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Why Offsite Backup isn’t a Maybe – it’s a Must

by Adam Stuflick, on Dec 14, 2023 5:26:27 AM

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IT and business leaders understand that backing up data is essential, but they often overlook the need to include offsite backup in their recovery plans. Offsite backup isn’t just a nice-to-have. It’s vital for delivering the recoverability and redundancy that every organization needs to ensure critical files are always available, even when disaster strikes.

That’s why offsite backup is a key requirement in many data protection and retention regulations, such as HIPAA in the US and §75 SGB V in Germany. But offsite backup is about more than ticking compliance boxes. It’s a highly effective way to ensure you can recover your data if your local storage is hit by a ransomware attack, infected with malware, or taken out of action by a flood or fire.

There are several options for offsite backup, but for most businesses, cloud backup is the most convenient and cost-effective option. Backing up data to the cloud means backups can be automated, rather than uploading data to tapes and then physically moving them somewhere else. The cloud also separates backup data from the local network, which is a great way to protect it from ransomware and malware. Local backup storage offers faster access to lost files, but cloud backup offers invaluable peace of mind.

The Business Value of Cloud Backup

Using the cloud for your offsite backup brings many advantages and allows you to:

  • Enhance recoverability: With a redundant copy of your data stored in a secure cloud (with its own built-in redundancies), it’s much easier to recover from local disasters, whether they’re malicious attacks, extreme weather events, or accidental deletions.
  • Stay resilient to cyber threats: Cloud backup mitigates the damage of local security incidents by giving you a clean copy of data to restore from and get your business up and running again.
  • Simplify compliance: By using cloud backup with end-to-end encryption to store sensitive data, you can meet even the strictest data retention requirements – and get a full audit trail of backup activities.
  • Gain flexibility and instant scalability: Many cloud backup providers offer pay-as-you-grow models, so you only pay for what you need, when you need it. In the cloud, your backup storage adapts to your changing business needs at the push of a button.
  • Streamline backup management: Cloud backup allows your administrators to manage and monitor backup jobs from anywhere. With centralized backup management, it’s much easier to stay in control as your data volumes and number of endpoints continue to grow.

Key Considerations for Your Cloud Backup Strategy

When you’re planning a robust backup strategy to protect your business and your customers, there are five things you should keep in mind.

1: Cloud storage isn’t backup

There are several common misconceptions about cloud backup, including that it’s not really “offsite” because it’s connected to the local network. Cloud backup software keeps backup data separate from local networks, unlike cloud storage solutions, where a local deletion will also delete the cloud copy. Cloud backup will also allow you to recover older versions of your files so you can restore to a specific point in time.

2: You still need local backup

The cloud isn’t an alternative to local backup; it’s a convenient way to help you follow the 3-2-1 backup rule (three copies of data, on two types of media, with one copy kept offsite). A hybrid backup approach is important to recover from different types of data loss. For example, if you need to restore an entire system rather than a handful of files, local backups will be faster. But if your local storage is incapacitated, a cloud backup will help you return to productivity quickly.

3: The best solutions will support all your backup needs

To make backup management as simple as possible, it’s important to have a single solution that supports all your backup activities, whether local or offsite. When everything’s connected, it’s much easier for administrators to manage. And if direct access to expert support is only a phone call away, it’s easier still.

4: Where is the cloud?

Regulations in many jurisdictions have strict data sovereignty guidelines and insist that all sensitive data must remain in-country. When you’re considering cloud backup providers, it’s essential to consider where your data will be stored. Geo-location could also have an impact on connectivity and data accessibility, so you may need to decide if you want to use cloud backup for large quantities of data or just your most important files.

5: Get the right level of data encryption

Your cloud backup software should keep data encrypted in transit and rest, so it’s never accessible to anyone (including your backup provider) other than you. End-to-end encryption doesn’t just enhance data protection, it also removes the effort and expense of setting up a VPN for your backup jobs.

Ready to Learn More?

If you’d like to discuss your backup challenges and explore the right backup strategy for your business, we’d love to hear from you. Book a 30-minute consultation with one of our backup experts to get practical advice on the best options for your unique needs.

Categories:Storage TechnologyBest PracticesCloud BackupCompliance / HIPAA
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