WOOF! Newsletter

September 15, 2022

What's the Most Secure Way to Host Your Company's Data?

Where do you host your company’s data? Do you have Intellectual Property to protect? Should you worry about cyberattacks or even espionage? If your IP gets into the wrong hands, could it ruin your company? Many business leaders worry about these risks...and they should. The solution? Relocate your IP to hosts you control.


Every business has data it needs to protect. Do you know where all of yours resides? 

This includes servers you run, as well as custom and SaaS applications, both local and Web-based.

If even one of your hosting locations has a data leak due to a cyberattack you risk the theft or destruction of your Intellectual Property and company data.

Let's avoid the possibility, by identifying the most secure hosting locations in this edition of WOOF!


The Data You Need to Protect

Here are some of the types of data that companies have to protect:  

  • Intellectual property
  • Documents, emails and messaging from employees, partners, customers, and vendors
  • Custom applications and databases
  • Customer data, user accounts, and transaction histories
  • Accounting and financial records, tax documents
  • Regulatory filings
  • HR records

This data resides in applications like Microsoft Exchange, Active Directory, Windows File Server, Teams, SharePoint, accounting applications, SQL databases, custom applications, etc. 

For those applications, is one hosting option better than the others?  We think so.


Rethinking the Safety of "Big Tech" Public Clouds

First, let's talk about the big guys in data hosting.

Public clouds maintained by Big Tech companies—AWS, Google, Azure—are hugely popular. 

Many corporate leaders consider these hosts a "safe bet" because of their widespread adoption.  This is why you see a lot of companies using all-cloud IT strategies, hosting all of their data & operations on Big Tech platforms.

Is "bigger" always "better" for everyone?  Do factors beyond the host's name and the platform features matter?

Here are some tangible things about public clouds to consider:

  • Public clouds make big targets for cyberattack, from both outsiders and insiders.   You might experience a breach on a public cloud and never even know it.  No company is immune.
  • Big Tech public clouds have datacenters all over the world.  You have no idea where your data is physically located.
  • Big Tech public clouds have high monthly fees and can be overkill for small companies.
  • Need emergency help from a Big Tech host?  Submit a ticket and wait.

From an IT consulting company’s perspective, Big Tech public cloud companies contribute to the American brain drain by outsourcing much of their operations to foreign guest workers.  They also continue to grow in size every year putting immense resources in the hands of a few.

So, let’s consider some other hosting options.


The Safest Hosting Option:  A Secure and Professionally Installed On-Premise Environment

On-premise hosting is still a great option for securing your data. If you really need to keep your data as private & secure as possible, host it on-premise at your office.

Ideally, you create a mini professional datacenter, including:

  • An environmentally-controlled room
  • Physical security to protect the servers in case of a break-in
  • Reliable power and a UPS
  • Business-grade network gear
  • Hardware VPN for secure remote access
  • Expert engineers to set it up and maintain it on-site

Hosting your data in-house means that very few people have access to your hardware or the credentials to manage it.

If hosting on-premise isn’t in the cards, don't worry! You have another option.


A Private Cloud with High-Security Local Hosting

A "Private Cloud" uses a local datacenter to act like an on-premise server room. Your IP and company data are in a virtual cloud environment, operated by datacenter engineers you can actually meet and develop working relationships with.

Private cloud environments look & operate similar to an enterprise datacenter. But unlike public clouds, they're more customizable, have smarter data storage functions, and may employ stronger cybersecurity measures.

This is why you may hear people refer to high-security local hosting companies as "boutique datacenters."

Want even more data control?  “Co-locate" your own server hardware in such a datacenter. 

Your hardware runs in a proper hosting environment, and your team enjoys high-availability, secure network access without the high-cost setup you'd need in your office.

Depending on the datacenter, a private cloud may even include extra security measures:

  • Secure VPN tunnel between your office and the datacenter
  • Server data is backed up to a second datacenter, and offers encryption and versioning
  • Hardware VPN for secure remote access
  • Multiple layers of traffic filtering, so only the traffic you need reaches your network.


Migrating Company Data to a New Platform Takes Effort—But It Puts You Back in Control

How does using on-premise servers, or a Private Cloud, protect all of your company's data? 

  1. You know where your data is physically located and you control who has access.
  2. Your data stays in one place—but your team can access it securely from anywhere.
  3. You know exactly what network security precautions are in place to protect it.
  4. You can patch and maintain your own servers, or have your datacenter team do it—but either way, you have assurance that it’s happening.


Interested in bringing your IP back on-premise?  Or discussing a Private Cloud?  Call PlanetMagpie for a Systems Review.  (510) 344-1200.

Robert Douglas, IT Consulting Team Lead