Customer and corporate data are valuable and confidential information for all businesses. Companies must therefore protect these assets to ensure privacy and prevent security breaches. This can be a challenge though for those with limited budgets and resources. However, outsourcing can help.
Operating a secure infrastructure for data management can be costly to research, build, and monitor. By outsourcing these tasks, businesses can achieve high levels of security by leveraging the expertise and existing infrastructure of companies that provide data management services.
Data management services come in many forms, including cloud service providers, outsourced data centers and managed security services.
Cloud Service Providers
Cloud providers or utility computing providers are service organizations that provide rented or provider-managed virtual hardware, software, infrastructure and other related services. They can be classified as public, private and hybrid or community cloud provider.
As a cloud customer, businesses can access cloud resources wherever they are in the world through the Internet and programmatic access. Businesses can choose to subscribe to either on demand or pay-as-you-go systems depending on their needs.
Cloud services are increasingly becoming more popular for companies because of the many benefits it can provide them. This includes achieving economies of scale, reduced capital costs and spending on technology infrastructure, streamlining processes, improving accessibility and flexibility among others.
Outsourced Data Centers
Data centers are also a growing trend. They are considered the brain of the company which runs its most critical processes. While large enterprises usually run their own data centers, there is also a fast-growing cloud solution service that caters to private and business applications.
Normally, outsourced data centers are located in well-constructed, sturdy buildings that house servers, storage devices, cables and an Internet connection. They safeguard data and provide protection from theft and accidental or intentional hardware manipulation and other external influences by using large amounts of equipment for power supply and cooling as well as automatic fire extinguishing systems. These are also necessary for minimizing downtimes, which benefits businesses.
Risk mitigation is also another benefit that outsourced data centers provide their customers. Putting a distance between the corporate headquarters and its production data center eliminates the risk of an event, such as a blackout or a natural disaster, taking out both of them. Other benefits may include tax breaks, reduced power costs, regulatory compliance and audits among others.
Managed Security Services
Managed security services provide outsourced monitoring and management of existing or newly installed security devices and systems located at their client’s sites. Some of their most common services include managed firewalls, intrusion detection, virtual private networks, vulnerability scanning, Web content filtering, spam blocking and anti-viral services.
Businesses can expect detailed tracking and reporting from their managed security services provider. However, one of its biggest benefits is the provision of proactive security support to the client. They usually provide services 24/7, which reduces a business’ need to hire, train, retain and maintain additional operational security personnel.
Whatever data management service a business decides to choose, they must be vigilant in terms of choosing the right outsourcing partner. Companies must take the time to include confidentiality provisions in their service agreements and review their partner’s privacy and security policies, standards and guidelines to ensure compliance and minimize data privacy risks.