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Opinion piece: Data backups need to be accessible 24/7

By Marius Maritz, Department Manager for CloudProtect at Gabsten Technologies

The value of data and the rising tide of cybercrime has driven home the importance of securely backing up data for businesses and having access to those backups at any time. Despite the proliferation of value-added cloud-based storage solutions available, many businesses are still leveraging outdated technology to do their backups, resulting in slow – and, in some cases, even impossible – recovery after a data loss incident.

Cloud offers businesses the ability to administer, monitor and manage data backups without the cost and complexity of owning infrastructure or managing and training resources. Businesses also benefit from the protection of added security and redundancy measures, keeping data safe and helping companies recover faster after a disaster.

The importance of data access

Possibly the best advantage to cloud is data access. It’s not only important for businesses to be able to access their data in the event of a data loss, but also to be able to access it 24/7, from anywhere.

In the event of a disaster or data loss, businesses should be able to recover as quickly as possible, regardless of the time of day. Time spent waiting until morning to recover data can cost a business money due to halted operations, loss of customers, and even cost them their reputation. Businesses cannot afford extended downtime and the quicker a business can access backed up data, the faster it can recover.

Businesses that back up to the cloud can also leverage their backup as a file server and enable workforce mobility. Staff are able to access business data while on the road, or even in another country, without having to share information via email or other methods. This means that employees can work from anywhere, accessing the most up-to-date data available to them, even from their smartphone. All they need is a secure Internet connection.

Secure backup

Businesses retain the ability to control their data in the cloud, ensuring access is granted only to those individuals that require access, either once off, or at all times. With certain cloud backup solutions, businesses can even ensure that their service provider is unable to access or view their data, allowing the provider to manage, store and secure their data, giving reports yet not being unable to access the data itself.

Cloud providers often have more security embedded into their offering than most on-premise solutions, given that their reputations depend upon the ability to secure their customers’ data. For this reason, businesses can rest assured knowing their data is protected.

However, a business should still align its own security policies with its service provider to ensure they match up. This is important not only from a security standpoint, but also to comply with various data regulations.

Managed backup

Not all businesses have the skills, resources and time to manage their own data storage and backup, making a managed service option the perfect solution. With a managed service storage and backup solution, businesses can set the parameters and requirements with their provider. The provider – who has the skills and resources – can manage the entire process for them, proactively.

The provider also has the ability to configure the business’s backups and is able to pick up anomalies quickly, which helps to prevent threats and possible data loss. Businesses also benefit from a single point of contact and a 24-hour helpdesk to assist them should there be any required changes, or should data loss occur and they need to recover quickly.

With a managed service, although the provider proactively manages the process for them, businesses are still in control of their own data, and retain the ability to access their data at any time. Many cloud backup, storage and protection tools, today, come with an app that can be loaded onto any device, for customers to easily access, share and retrieve data.

Data backup and storage is critical; however it should be simple so that businesses can focus on their core operations that result in profit, without having to worry about their data.

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