Why You Can’t Beat the Security of a Managed Hosting Data Centre

Marlon Davids Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Why You Can't Beat the Security of a Managed Hosting Data Centre

Meet Jim Stickley, expert on identity theft and fraud prevention.

Jim regularly breaks into banks and other businesses – but he is no criminal. As the proprietor of Stickley on Security, Jim advises and educates his clients to help them understand where their organisations fall short of data centre security standards. To put it more simply, he gets paid to break in and never gets caught.

Disguised as a health inspector, pest control worker, or fire safety professional, Jim walks into businesses and lets staff know he is there to conduct an inspection or perform some necessary maintenance. Unwitting employees often allow him full access to the facilities without ever questioning his credentials – which are as basic as a fake fireman badge purchased at a local costume shop.

On the occasions when Jim is questioned or denied entrance, he asks to use the bathroom, claiming a sudden bout of diarrhoea. Most often, embarrassed personnel show him to the lavatory and leave him in private to do his business. Jim waits a few minutes, then sneaks out and goes through backend facilities or parts of the office where he won’t be seen, installing keystroke loggers and other hacking devices. In just 20 minutes, he can inflict damage that will take much longer to repair – Jim can steal social security numbers, credit card information, passwords, and account numbers. In short, Jim proves to his clients how much more vulnerable their on-premises systems are compared to a managed hosting data centre – and it’s surprisingly easy to do.

An expert in identity theft and fraud, Jim Stickley shows the vulnerabilities of on-premise data storage.

Meritus Health – Falling Short of Standards

About a year ago, US-based Meritus Health was performing a routine compliance audit on its systems and discovered an unauthorised vendor had accessed the protected health information of over 1,000 patients. Names, genders, medical records, clinical data, and health insurance information had been potentially compromised. Further investigation revealed no evidence the data had been misused, but the breach indicated that Meritus Health fell short of government compliance mandates and the company’s reputation suffered significantly.

How Managed Hosting Providers Help Prevent Breaches

Obviously, most businesses do their best to prevent breaches like the one Meritus Health experienced, but the fact remains that securing an on-premises data centre can be difficult and expensive. Too often, organisations don’t have the budget or IT resources to keep their critical business and customer data safe. Statistics suggest the majority of data breaches come from within, making it even more difficult for companies to detect and address them. In this environment, a managed hosting data centre can offer better security tailored for industry verticals, despite common concerns about moving sensitive data to the Cloud.

Managed hosting data centres maintain the highest security standards, and these providers dedicate many resources to remaining current with industry and government compliance requirements. The IT experts at your managed hosting provider can offer audits and migration assistance to identify vulnerabilities and protect sensitive data during a transition to a new Cloud space. When you choose a fully managed hosting data centre to house your organisation’s critical systems and data, you can be sure all activity will be monitored and security systems will be regularly tested and updated to protect you against any breach – whether internal or external.

A managed data centre can protect you against both internal and external security breaches.

What to Look for to Secure Your Systems

Sounds great, right? You secure your systems and remove a heavy load from your own team’s shoulders. But how do you find the right managed hosting provider to entrust with your data? Here a few features and services you should look for when considering a move to a managed hosting data centre:

  • Managed Firewalls – All incoming and outgoing traffic is subjected to packet filtering at a bare minimum, but other standard firewall rules should be configured to ensure the security of your data.
  • Monitoring – System performance and traffic should be constantly monitored, so you will be instantly alerted when network performance and/or security is compromised. This ensures high availability of your applications and data.
  • Anti-Virus –Endpoints should be protected against viruses, Trojans, worms, and spyware, as well as any new threats that may emerge. A good managed hosting provider will offer definition updates and virtual patching to combat zero-day threats and provide data loss prevention against accidental or malicious leaks.
  • Patch Management – Servers should be constantly updated and patched to mitigate security threats. In-depth reporting can provide you with the details of the patch schedule and customise environments to your team’s needs.
  • Backup and Disaster Recovery – To protect your data in case a breach or system failure does occur, all critical data should be redundantly backed up and a business continuity plan should be in place.

Increase Your Security with the Right Provider

Businesses today are facing an unprecedented number of threats – beyond what any individual organisation can handle. Whether breaches occur when an employee falls for a phishing scam, or when internal or external hackers deliberately attack a system, companies must be prepared to address ever growing threats. By partnering with a trusted provider and securing systems in a managed hosting data centre, you can not only better protect your critical and sensitive data, but also save money by offloading the Herculean task of trying to meet security standards.

At Umbee, we understand the challenges your team faces in protecting your critical data and infrastructure, and our experts are here to help. We maintain the highest security standards in our managed hosting data centres, and we can help secure your information, systems and reputation. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you.

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