As organizations navigate the changing operating and threat environment Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) is becoming increasing popular as an alternative to on-premises storage.  Jonathan Bowl describes the advantages compared to traditional backup methods.

Introduction

Since the beginning of 2020, working habits have changed dramatically. As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued over the course of the last year and a half, remote working has become the norm for many organizations.

Meanwhile, ransomware attacks have been on the rise. With 50 percent of security professionals not believing that their companies were well equipped to resist a ransomware attack, it is more important than ever for businesses to prioritise their data security, protection, and recovery measures.

It is highly unlikely that working habits will return to their pre-pandemic ways. The days of being in the office for eight hours, five days a week are over. Many business leaders plan on keeping a form of remote working in place, either as a permanent work from home order or a hybrid working model. As a result, IDC predicts that by 2023, 60 percent of data will be generated by employees working remotely.

In order for employees to work from home, they are given access to office-based systems via altered access points. This occurs outside of the corporate firewall, leaving the data produced by the employees at home unprotected. It is this that has allowed for the spike in ransomware attacks over the past 18 months. Although Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications do have general security measures, hackers can gain access through the altered access points and attack the cloud services directly – something no business wants.

Security is about being proactive, not reactive. Businesses must have measures in place to be able to deny hackers access to their data. In the case of a ransomware attack, organizations should also have the capability to spot any abnormalities in their IT infrastructure and recover their data quickly and effectively if necessary.

Out with the old and in with the new

Traditional backup methods consist of on-premises hardware which store all of a business’ data. However, these solutions are never completely secure, thus risking data loss and coming at a high cost – both as an initial payout and for the costs of maintaining the infrastructure.

Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) is the new approach to data backup. It runs on cloud-based providers, from which organizations purchase their required backup and recovery services, so removes the need for space-consuming in-house hardware. For businesses that have limited or no space on-premises, BaaS is the ideal solution.

BaaS is so important because standard SaaS vendors are only responsible for data accessibility, not data recovery – your data is your responsibility.  If a ransomware attack were to occur, SaaS solutions would not recover any stolen data, meaning it could be lost forever. Microsoft, AWS, and some other cloud providers operate on a shared responsibility model for data. This means that both the provider and the user are responsible for their data. For these reasons, having Backup-as-a-Service in addition to any other SaaS solutions is important.

BaaS is suitable for any business’ existing backup solution. It can connect to and manage private, public, or hybrid cloud systems, leaving all processes in the hands of the outside provider. This means that businesses do not have to manage or monitor any of their data backup, instead relying on a specialist organization for the best protection.

Choose BaaS for backup

In comparison to traditional backup methods, data is far easier to manage using BaaS solutions. As the data is stored in the cloud, there is no need to rotate storage devices or manually move data to off-site locations for safe-keeping. It also frees up IT teams’ time as the BaaS provider is responsible for performing the necessary integrity and compliance checks and removing duplicate copies of data.

Cloud services also allow a business to free up some physical space as the tangible features of backup are no longer required. The hardware elements, such as servers and tape drives, can be removed, clearing space and saving time and money. These old backup components require regular maintenance and last only an average of six years, whilst the cloud is infinite and maintained, when necessary, by the BaaS provider.

Consequently, storing your data in the cloud is more cost-effective than on-premises. Businesses using BaaS will save money on maintenance and management costs as well as costs of transporting data to secure locations.

BaaS solutions also have multiple layers of redundancy. This means that data is stored in two or more independent locations in order to protect the data. By having the data saved in multiple places, it should never be completely lost, and can be easily and quickly restored if exposed to an attack, allowing the business to reduce its downtime.

Finally, BaaS providers also manage your data compliance to ensure that it meets government regulations. The services offered can vary between vendors, but they often include the right erasure, the removal of unnecessary data, and additional features such as ransomware protection.

Count on the cloud

BaaS solutions have many advantages that are increasingly winning businesses over to the cloud. Not only is it more cost-effective and time-saving, but superior security is a vital feature in the current climate of rising ransomware attacks. As businesses make remote working a permanent part of their operations, purchasing BaaS solutions is a wise decision to ensure all data produced – whether in or outside of the office – is protected from potential vulnerabilities.

The author

 Jonathan Bowl is VP & General Manager – Northern EMEA, Commvault.

 

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