Before making changes to your business processes or services, it’s vital to evaluate your needs and that of your customers so you can ask the right questions and get the best solution.
This is especially true when it comes to how you manage, maintain and store your critical data, at a time of fast-paced technological change, and increasing cybercrime predicted to reach a global figure of $10.5 trillion in damages by 2025.
Whilst the advantages of choosing Backup as a Service (BaaS) solution are compelling, many businesses are still anxious about moving away from those traditional data backup solutions that have been relied upon.
There is no one size fits all when it comes to your data backup and recovery, so rather than rush ahead and make an uninformed decision ask your service provider these five critical questions about BaaS. Why? It’ll ensure that whichever provider you choose, they are trustworthy, efficient, effective and the right choice for you, your customers and your business.
1. What data/workloads can I back up with your organisation?
Before establishing what data/workloads your potential provider can backup, you need to ask yourself what essential data does your business hold? Does it include SaaS applications with critical customer information?
Secondly where is your data held and how is it spread across the IT infrastructure of your business?
Once you understand this you will be in a better position to confirm with the provider what you need and what they can deliver.
2. What type of backup does your organisation offer?
There are three types of backup services available:
- Full backup – this is a complete copy of all data and workloads in its entirety to a specific destination. Because of the work involved it takes a considerable time and uses a lot of space.
- Incremental – this only identifies and copies data that has changed since the last incremental backup or full backup. Quicker than a full backup it requires less space.
- Differential – this backs up data which has changed since the last full backup, so again is efficient in speed and storage.
Dependent on your business, you might decide to select one or a combination.
Can the service provider offer a combination? If so, how do they help to manage potential costs, is there provision for unlimited backups and do they offer any storage for free?
3. Who has access to my data and workloads?
When it comes to your data, stringent security measures are critical to prevent unauthorised access, human error, corruption, and theft.
Passing that responsibility to an external provider can be a major undertaking requiring trust, clarity, and due diligence.
It is important to confirm from the outset who has the key to access your data once it moves to the cloud and what are the organisations practices around ongoing identification and authorisation?
Discuss your security and compliance requirements with them and ensure that your terms of agreement reflect these.
4. What level of data protection does your backup service offer?
Backups are increasingly a target for sophisticated ransomware threats and attacks. By corrupting, deleting, and modifying your data, cyber criminals can ask for greater ransoms.
According to a recently published review by the National Cyber Security Centre, ransomware is the number one threat to SMEs and enterprises in the UK.
Alongside greater Government scrutiny, this has led to rising cyber insurance premiums and tougher conditions from insurers around the specific controls a business requires to manage its risk.
It is important to check that any potential service provider offers a robust cyber security strategy. For example, does it include immutability which ensures your data cannot be modified or deleted? How often do data backups occur?
Asking those questions upfront will give you peace of mind that your data is safe.
5. In the event of an incident or breach, how soon can I resume operations?
Should your data be compromised, the length of time it takes your business to get back up and running, can determine its ongoing reputation, revenue, and productivity.
Added to that any potential regulatory fines or sanctions and the need for you to resume operations efficiently and quickly is paramount.
With an hour downtime costing £55k for medium organisations, £500k for larger operations, you need to understand how much downtime you can afford and how fast the service provider can get you back on track.
If you are considering a move to Backup as a Service (BaaS) solution for your business and don’t know where to start or want to talk through these questions and more, please get in touch with one of our experts.