A cloud backup solution can help protect your business data by storing it off site. This way, even if your primary data storage fails or becomes compromised, you will still be able to recover your files and resume operations as usual. Additionally, many cloud backup providers offer features like versioning, which allows you to roll back to previous versions of files, and encrypted storage, which helps keep your data safe from hackers.
However, with so many cloud backup solution plans in the market, choosing one can be daunting. Also, every organization is unique, so your small Ontario-based business will have a specific set of features that you’ll want to look for. But whatever your priority is when it comes to backups, you should always look for these three key features in a cloud backup solution.
1. Storage and scale
Backups take up space, so your cloud should have sufficient storage to handle your data. But exactly how much storage do you need? If you have a lot of files that are constantly being added to or modified, you're going to need more storage than if you have a smaller, static set of files.
Most cloud backup services take a full initial backup of your data and then make subsequent incremental backups, which means only the changed files are backed up. This saves time and bandwidth, but it also means that you’ll need enough space to store both the full backup and all the increments.
You also need to consider the file types you need to back up since some file types can be compressed better than others. If you're backing up a lot of text files or images, you'll be able to get away with less storage than if you're backing up video files or raw image files, which can’t be compressed as well.
On top of these, consider the retention policy of your cloud backup service. Most services will keep multiple versions of each file so you can go back and restore an older version if needed. This means that you'll need enough storage to accommodate not only your current data set but also all the older versions.
By factoring in these storage considerations, you can choose the best plan that suits your needs. Some providers offer unlimited storage, while others have tiered plans. You’re going to want to choose a provider that can accommodate your storage requirements both now and in the future. One thing to ask your prospective provider is how easily the storage can be increased if you need more space. Being able to scale up easily is especially important if your business is growing rapidly or at a steady rate.
You want your backups to be protected from threats like ransomware, malicious insiders, and external hackers. Because of this, you have to choose a plan that includes Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protection and at least 265-bit end-to-end encryption, which protects data both at rest and in transit. Encryption scrambles data to make it unreadable without the decryption key, keeping your data safe even if it falls into the hands of an unauthorized individual.
You also want a cloud backup solution that includes multifactor authentication (MFA) for an extra layer of security. With MFA enabled, someone who knows your password won’t be able to access your account unless they also have access to your second factor, which is usually a biometric component or a one-time password sent to a registered device.
Having backups is useless if you can’t access your files in the event of a disaster, so your cloud backup solution provider should be able to ensure round-the-clock data availability. Some providers also offer features like geo-redundancy, which means that your data is stored in multiple locations. If anything were to happen to your data, you would still have a copy of it stored in another place.
If possible, know the uptime tier level to which providers belong. Vendors are typically ranked by tier based on their ability to resist and recover from disasters like natural calamities and cyberattacks. For reference, Tier 1 providers offer 99.7% uptime, while Tier 4 has an impressive 99.9% uptime. Though the 0.2% difference may not seem like much, it can determine how much data you can recover and how quickly you can get your systems back up and running.
These are just a few of the most important features to look for when choosing a cloud backup solution. If you want to learn more about how to secure your backups, download our FREE eBook, “Going, going, gone: How to prevent your data from disappearing” NOW! You can also talk to our cloud specialists at XBASE by calling us at 416-613-9565.