3 Tips for Backing Up Data in Cloud Services for National Preparedness Month

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By: Pam Baker |

It’s National Preparedness Month — the perfect time to check and see if all of your data is properly backed up. Before you assume you’ve checked everything off your list, though, take a look at the data and applications currently in cloud storage. This material needs backing up, too.

Cloud storage makes data easily accessible and easily synced, plus it’s a lot cheaper than on-premises storage. However, many users and enterprises mistakenly believe data stored in the cloud doesn’t need to be backed up. After all, if it’s in the cloud, it’s always there and available, right? Not necessarily.

Take the 2012 Dropbox data breach, which The Guardian says compromised more than 68 million accounts including passwords and email addresses. The company is urging users that haven’t changed their passwords since 2012 to do so now. And while these customers should change their passwords immediately, it could be far too little and too late given how long that data has been exposed at this point.

However, hackers aren’t the only worry with data stored in the cloud. “It’s a common enough story. Those files you thought you had safely uploaded to Dropbox have magically disappeared,” wrote Robert Sheldon for Simple Talk. “User error? Software glitch? Undetected virus? It doesn’t matter. Your files are gone.” The same can hold true with data in one or more cloud applications.

To prevent data loss from cloud storage and cloud service breaches or product failures, enterprises need to back this information up for recovery as needed. Here are three things to keep in mind when doing so.

1. Treat data in SaaS applications and cloud storage like any other data

When making your backup and recovery plans, take into account all company data regardless of where it resides. That means making a regular backup schedule and periodically testing your recovery plans. Data can carry different concentrations of risk for corruption based on type and location, and support teams should have a solid gauge of where these levels of resiliency fluctuate.

2. Use BaaS

You can implement backup-as-a-service (BaaS) in mere hours as opposed to the weeks traditional backup takes. Moreover, it’s scalable so it can accommodate backing up even the largest cloud data stores. You can increase service-level agreement (SLA) provisioning this way, too, using BaaS analytics.

3. Use a third party to tame complexity and free IT’s time

It’s typical for an enterprise to have the best of intentions and a great data backup plan in place. Unfortunately, those plans can fall by the wayside when other business initiatives take top priority and consume more of IT’s time and attention as a result. The easiest and safest way to ensure all data is backed up — as often as needed and always available for instant recovery — is to turn it over to a third party. That way, your IT team can focus on the immediate and pressing business concerns of the day.

As it is National Preparedness Month, now is a good time to stop and check to see that all your enterprise data, regardless of where it resides, is backed up and readily available for quick recovery. Don’t make the common mistake of assuming data stored in various cloud services is safe and available to you in the event that you need to exercise your recovery plan. Instead, take steps now to back up data in the cloud. If the worst happens, you’ll be glad you did.

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About The Author

Pam Baker

Freelance Writer

Pam Baker is an award-winning freelance journalist based in Georgia. Her published credits number in the thousands, including books, e-books, e-briefs, white papers, industry analysis reports and articles in leading publications, including Institutional Investor, CIO, Fierce Markets and InformationWeek, among many others. Her latest book, "Data Divination: Big Data Strategies," has been met with rave reviews, was featured in a prestigious National Press Club event, is recommended by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for business executives and is currently being used as a textbook in both business and tech schools in universities around the world. Baker is a "big-picturist," meaning she enjoys writing on topics that overlap and interact, such as technology and business. Her fans regualrly follow her work in science, technology, business and finance.

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