While data availability has become essential for many industries, cloud service providers are not immune to this. Moreover, in the current context of cyber-insecurity.
This year again, the tradition has been respected: all the media with an affinity with technology have published their lists of best of and upcoming trends. Recurring topics: innovations, software, games and of course piracy and cyber attacks. Several unfortunate industry giants as well as leading cloud service providers – such as IBM, Apple, and AWS – have been mentioned in articles about data leaks. Recently, Uber’s decision to buy the silence of hackers who had hacked it proved to be counter-productive, drawing the attention and wrath of public opinion.
The real problem for companies is that the consequences of cyber attacks are not limited to financial losses, which often amount to hundreds of millions of euros. They also expose the cloud’s vulnerability and reveal that the cloud services failures of these companies can disrupt the business of their customers around the world.
Every incident in the cloud that affects end users contributes to the deterioration of the company’s reputation. As the cloud is now an integral part of the multi-national ecosystem, it is critical for cloud service providers (CSPs) to avoid downtime and nuisance. Now for a business, the protection and backup of data and applications deserve as much attention as growth and acquisition; this is the next cloud challenge.
The development of the cloud computing market
The cloud services market is growing strongly, and according to Forrester’s latest estimates, will rise to $ 178 billion in 2018, up from $ 146 billion in 2017. This trend will be accompanied by a sharp increase in even though Amazon Web Services (AWS) retains its dominant position and is expected by some experts to hold about 35% of the market. Established cloud service providers and ambitious newcomers will ultimately compete for only a relatively small share of the pie.
This is why many suppliers have opted for a specific strategy for developing and acquiring customers in recent years. Several mergers, including the takeover of Webantic by ANS and the acquisition of Skyhigh by McAfee, illustrate the desire of large companies to diversify their cloud offerings and extend their influence in an increasingly demanding market. However, anyone in the cloud should ask themselves the following question: how to meet the expectations of existing customers?
Successes and failures
One of the key challenges for CSPs is meeting the expectations for quality and availability of cloud services. Countless users and businesses rely on specialized cloud service providers, expecting their data, tools and applications to be securely stored and available at the right time. Faced with these expectations, mistakes quickly become unacceptable. Companies with defaulting cloud partners are looking to change the same as consumers who have availability issues because of their CSP. Verizon, for example, was the victim last year of a data leak that resulted in the loss of personal data of six million online customers due to a poorly configured parameter on a cloud server managed by a third party. As a result, six million customers said they were unhappy with Verizon’s services.
Data leaks, outages, and hacks are all risks of losing customers, a risk that is all the greater today as switching to another supplier is easy and the market competitive. This is why CSPs must ensure that their services are not a problem for customers. Better protection and backup for a better cloud
The point on which CSPs can distinguish themselves from their competitors is to offer a guarantee of service availability, protection, and data backup, and thus eliminate anything that can harm their customers. For example, if Verizon’s cloud partner had used a protection and backup solution that was disconnected from its primary infrastructure, the human error that led to the leakage of its data could have had less serious consequences.
If piracy cannot be reversed in the last year, lessons need to be learned to ensure that by the end of the year the list of the biggest data leaks is shorter. And the solution to this technological challenge lies in the power of protection and backup in the cloud: it only remains to act.