Amazon AWS is so widely used; you may have been impacted by the recent outage without realizing it. Many companies rely on Amazon’s cloud-based servers to host large amounts of data because other hosting companies cannot deliver the speed and reliability synonymous with the Amazon brand. Even if your business website does not rely on a service impacted by hacks or outages, the tools you use to run your everyday business tasks stopped working properly. Other services including Slack, Trello, Asana, Smartsheet, Fog Buzz, Animoto, Moz, etc. were also crippled. It’s time we examine cloud-based server vulnerability and how it can disrupt our businesses.
For the sake of convenience, we’ve become comfortable with storing information in the cloud. SaaS is a service that facilitates remote working, twenty-four seven access from any location and offers significant savings on IT equipment maintenance and repair. However, if businesses do not put reinforcements in place and rely solely on cloud-based data access, they become completely helpless when there is an outage of any kind. The best preparation is precaution; your business should always keep a backup of data in the event something happens to the cloud-based information.
Although the issue was reportedly resolved in a day, many of the services that relied on AWS continue to have problems one week later. Word is the cause of the outage was some type of impairment to several network devices – a rather broad-brush explanation that points to hacker involvement. SaaS services are no strangers to outages; however, they are usually resolved within a few hours. But we are now seeing unprecedented usage of cloud-based services with the drastic increase of remote workers, consistently placing heavy demand on these services. SaaS providers continue to adapt for growth but have also revealed their vulnerabilities as their boundaries have been tested.
The key to securing business continuity is to put backup plans in place for all the main functions your business must perform each day. That could mean regularly downloading and backing up data weekly and implementing desktop services that can function as close cousins of cloud-based software programs.
With quantum computing on the horizon, greater security for all types of data is soon, but whether or not the technology will be available to the masses remains to be seen. Technology giants such as Google have been using quantum computing to handle AI functions for some time now, but we have yet to seen more practical applications. Until then, keep in mind what you have learned this year about the possibility of the impossible and enact a backup plan in the event of an outage. Never forget the adage proven true time and again – better safe than sorry.