Importance of Cloud-Based Data Backup
The deluge of digital data in today’s digital economy is unprecedented. Cloud-based data backup creates an opportunity to support both fast disaster recovery and business continuity for organizations of all sizes.
In a study conducted by IDC and commissioned by EMC, in 2020, digitally created data is expected to reach an astounding 40,000 exabytes – that’s equivalent to 40 trillion gigabytes or over 5,200 gigabytes for every man, woman and child in 2020.
Not all digital data are created equal. Some are meant to be kept for a long period of time, while others are short-lived. For instance, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a European Union (EU) law that’s scheduled to be implemented on May 25, 2018 requires EU and non-EU based organizations that offer goods or services or monitor the behavior of EU residents to delete data that no longer serves the original purpose or when affected individuals withdraw their consent for their data to be processed.
While some data might be short-lived, their sensitive nature still necessitates that they should be protected similar to long-term data.
3-2-1 Data Backup Rule
Backing up important and sensitive data isn’t just an option for every organization, but it’s a necessity. Digital data by its very nature is susceptible to loss and corruption. One or two data backups aren’t even enough. The acceptable practice for data backup is the 3-2-1 rule. This rule requires 3 copies of important digital data, 2 different media types to backup files and 1 copy offsite.
Rule 3: Keep 3 Copies of Any Important File
This means that your organization needs to keep 1 primary and 2 backups of important digital data. Three copies of digital data ensure that in case the original and even the first backup are lost or corrupted, your organization still has another copy to turn to.
A primary copy can be stored in your organization’s in-house servers, while the two backup copies can be stored on separate in-house servers and another backup to be stored offsite or in the cloud.
Rule 2: Use 2 Different Media Types to Backup Files
The rule requires that backups need to be in two different formats. Different media types offer different protection. The reasoning behind 2 different media types is that it’s never a good idea to “put all eggs in one basket”.
There are a number of media types to which your organization can backup important digital files. The next rule is considered as a different type of media.
Rule 1: Store 1 Copy Offsite
The chances of losing your organization’s important data as a result of in-house hazards such as hardware failure, software failure and natural disasters (flooding, earthquakes and storms) can’t be ignored. Thus, it’s essential to store important digital files offsite. The best way to store digital files offsite is through the cloud.
Cloud backup, also known as online backup, is the process of backing up data by sending via the internet a copy of important digital data to an offsite server.
An offsite server is typically hosted by a third-party service provider. Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Microsoft OneDrive and IDrive are examples of third-party offsite server service provider. These third-party offsite server service providers usually charge customers a fee based on number of users, capacity and bandwidth.
Pros of Cloud Backup
Here are some of the advantages of a cloud backup:
- Defense against Worst-Case Scenarios
Having a cloud backup will protect your organization against some of the worst-case scenarios that might happen onsite, including critical failures of onsite computers due to malicious software (malware) and natural disasters.
- Location Independent
With cloud backup, data can be retrieved anytime, regardless of your location, so long as you’ve got an internet connection.
- No Need to Invest in Hardware and Software
With cloud backup, there’s no need to invest in hardware and software.
- Regulatory Compliance
Some third-party offsite server service providers – important to know that not all comply with regulation – can ensure regulatory compliance in handling your organization’s sensitive data, an assurance that many small organizations can benefit from.
Cons of Cloud Backup
Here are some of the disadvantages of cloud backup:
- Internet Intermittence
Internet connection and volume of data can affect the sending and retrieval of data backup to and from the third-party offsite server service provider. Delay in sending and retrieving data backup is an acknowledged hazard for cloud backup. This time lag demands that only the important or sensitive data needs to be backed up in the cloud.
- Lack of Control
With cloud backup, your organization has little or no information at all about the service provider’s cloud infrastructure. Your organization, in essence, surrenders most of the control over the data backup.
Cloud Backup Security
Considering that your organization will have no control over the data backed up in the cloud, it’s essential to choose the right third-party offsite server service provider.
Here are some tips on choosing the right cloud storage service provider and ensuring cloud backup security:
- Prior to entrusting your organization’s critical data to a cloud service provider, carefully examine its service agreement regarding security practices.
- Look for a cloud service provider that’ll encrypt your organization’s data following established encryption algorithms. Encryption – the process of converting digital data into a code – makes it harder for attackers to gain access to sensitive data.
- Send and retrieve sensitive data to and from the cloud only via a secure internet connection.
- Follow established network security practices, including the use of firewalls.
Protecting important and sensitive data is critical to your organization’s survival. Storing important data inside your organization’s office is simply not enough. Important and sensitive data needs to be stored in the cloud as well.
At GenX, we offer data storage management services, including:
- One-time installation of all required hardware and software
- Varied data storage solutions, such as cloud-based backup systems
- Centralizing backup systems, for more reliable and streamlined services
- Offsite storage of sensitive information to protect against data loss due to office hardware damage
- Thorough testing of backup and storage procedures for ensured reliability of disaster protocols
- Continued technical support through our GenX helpdesk services