Storing your data securely has never been more important than in 2023, as the risk of cyberattacks and data breaches continues to rise.1 However, defensive security is only half of the story — businesses must also ensure their data is backed up and protected from accidental loss, system downtime, and human error.
93% of companies that suffer a major data loss event and don’t have an emergency plan within a year close down, so having the right systems in place to prevent data loss can make the difference between a company’s success or its failure.2 With budgets tightening, finding a cost-effective solution is key.
This is where backup as a service (BaaS) comes in. BaaS can be used by IT professionals to reduce the time, costs and uncertainty surrounding their data’s safe storage. Having to do manual or on-prem backups is time-consuming and expensive, and outsourcing this responsibility allows teams to focus more on their day-to-day operations.
In this blog, we’ll outline what BaaS is, what its benefits are, and how you can utilise it to better protect your company’s data. We’ll also consider a number of best practices, so you know what to look out for (and what to avoid) when choosing your BaaS solution.
What is Backup as a Service?
BaaS is a storage solution that maintains backup copies of all your primary, application, and on-premises data. BaaS solutions are installed on your systems and run continuously, ensuring data can be recovered quickly in the event of loss, breach, or disaster.
BaaS is popular because it provides a cost-effective alternative to hiring an in-house security team. Backup and recovery services allow IT teams to focus on their core tasks, rather than on data protection.
Types of BaaS
There is no ‘one type’ of BaaS. However, popular backup services include:
- Cloud-to-cloud backup: uploading cloud data onto another, secure cloud. The benefits of cloud backup have seen this become one of the most popular BaaS methods.
- On-premises to cloud backup: uploading data onto a cloud from on-prem locations.
- Physical backup: transferring data to a protected offsite location owned by the BaaS provider.
Why is Backup as a Service important in 2023?
Security experts predict that more than 33 billion records will be stolen by cybercriminals by 2023 — an increase of 175% from 2018.3
And according to Mr. Raj Sivaraju, Arete’s president of APAC, ‘2023 could present new security challenges, given the advances in quantum computing, pervasive networking, AI, and next-generation security management techniques’.
The increasing danger of the cyber landscape can largely be attributed to:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI can be used to create more sophisticated cyberattacks. ChatGPT, for example, allows criminals to write targeted phishing emails, while deep fake technology can be used to forge passports or other important verification documents.
- The metaverse: This is a new environment where businesses may be more vulnerable to attacks, especially attacks that use AI.
- Big data: Big data challenges are widespread, with many companies struggling to properly safeguard large quantities of sensitive information.
As cybersecurity risks increase, compliance rules are (understandably) becoming more stringent. However, this only adds to the challenges faced by IT professionals, who must make sure data is protected, backed up, and stored in line with regulations.
BaaS is important because it provides IT teams with a clear strategy for maintaining compliance, improving cyber security, and preventing data loss, without adding to their workload. For extra security, BaaS should be used alongside cloud disaster recovery software.
What are the benefits of Backup as a Service?
BaaS is used by approximately 58% of organisations, protecting valuable data from accidental loss, environmental destruction, and cyber threats.4 Let’s explore some of its key benefits.
Every company knows the importance of secure data storage, but hiring an in-house security team is an expense that many SMEs simply cannot afford.
BaaS is a more affordable solution for companies seeking to increase the security of their data while keeping costs down. Businesses that invest in a managed backup service can have confidence in knowing that their sensitive data is secure, without paying for in-house IT specialists.
Adherence to data regulations like GDPR and HIPAA is essential to running a successful business. Failure to comply could result in data breaches, found to cost companies not only their reputation but an average of $4.35 million per breach.5
With a good BaaS solution, companies can ensure valuable business and customer data is held in line with compliance regulations.
BaaS helps businesses protect their data from cyber security threats as well as smaller, more common cybersecurity events like accidental loss or corruption.
A full backup service gives companies peace of mind knowing professionals are looking after their valuable data. BaaS solutions will typically include:
- Data encryption
- Multi authentication
- Anti-malware software
BaaS providers have their reputation and customer satisfaction on the line — so strong security is a must.
The backup process can be time-consuming, and IT professionals already have a lot on their plates. Outsourcing data storage and backup will reduce their workload, and allow them to focus on improving other areas of the company.
Backup as a Service best practices
BaaS solutions are generally effective, but they are not all built equally. There are hundreds of different providers, each offering different services and features. Here are some best practices to look out for when choosing a BaaS provider:
Look for a provider that has a modular or flexible pricing structure, and allows you to pay only for the capacity that you use. If you are a fast-growing small or medium-sized business, make sure your BaaS solution can cope with sudden increases or fluctuations in demand.
Some providers only charge for data backup and not for data that is restored. This ensures that data backups are as cost effective as possible, and is perfect for companies who may need to regularly access archived data or backup copies.
Look for BaaS solutions that prioritise flexibility, and allow seamless control of data without having to worry about its security.
A good BaaS should support backup across all critical platforms. This will give companies the flexibility to adapt their data processes and operations according to evolving business needs.
The most important features of BaaS are security and reliability. Data has become one of the most valuable commodities in the modern business world, and handing it to a provider can be daunting — you must be certain they are competent.
The level of security needed will, of course, depend on the type of company, what data is being stored, and the risks it presents to the organisation. However, the best BaaS providers will follow the “3-2-1 rule”: three copies of data are made on two different media, with at least one of the backup copies stored remotely.
If data is siloed from core systems, IT professionals will be unable to extract valuable insights from it.
Generally, cloud-based BaaS will be the most accessible, as users can be given a unique password and username with which to view their data. However, tape and cloud backup both have their benefits.
Make sure your chosen BaaS provider allows 24-hour accessibility, operates through the cloud (if this is compatible with your existing systems), and utilises modern technologies to ensure data access speeds are as low as possible.
Fast-growing companies will inevitably be faced with fast-growing data quantities. BaaS is a great way to secure growing quantities of data, removing the risks associated with low-security on-prem storage.
Make sure your chosen BaaS provider allows you to easily upgrade or scale your data backup solution, without enforcing vendor lock-in.
Securing your data in 2023
BaaS is a cost-effective solution that helps companies improve cyber security, maintain compliance, and prevent accidental data loss. While backup solutions will not be suited to every company, particularly those that already have in-house security teams, it will be a worthwhile investment for many organisations.
There is a wide range of BaaS solutions on the market, and choosing the best one for your company can be difficult.
Nexstor is a managed IT service provider, offering highly secure and accessible BaaS with Veeam backup. We help companies find security solutions that suit their specific needs, offering customizability, accessibility, and cost-efficiency at every stage.