Scott Orton, Triple4Scott Orton, Triple4

With the big strive towards the cloud and taking services from hosting providers, organisations are becoming more flexible, having fewer infrastructure worries and carrying on with life, while investing a relative amount of trust that their data is safe and all is well. Is that actually the case?

• Is your data actually safe?
• Have you asked if your provider could recover your data if something catastrophic happened?
• Do you simply trust your hosting provider with your business data?
• Do you trust your service provider from a perspective?

Now, it is all fi ne and well having a great legal agreement covering penalties if data loss occurs, but if your data is truly important, or critical to your business, losing it could be fatal to your business and no legal contract is going to help you there.

How do you know your hosting provider is not sharing your data or information with third parties? These are all the inherent risks of placing trust in your hosting provider – even companies like Google or .

So what can you do to ensure the integrity of your data and ?

Ask about the data backup strategy that is included as part of the service you are paying for, or a backup report. Ask about the strategy of business continuity and high availability. Ask for a audit certificate to ensure data best practices are being used. You have the right to find out whether or not your provider is adhering to correct business practices.

Another option is to invest in an additional failsafe strategy of backing up or archiving your data to a different party other than your hosting provider. That way, you are ensured you have all angles covered in the unlikely event that something happens.

Think about your hosting strategy in its entirety, because if you don’t, you could come off second best.

About the author: is sales director at Triple4