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Cloud Computing Security


This is your story for October which is National Security Month. It is based upon real events, but the events are dramatized and the names have been changed to protect the innocent:

Marcus now got it, but of course it was too late. The number of attacks at the same time was astonishing. His mind was still reeling on how employees – not thieves, hackers, or competitors – could do such a thing. The problem was what could he do? There was no hard proof for a civil action, the DA was gridlocked dealing with the meth epidemic, and killing the SOBs would just land him in prison. The dagger was many lost customers thought these pirates were the bomb. Few remembered his knowledge started the relationship or that Marcus trained and managed the staff that gave them service. He also couldn’t cry foul to the press, on the Internet, or to customers because of legal exposure and he would be perceived as the bad guy.

Marcus had brought Joey up in the business from ground zero. Eagle Scout Joey had no college education, but learned fast and worked his butt off. A couple of years later, Joey convinced Marcus to hire his other Eagle  Scout pal, Nick. Same drill, except Nick was in IT. The company prospered and things seemed to be going well, until one day Joey and Nick decided they could do better than old man Marcus. The plan was simple. Joey would run off the good people and tell others the company was going bankrupt, while approaching customers with his concerns and that he was starting a similar venture. Meanwhile, Nick had full access to all files, e-mail, and backup. By the time Joey and Nick quit to start their pirate adventure, Marcus’ business had been run into the ground with some customers buying products and services from the pirates while they were still employed by Marcus. Just for spite, Nick also gave an external hard drive to a competitor to try to fully destroy Marcus.

So, Marcus decided to hire a managed services company with an emphasis in business productivity and security. They were cheaper than Nick with a full staff and their only motive was protecting the company. Marcus was shocked to learn that the external hard drive backup could be restored to any workstation with a free trial copy of the backup software. It was also an eye-opener that Nick had full access to all files and could even read his e-mail and the e-mail of the other sales people. So then Marcus took the recommendation to move to online backup and cloud computing.

The backup was encrypted and keyed to a system that only matched one vendor, even though the software was widely used. Marcus could restore any files himself and better yet, the files were not in a readable format for even the vendor staff to access. Moving critical documents online meant only Marcus was the administrator of the site and access to all files was recorded by date/time and user.  Marcus eliminated a file and mail server and all the associated software and technical services to maintain and upgrade going forward. Better yet his costs were lower and he gained business continuity, regardless of disaster or harm to the physical brick and mortar of the company. Now 5 years later, Marcus is more prosperous and taking back customers from the pirates, after being forced to change virtually all business tactics and strategy.

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