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Can you put a figure on the value of data to your business?

Probably not, and maybe that says it all. The value of data varies by business and industry, but a customer database can potentially be worth millions. Imagine a nightmare scenario where all data on your existing customer base was irretrievably lost. The only way to recover anything would be to replicate as much of the lost data as possible, for example, by going back through years’ worth of invoices. But this painstaking process could take weeks, and would demand extra manpower and costs – further underlining the value of the data in the first place. In the end, even after doing everything in your power to rebuild, you could still be left with just a fraction of your previous database.

For companies that store data using a cloud platform, this raises critical concerns around security and reliability. Storage requirements of small and medium-sized businesses normally double every 18–24 months, making data security increasingly vital over time. As the custodian of one of the most valuable assets to any business, the cloud service provider is responsible for implementing maximum security and reliability, and reassuring customers that their data is in safe hands. Fasthosts understands the importance of this as a fundamental part of a customer-centric approach.

The cloud: where confusion reigns

Some users are unsure about exactly what happens to their data when it’s uploaded to the cloud. This can lead to misconceptions that all cloud platforms are somehow riskier or less secure than on-site IT solutions or traditional dedicated servers. While great for illustrating flexibility and scalable performance, the concept of ‘the cloud’ – the idea of data stored across multiple sets of hardware, as opposed to a single defined box – doesn’t always inspire confidence when it comes to safety. With the latest cloud infrastructure however, these worries are almost always unfounded.

There is no inherent risk associated with the cloud. Basic security concerns are the same as with any IT system: strong authentication and smart login management are essential for all servers to combat threats from brute-force attacks and social engineering. Cloud servers are usually far more secure and reliable than the average local IT solution, both in terms of physical security at the data centre and the security expertise of a cloud service provider like Fasthosts.

But just how secure is your data with CloudNX?

The new Fasthosts cloud solution stores your data in secure data centres, completely isolated from other customers. The platform is fully penetration tested to guarantee top levels of security, with firewalls and public networks alongside the latest SIEM and IDS/IPS technology. In terms of reliability, CloudNX can count on a number of features only made possible by the cloud infrastructure. For example, in the rare event of hardware failure, your virtual machines would be automatically transferred to alternative server components. Shared storage also provides enhanced resilience for your data by ensuring no single point of failure.

With a few clicks, you can capture full server clones, create snapshots or schedule images that can be restored at any time. These tools allow you to test and update your VMs, safe in the knowledge that you can easily undo any big changes. Ultimately, ensuring the best possible security for crucial and irreplaceable data is the responsibility of both the vendor and the customer. As the service provider, Fasthosts provides a secure and reliable cloud infrastructure, and gives you everything you need to maintain it. Visit the Fasthosts website for more information on the all-inclusive security features of CloudNX.

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