From the Desk of Kaleb Jacob, Principal CEO

Cloud solutions for data storage have opened up options for the modern business to store, share and collaborate with their company’s data. It can be convenient to drop a file in Dropbox or some other cloud product so you have easy access to it from wherever, but do you have a policy on how your company data is maintained?  As a Managed Service Provider (MSP), we consider data the lifeblood of any company. While there are varying degrees on how important certain types of data is, whether it be payroll records or just a sales sheet, we treat it all the same. It’s important, it should be backed up, and we should know where it is so we can have a plan to protect it.  Does your company have a strict policy on how data is treated and where it’s stored?

Many companies, including some of our own clients, do not know where all their company data is stored.  Sometimes it only becomes apparent when network upgrades occur and someone “loses” something, or when someone sees confidential information they shouldn’t have.  Sometimes, an employee spins up a Dropbox account and copies everything they need into that account for convenience.  Over time, others may have access to it and if it grows without guidelines and security management (who can see what), you may have a user put HR or other sensitive files there where everyone can see it.  Worse yet, the Dropbox account could be hacked and deleted or hit with ransomware when there was no backup strategy in place.  There are plenty of incidents that you can search online to learn about these types of incidents.  Services such as Dropbox, Box, OneDrive are notorious for getting around the watchful eye of IT and management.  Often, we are not even aware of their use.  Remember, deep in that verbiage called the End User License Agreement (EULA) that no one reads, is a clause that absolves the company from protecting your data.  They will use best efforts, but they do not guarantee the restoration of your data if it is lost.  That also goes for Microsoft 365 and G-Suite e-mail and documents in G-Suite and OneDrive.  We have a great solution for protecting these accounts starting under $3 per month.

If you are the owner or manager of a business, you should know where your intellectual property is.  Is it on a local server, or has it found its way to the cloud without restrictions where employees control it?  Remember, the cloud is just “somebody else’s computer” which you have less control of, so you should be aware of the tools available to manage it more securely.  We recommend having candid discussions with your team or leaders to determine what is being used and what safety measures are in place.  Enlist our support if you need or want guidance.