john gallagher

Move Data to the Cloud

John Gallagher, VP of Marketing Quorum, says:

Cloud computing — particularly hybrid cloud environments — is now a business reality. Nearly 80 percent of organizations surveyed by Gartner in 2013 said they “intend to use cloud services” within the next 12 months – move data to the cloud. As cloud becomes a default part of the IT realm, more companies are relying on cloud computing for vital business processes, including disaster recovery (48 percent) and security (44 percent).

That said, companies using the cloud, especially retail businesses whose sole focus is customer service, realize the risks and costs of security breaches and downtime. Of course, their fears are not without merit: The cost of a data center outage has increased since 2010, according to Ponemon Institute, reaching approximately $630,000 per incident. And security breaches at major retailers such as Target and Neiman Marcus have brought the issue of customer credit card security into sharper focus. Target’s breach, which affected 110 million customers, could become the largest in U.S. retail history.

With these issues in mind, PCI compliance is a top priority for retail establishments using the cloud. PCI applies to all organizations or merchants, regardless of size or number of transactions, that accepts, transmits or stores any cardholder data. As technology advances, so do malicious hackers and the technology they use.

As retail businesses move their data to the cloud, it is especially important to have a PCI compliant disaster recovery and business continuity service. Any downtime for retail companies that use the cloud lead to not only revenue lost, but also a loss of reputation.

When your client’s customers purchase something with a credit card, they are trusting your business to protect that transaction. Customer credit card information, including full name and billing address, is paramount for a criminal seeking to steal an identity.

Having a reliable DR solution that is PCI compliant protect will give clients piece of mind that their sensitive information is secure. Since 66 percent of all point-of-sales (POS) transactions are done with plastic – credit, debit, or gift cards, according to a recent infographic from Community Merchants USA, it is clear that credit card information is a critical need for these businesses.

As the leader in disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) for the midmarket, Quorum sits at the forefront of the PCI movement in disaster recovery. In fact, Quorum’s single-step DRaaS solution is the only one in the industry to be certified PCI compliant. Disaster recovery vendors that offer backup services only can very easily claim  PCI compliance, as data sent to them for backup has been encrypted before they receive it. But PCI compliance is much harder to obtain for vendors offering cloud recovery. In cloud recovery, a solution must be able to decrypt data in order to run applications for recovery. However, the act of decryption leaves data — such as credit card information — unsecure.

The  Quorum DRaaS solution overcomes this challenge to offer secure backup as well as instant data recovery. Quorum’s standard for security even goes a step beyond with a new feature that protects data at rest. Now, data stored at the DR on a disk is encrypted as well, further thwarting theft and fraud.

Quorum’s membership in the National Retail Federation’s Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS) organization, which is dedicated to reducing the costs of technology through standards, further supports its leadership. In joining ARTS, Quorum seizes an opportunity to influence best practices and technology standards as they relate to disaster recovery. Through its membership, Quorum will also be able to educate, helping retail organizations navigate the security issues they will increasingly face in disaster recovery as a result of cloud and other IT-related issues.

PCI compliance, the addition of the encryption-at-rest feature and a new membership to ARTS are examples of Quorum’s commitment to delivering a business-class DR system to the midmarket that addresses pervasive industry challenges and meets the highest security standards.

John Gallagher runs marketing for Quorum, leveraging 20+ years of expertise in product marketing, pipeline management, and thought leadership on innovative technologies. Across his work in storage and semiconductors, John has embraced the role of technology evangelist through forming industry associations, editorial viewpoints, and public speaking.