areas, equipment is checked upon arrival, and critical areas have windowless exteriors
  • Data centers meet or exceed local building codes for seismic design for earthquake protection
  • ISO 27001 and SSAE 16 SOC 1 Type II certifications

Sending your data off site is an act of trust. You are trusting the data center operator to not lose, misuse or compromise your data. Your business truly does depend on it.

Your Garden-Variety Backup isn’t Enough

As anyone who has ever experienced the death of a laptop can attest, backups are important. But did you know that regularly testing these backups is just as important? This testing piece is an essential component of the backup process, but it can be time consuming and is therefore often neglected by MSPs.

Regular backup testing and automated recovery services are par for the course for MBT customers. MBT manages backup and recoveries with a central, web-based management console that provides access to backup and recovery statistics for constant monitoring.

MBT’s cloud security strategies include automatically spinning up a test virtual system in the cloud, restoring the server from the most recent backup, taking a screenshot and then deleting the test system. Time consuming – yes. But also, the ultimate in cybersecurity and data protection.

When disaster strikes, a thoroughly tested backup system is your best friend and is the difference between having business continuity restored in mere minutes and the nightmare scenario of never having it restored. Shudder.

Prioritization of Disaster Recovery

Remember those 22 billion-dollar natural disasters that hit the United States last year? 2020 was a historic year of climate extremes. Unfortunately, this trend is showing no signs of slowing down. There is no predicting when an earthquake, hurricane or any other natural disaster will occur that temporarily derails your IT infrastructure. Disaster recovery must be a high priority piece of your organizational business continuity planning. It’s not all doom and gloom though. If you back up your data with disaster recovery top of mind, you can prevent long-lasting interruptions for you and your customers.

A programmatic approach to disaster recovery is key. Initially, consider what data you need to back up and how you can effectively do so. You can then identify the tools, technicians and response processes necessary to develop and launch a successful business disaster recovery plan.

The Partner of Your Dreams

The best way to ensure proper data compliance, and the peace of mind that comes along with it, is to find the right MSP partner. Data nightmares can result from something as simple as hardware failure to something as major as a hurricane. Whatever the scenario may be, MBT, with their industry-leading 99.99999% uptime record, has you covered. Their commitment to reliability includes an uninterruptible power supply to prevent power spikes, surges and brownouts and includes backup diesel generators that provide additional runtime. Set up a free consultation with MBT today and experience the joy of a sound and peaceful sleep, free of nightmares.