Are You Sure that You’re Really in the Cloud? A Gray Market Cloud Horror Story

Crestwood Cloud

You are a savvy business owner; your business processes and ERP are backed up in the cloud. You’ve seen the statistics, heard the horror stories, and you’ve made the necessary steps to feel secure. But what does “in the cloud” really mean? How secure is your data really?

Gray Market Cloud Spells Doom for One Unlucky Company

One day, a large manufacturing firm began getting frustrated with their day-to-day processes and decided to move to Office 365. No problem: all their company data was backed up in the cloud! Years before, they hired a seemingly-reputable cloud provider and hadn’t experienced any problems. This should be a straight-forward migration task for the Crestwood team.

Or so they thought.

When we reached out to the cloud hosting provider for administration credentials, the hosting provider simply ghosted. (Cue the lightning and spooky music.) Over the course of several months, Crestwood made several attempts to contact them; our client made several attempts to contact them. Even lawyers got involved. And still nothing.

We discovered that the provider had been selling what our cloud specialists call “a gray market cloud.” In other words, it wasn’t a true cloud solution. Reputable cloud providers (like Crestwood Associates) use platforms like Microsoft’s (and others) who have a higher degree of transparency. “Gray market” sellers simply host an exchange server and resell that services to other companies. You never know whether they’re qualified to do that, what types of backup mechanisms they have in place, what security they have for themselves (and therefore your data), etc.

Everyone involved assumed the worst. This shady cloud provider had the power to hold their data for ransom, compromise the files, or simply pull the plug and leave our poor manufacturers in the Crestwood Cloud Backup and restoredark for good.

A Happy (Crestwood) Ending

Our team wouldn’t let that happen. We never did get the administration credentials (the gray market cloud provider effectively disappeared) but through ingenuity and skill, we were able to migrate their data to the reliable and secure Crestwood Cloud. They now have the full protection of Azure, Microsoft Office 365 company-wide, and a superstar support team at their backs.

To see five ways to help protect your data, check out this webinar recording here.

Leave a Reply