Do businesses need to back up SaaS applications?

Software as a service (SaaS) allows software to be cloud hosted by a third-party provider. While it’s a versatile model that enables businesses to be both efficient and competitive, cloud data remains vulnerable to a range of errors and security breaches, despite in-built SaaS protection. Here’s a look at why your business needs to back up their SaaS applications. 

Can you lose data? ? 

Deletion requests are accepted immediately by SaaS providers, without knowing whether a given request was intentional or unintentional. They’re not accountable for malicious deletions and data deleted or corrupted may be irretrievable and irreversible. The knock-on effect to a small business can be anywhere from a time-consuming inconvenience to an irrecoverable catastrophe. There are a number of ways in which data you’ve stored on the cloud through your SaaS application can be damaged or lost, from accidents and errors to malicious security breaches.

1. Human and programmatic errors

Human error is almost inevitable and accounts for a large proportion of data loss, from accidentally deleting files and folders, to inadvertently removing system configurations, contacts and emails. On the other hand, programmatic or synchronisation errors can arise from the very tools intended to boost business processes, where data is then forever lost. 

2. Hackers

Hackers use increasingly sophisticated methods to breach software, technically and through social engineering. But the threat is not always an external one. Malicious insiders within the business are thought to be involved in as many as 23% of electronic crimes, based upon CERT Insider Threat Centre research by the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. 

3. Malware and ransomware 

Viruses and malware can be particularly difficult to protect against, with cyberattacks from rogue software capable of taking down systems and destroying or deleting data. Ransomware takes this up a notch with extortion in return for the safe restoration of your data. Individuals, together with large and small companies alike can fall prey to malware and ransomware, and the consequences can be an expensive headache.

What about SaaS security? 

Cloud vendors are typically very security conscious, but the data stored by your SaaS solution is not immune from human error or malicious attacks. Security features are provided, but usually, they’re inbuilt and have omissions and restrictions that reduce the protection your data receives. 

Furthermore, when data is lost, it’s often irretrievable. Relying on the SaaS application’s security is not a fail-safe and internal data breaches can even put your business in difficult legal situations. A separate backup service to the cloud-based SaaS solution will provide the peace of mind that your data is protected and retrievable. 

What to look for in a backup provider

With the growth of cloud-based applications set to continue for the foreseeable future, security is likewise a growing concern. The size of your business is immaterial because the backup is a vital part of protecting your data on any scale, large or small. A third-party backup will help you to satisfy GDPR and other regulatory requirements and potentially save a considerable amount of time and money in the long run. 

There are various backup options on the market, with cloud-to-cloud potentially being the most practical for many small businesses. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a backup solution. 

1. Where is your data stored following a backup? The backup service needs to be compliant with all relevant data regulations and standards

2. Is granular backup and retrieval possible for the times when you don’t wish to secure or recover large volumes of data? 

3. Once a backup is completed, you want a solution that can retrieve data in the same format as you left it earlier

4. Ensure there’s a decent RPO (recovery point) and RTO (recovery time) service level, with quick and convenient data recovery

5. Is the solution within your budget? There are different packages and subscription-based services available, so consider the licensing model offered and the cost implications to your business

Selecting a SaaS backup solution that caters to the needs of your business will protect you from intentional and unintentional loss of data, bridging the gap between the security offered by the cloud-based applications to ensure you’re covered insofar as possible for any eventuality.

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