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August 23, 2023

Beyond the Cloud: Securing Your Organization with the Right Team and Technology

By Daniel J. Bell

“Yes, we’ve encountered data breaches. We’ve dealt with data loss,” I recall saying to a potential client who was comparing our team with larger providers. Understandably, their reaction was less than enthusiastic.

Most major technology service providers love to claim that they’ve never experienced a breach or lost client data. But seasoned technology professionals know this is an unrealistic expectation. No system is entirely immune to breaches or failures. A perfect record typically means they haven’t been around long enough to face a breach. Cybersecurity defense and incidence response are crucial skills our team has honed over time, not just claims we make.

The Fallacy of Cloud Immunity

Many organizations lean toward public cloud providers like AWS, seduced by the promise of a one-size-fits-all secure solution. But true preparedness demands a robust, custom-made infrastructure, not just a system hoisted onto cloud platforms. There is no universal cure for security, and we’ve seen firsthand that data loss in the public cloud is a real risk.

A testament to this is our experience with a health care provider client. We helped them transition to a secure, cost-effective hybrid infrastructure and implemented cybersecurity plans based on U.S. government standards such as FedRAMP and the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. When they were hit by a ransomware attack, our rapid response managed to mitigate the damage. While some important files were temporarily lost, our swift recovery meant that the staff remained unaware of the breach until we reported it. However, personal files not stored within our infrastructure were permanently lost when ransomware corrupted them, and they were synced to a cloud provider.

Balancing Cloud and Custom Solutions

We acknowledge that mega corporations can compete effectively in some areas—like delivering shared services requiring significant infrastructure, such as email, and certain types of website content—and we happily outsource these services.

However, for most everything else, with the right technology leadership, there are far superior alternatives. By conducting a thorough, longitudinal comparison of identical public cloud options to Bell Tower’s hybrid cloud, we’ve found that we can often save 50–75 percent over typical public cloud deployments. This comes with an increased level of control and flexibility that cloud services alone can’t offer.

A solid disaster recovery plan doesn’t come from exclusive dedication to a cloud giant; it’s about having a partner like Bell Tower that brings the right mix of talent, experience, and expertise. We ensure that we get the best of both worlds: we leverage large cloud providers for scaling solutions where they excel and rely on a robust foundation of servers under our control for everything else. With this strategy, many organizations can bolster their data security and save money in the process.

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