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Cloud Dangers

Posted by Stephen Wrighton on 18 Jun 2019

Google has provided us a wonderful example of one of the reasons that important business information should not be stashed in cloud systems.

This is in the form of their Calendar application giving everyone a 404 response.

Google Calendar 404
Google Calendar 404

Now, please note that I’m not saying that cloud tools are bad. I love my GMail, and I use Google Calendar. For my personal email and calendar.

There’s an inherent danger in using Cloud Systems, especially Cloud Software as a Service solutions, in that you are no longer in full control of your environment.

In some cases, that’s an acceptable response. If you don’t have a dedicated I.T. staff or an I.T. consultant team that you can trust. Then yes, these solutions make sense. Pushing off all of your maintenance, and backups, can be a viable solution. But you also must be accepting of losing some or all of the data that you’re putting up into the cloud. At random. And with no recourse or recovery.

It’s much like that crypto exchange CEO who died a while back, taking with him the only key to millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency. The company owes people $190,000,000, but lacked the cash because it was locked away, and there was no backup plan or disaster recovery plan.

And that’s the risk with any cloud solution. You are ultimately using someone else’s computer infrastructure. You don’t control it. You don’t own it. And your disaster recovery plans can only go so far, when the company you are relying on fails or fundamentally does not perform at an enterprise level.

Ultimately, it all comes down to risk, and what you believe is an acceptable level of risk.

I’m willing to risk losing access to one of my personal emails, or maybe not receiving a random notification that something shipped from Amazon.

I’m not willing to risk missing an email from one of my clients.

I’m willing to risk losing an unfinished blog post, that’s half researched sitting in my Google Docs.

I’m not willing to risk my financials information or my client information, or the details to my organization as a whole to an infrastructure we don’t control, and to a backup and recovery model that we do not own. That information is the life’s blood of the company, and too important.

Image provided by Alexis Chloe

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