Let’s dispel this myth: Once your data is in the cloud it’s safe… right? It can be – and should be, but Cybersecurity for the cloud is not automatic.

If you have made or are planning to make the move to the cloud, there is one very potentially hazardous assumption that must be dispelled.

YOU - NOT the cloud host, are responsible for protecting and backing up your data.

IT Support LA has been introducing clients to all manner of cloud service for years – so much so that we launched our own specific division for cloud consulting, services, and Cybersecurity in late 2020 – after the extreme numbers of businesses moving to the cloud following the COVID outbreak.

Our launch was so meticulously planned and executed that UpCity, a B2B consulting firm that connects clients with verified, reputable vendors across a broad spectrum of industries, named IT Support LA one of 25 (and 1 of only 2 in the IT Support Los Angeles Community) North American Best Cloud Consulting Services of 2021.

The incorrect assumption that we must dispel time after time is that the ‘The Cloud’ is synonymous with Cybersecurity. As a longtime partner of Microsoft (with their M365) and Google (with their Workspace) – the two major cloud services platforms, we feel that Microsoft’s security measures are second to none (with Google quickly catching up) – for what they do. The confusion comes from knowing what they both guarantee and what they don’t. Neither guarantee the protection of your data against breach. That’s your – or your IT support provider’s - job.

What security do Microsoft and Google provide?

There are several levels of basic protection for both platforms.

Microsoft explains the level of security measures provided on different versions HERE.

Google provides a description of their security measures HERE.

Both platforms provide the basic tools, but even with their online support, it falls the your company – preferably your in-house IT department or Managed IT Services provider to enact the Cybersecurity factors that are included in the plan you choose.

Both offer backups, but neither create a comprehensive backup plan for you. So – do you need independent backups?

If you poll experienced members of the IT Support Los Angeles Community, you will get one of two opinions:
YES:  This is YOUR data – You built your company from the ground up – do NOT leave its survival in the hands of Microsoft or Google. This is the answer you would most often hear.
NO:  They both have backups – you don’t need more. If you hear this, leave quickly – you are talking to an idiot.

for example, Microsoft hosts a secure cloud platform and do regular security scans but backing up your data is up to you. Your data is stored in the Microsoft cloud, but Section 6b of their Service Agreement specifically states that they do not guarantee that your data or content can be retrieved in the event of a disruption or outage.

Both store your data in the cloud, but neither guarantee protection. In fact, it is important to remember this #1 Cybersecurity FACT:

Anything can be hacked.

Cybersecurity versus Cyber Criminals is a never-ending game of ‘Whack-a-Mole’. Rather than firewalls and AV (Anti-Virus) think of it as a stronghold under attack: you have barbed wire and a wall, so crooks get wire cutters and a ladder. They breach the wall, so you build a higher wall – the crooks bring taller ladders next time. You build a moat, and they bring rafts - and so on and so on. Make no mistake about it: Sometimes the bad guys win.

If your data is all in the cloud and the cloud is hacked, you are only safe if you have automatically encrypted backups. Even if automatic data encryption is offered - which means that if it is stolen, the thieves can’t read it. This does not protect you against your encrypted data from being destroyed or otherwise lost.

Backup, Backup, Backup!

While Local Backups are not necessary once you have placed the entirety of your operations, apps and data in the cloud, setting up your system to save all data both locally and in the cloud will be an extra layer of protection – and disaster recovery and data retrieval is much quicker using locally backed up data. The 3rd solution – Cloud to Cloud Backup – becomes much more important once you work entirely within the realms of Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace.

Local Backup
Cloud Backup
Cloud to Cloud Backup

When making the full move to the cloud, planning with your IT team MUST be focused on setting up a secure, multi-level backup system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which is more secure Microsoft or Google?

A:  They offer similar levels of Cybersecurity, but Microsoft provides a much more comprehensive package of managerial controls, as well as better configured 24/7 support.

Q: Does Microsoft 365 include malware protection?

A: The anti-malware software provided by Microsoft 365 (from their website) provides for:
1) Automatic scans of the environment
2) Periodic scans of the file system (at least weekly)
3) Real-time scans of files as they are downloaded, opened or executed
4) Automatic download and application of signature updates at least daily from the vendor's     virus definition site
5) Alerting, cleaning, and mitigation of detected malware

Q: What is the best backup for Office 365?

A: According to afi.di, a Georgia company that specializes in digital data protection, the best is actually one of the software platforms we use here at IT Support LA. They ranked the top 9 providers based on a number of factors from performance and reliability to cost and the #1 backup software was Veeam.

Q: How do I protect my cloud data from hackers?

A: In simple terms, you retrieve your backup file, open it on a separate system, and then compare the retrieved file to the original. If it doesn’t match, there is a problem to be solved.

How secure is your network?

As a reputable member of the IT Support Los Angeles community since 2002, IT Support LA offers a FREE, no-risk network and security assessment. It is a non-intrusive scan that allows us to deliver a comprehensive report that is yours to keep. No strings, and no obligation to ever use our Managed IT Services.

The best defense is the best Cybersecurity to protect your data from theft, and a top-notch Managed IT Services firm to ensure continued reliability and defenses against newly emerging threats.

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