The Risks of Hosting All Data with One Provider

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In today’s digital age, businesses and organisations often rely on cloud providers to store and manage their data. While this offers many advantages, such as scalability, cost savings, and convenience, it also comes with significant risks. One recent incident that highlights these risks involved Google and the Australian superannuation fund, UniSuper.

What Happened to UniSuper’s Data?

UniSuper, a major Australian retirement fund, experienced a significant data loss when Google accidentally deleted some of its critical data. This event caused a major disruption and underscored the potential dangers of depending too heavily on a single cloud provider.

“UniSuper had duplication in two geographies as a protection against outages and loss. However, when the deletion of UniSuper’s Private Cloud subscription occurred, it caused deletion across both of these geographies.”

Through some good disaster recovery planning, Unisuper had backups at a different cloud provider, and so were (after about 2 weeks), able to recover all their data.

Don’t keep all your data with one Cloud Provider – have a backup of your backups!

The Risks of Relying on One Provider

  1. Single Point of Failure: When all your data is hosted with one provider, any problem on their end can lead to complete data loss or downtime. If the provider faces technical issues, cyber-attacks, or human errors (as in UniSuper’s case), your data could be at risk.
  2. Limited Control: Relying on a single provider means putting your trust in their security measures, data management practices, and policies. If they fail to meet your expectations or if their services are disrupted, you might have little recourse.
  3. Vendor Lock-In: Once all your data is with one provider, it can be challenging to move to another service. This can lead to increased costs and difficulties if you decide to switch providers due to poor service or other concerns.
  4. Compliance and Legal Issues: Different regions have varying regulations regarding data storage and protection. If your provider fails to comply with these laws, you might face legal repercussions, even if the fault lies with the provider. Learn about Schrems II, the EU and US hosting

Lessons from the UniSuper Incident

  1. Diversify Your Data Storage: To mitigate the risk of data loss, consider using multiple cloud providers or a hybrid approach that includes both cloud and on-premises storage. This way, if one provider fails, you have backups elsewhere.
  2. Regular Backups: Ensure you have regular and comprehensive backups of your data. These backups should be stored in different locations to prevent a single point of failure.
  3. Understand Your Provider’s Policies: Before committing to a provider, thoroughly understand their data management policies, security measures, and disaster recovery plans. Make sure they align with your needs and regulatory requirements.
  4. Implement Strong Data Governance: Develop and maintain strong data governance practices within your organization. This includes having clear protocols for data handling, access control, and incident response. Explore data governance solutions.

The UniSuper and Google incident is a good wake-up call about the dangers of putting all your data eggs in one basket. Sure, cloud services are great and all, but it’s super important to have a solid plan to keep your data safe. Mix up your storage options, keep regular backups, know what your provider’s rules are, and have strong data management practices. That way, you can better protect your organisation from losing data or facing any hiccups.

Cloud Providers and Projectfusion for Backups

Projectfusion have multiple options for protecting your data. Most of our plans include a multi vendor cloud solution, where your data is (encrypted) with 2 vendors, in multiple locations. We also offer a DIY option, where you can automatically backup your entire Projectfusion to your own servers in real time for maximum comfort!

In a world where data is one of your most valuable assets, taking these precautions isn’t just wise—it’s essential. Learn more about protecting your data.