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Is a Zero Data Footprint the Answer to Your Cybersecurity and Compliance Concerns?

Cloud computing gives organizations the opportunity to get out of the data center business. Why not let somebody else manage our servers, switches, and software, the reasoning goes, and free up our IT team to spend their time making our company more efficient and our customers happier?

That’s the thinking that inspired Zero Data Footprint — OnX’s approach to helping companies transform their IT into a managed cloud environment. So what does Zero Data Footprint look like, and how does it help with cybersecurity and compliance? The best way to explain it is to show how our team here at OnX helped one company implement it.

Moving a credit union to a managed cloud

A federal credit union in the Midwestern U.S. hired OnX to address four specific challenges:

  • On-premise data center. For years, the credit union managed its own data center, but it wanted to migrate to a managed cloud environment.
  • Cybersecurity and compliance. News reports of a series of alarming cyber breaches in the banking industry motivated the company to seek a more robust security posture while making sure it was meeting compliance mandates.
  • Disaster recovery. The company realized its nightly tape backup system was inadequate.
  • Limited headcount. Managing the data center, security, and disaster recovery was taking up too much of its lean IT staff’s time.

Let’s take a quick look at the solution we helped the credit union implement.

A four-part managed cloud solution with disaster recovery

OnX moved the credit union’s entire computing environment to a managed cloud with custom-aligned hosting and 24/7 continuity support. Our Managed Services team devised a systematic transformation plan with a point-by-point roadmap that was precisely documented and ruggedly tested.

Our plan required moving all the IT systems to an OnX production/hosting data center and providing backup and failover to a secondary facility on a different power grid. Here’s what we delivered:

  • Cloud backup and disaster recovery. Phasing out tape drive backups meant backing their data up to a managed cloud in an OnX data center. We tested for full data restoration and data recovery. We also made sure that the credit union could offer full attestation to auditors that all the connected elements of the new environment — data recovery in particular — were carefully configured, tested, and proven effective.
  • Production migration. We virtualized production systems (including ERS core processors on Linux) in our managed cloud and used continuous replication to mirror them to backup systems.
  • Email migration. Converting to Microsoft Office 365 allowed a more centralized, secure email environment that does not require email to reside on local machines.
  • Secure LAN/WAN. We upgraded the network to include robust firewalls at all the credit union’s branches and our hosting/data center. The update included intrusion detection and prevention, and provided wireless access points enabling authorized mobile devices to log into the system.

Making all of this work requires specialized talent and painstaking attention to detail. But it’s worth the effort because you can transform your computing environment to get a huge boost in factors like redundancy/resiliency, scalability, and business efficiency.

Enjoying the benefits of a managed cloud and fully managed DR

The key to a Zero Data Footprint solution is that we can customize it to suit the precise needs of a company’s market, suppliers, and customers.

In the case of our credit union client, we matched our implementation to their specific business goals. Today, they’re less likely to be distracted by compliance issues, and their IT team can stick to the business of serving the membership and waste less time on systems management.

“By trusting in OnX and making this transition, we are a safer and more secure company that can now really focus our internal resources on improving the member experience,” said the credit union’s CEO. OnX’s managed cloud solution provides “the flexibility to make technology changes when desired without being handcuffed to a legacy platform or other technology investment.”

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