Often, the terms cloud storage and backup are used interchangeability, however, both services offer different purposes and features based on your specific business needs.
Cloud storage such as OneDrive or Google Drive, is just like a file server that allows users to access, share, transfer, and view files as well as collaborate online/remotely. I currently use both OneDrive and Google Drive for “storage” of photos, specifically files that I share with family or business associates. Most of us use cloud storage as a way of collaborating with our friends or business associates. That being said, we all know that unforeseeable things happen that can affect the availability of the cloud such as outages or cyberattacks like malware (ransomware). I like to remind customers that it is a good rule of thumb to always have a second copy of your data stored remotely in the cloud.
And as a result, it’s important to note that there are two distinct purposes for cloud backup. The primary use of backup is to recover data after a loss such as hardware failure, corruption, data deletion, theft, fire and many others. The second reason for backup is the ability to recover data from a point in time and this is done by using a defined data retention policy through the software. Many organizations today require 7 to 10 years retention of data for HIPAA or financial services compliance.
I am often on calls where IT consultants or business owners are calling to discuss Disaster Recovery (DR) plans. During those calls, we inform the individual that cloud backup is just a component of a disaster recovery plan and should not be considered a complete solution for their DR. One of the best practice for all organizations is to have a written disaster recovery plan (DRP) for all departments that has detailed set of processes in place to recover and protect their data in the event of disaster.
Here is a quick list of the top five reasons to use cloud backup:
When researching cloud backup providers, be sure they offer AES 256 Encryption and make sure only you hold the encryption key. This ensures that only you have access to the data. Just make sure that you don’t lose the encryption key. One other feature to consider when selecting a cloud backup provider in case of disaster or cyberattack is regarding the ability to do a restore. Be sure you have the ability to restore at either the file or folder level as compared to a full restore. This is critical because if they require, full restore, that can take some time that can affect service and or one’s profitability.
Always remember, your business’ data isn’t really safe unless it’s backed up remotely giving your business a safe, second copy of your data in case of an accident or attack. You never know when the next hardware failure or cyberattack will occur! Reach out to us if we can help with your disaster recovery and backup plans.