When it comes to storing sensitive data like credit card and login information, most organizations use remote data centers that house dozens of servers for storage. Ordinarily, these data centers are susceptible to natural disasters, such as tornadoes and hurricanes.
Cybercriminals can also hack into remote data centers and compromise essential customer data. If this happens, your company could be held liable for the damage. To always keep sensitive data secure and accessible, implementing a cloud backup is key.
In this guide, we'll explain everything you need to know about enterprise cloud backup, including:
- What Is the "Cloud"?
- What Is Cloud Backup?
- How Does Cloud Backup Work?
- How Does Cloud Backup Mitigate Cyberattacks?
- What Are the Two Types of Cloud Backup Methods?
- What Are the Benefits of Cloud Backup?
- What Are the Drawbacks of Cloud Backup?
- Cloud Backup vs. Cloud Storage
- Cloud Backup: Best Practices
- How Can Micro Focus Help with Cloud Backup?
What Is the "Cloud"?
The “cloud” is a term used to describe the delivery of computing resources, such as storage and applications, over the internet. The cloud is made up of many servers located in different parts of the world and are owned and managed by cloud providers, who offer their SaaS solutions to customers on-demand
When you store data or applications in the cloud, you're not storing it on your company's computers, you're storing it on the cloud provider's computers. This means that your company doesn't need to purchase and maintain its own hardware infrastructure, which can be expensive
There are three main types of cloud storage:
- Public cloud storage: This is the most common type of cloud storage. It's offered by cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure and is typically used for storing data that doesn't need to be kept confidential.
- Private cloud storage: This type of cloud storage is used by organizations that want to store data in a secure environment where data can only be accessed by authorized users. Private cloud storage is offered by cloud providers such as Rackspace and IBM Bluemix.
- Hybrid cloud storage: This type of cloud storage combines public and private clouds. It allows companies to store sensitive data in a private cloud while using the public cloud for less sensitive data.
What Is Cloud Backup?
Cloud backup—sometimes referred to as online backup or remote backup—is the process of backing up data to cloud-based servers. When you back up your data to the cloud, you're storing a copy of that data on one or more remote servers, which are owned and managed by a third-party cloud service provider. Typically, cloud service providers charge fees based on things like the amount of storage space or servers required, available server bandwidth, and the number of users who access these servers.
How Does Cloud Backup Work?
Cloud backup works by replicating company data on cloud-based servers. This can be done in two ways:
- Continuous replication: With continuous replication, the cloud provider copies your company's data to its servers as it changes. This is the most common type of cloud backup and is used by companies that need to always keep an up-to-date copy of their data.
- Scheduled replication: With scheduled replication, the cloud provider copies your company's data on a set schedule. This is often used by companies that don't need to keep an up-to-date copy of their data at all times.
Once your company's data has been replicated to the cloud, it can be accessed from anywhere in the world using an internet connection.
How Does Cloud Backup Mitigate Cyberattacks?
Cloud backup can help mitigate cyberattacks in two ways: first, cloud backup can help you quickly restore your company's data if it's compromised because the cloud provider maintains multiple copies of your data on different servers. If one server is compromised, you can still access your data from another server.
Second, cloud backup can help you quickly recover your data in an instant, especially if your company is being targeted by ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts your company's data and holds it hostage until you pay a ransom. With cloud backup, you can simply restore your company's data from the cloud and avoid paying the ransom.
What Are the Two Types of Cloud Backup Methods?
Fortunately, implementing a cloud backup isn't a difficult process. There are two main ways you can get started, which include:
- Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS): With BaaS, the cloud provider manages your company's backups for you and you simply need to connect to the cloud provider's servers to start backing up your data.
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): With PaaS, the cloud provider provides you with a platform that you can use to store and manage your company's backups. This is often used by companies that want more control over their backups.
What Are the Benefits of Cloud Backup?
There are many benefits of cloud backup, which include:
- Increased Availability: By replicating your company's data on cloud-based servers, you're ensuring that a copy of that data is always available. For example, virtual machine (VM) backup in the cloud would provide critical VM availability and protection during unplanned downtime.
- Reduced Costs: By using the cloud for backup, you're taking advantage of the cloud provider's hardware infrastructure, which can significantly reduce your company's IT costs.
- Greater Scalability: The cloud is a scalable platform, which means you can add or remove resources as needed, making it an ideal solution for businesses that experience periodic spikes in demand.
- Enhanced Security: The cloud is a secure platform and offers multiple layers of security protection, which are critical for businesses that store sensitive data.
- Improved Disaster Recovery: By using the cloud for disaster recovery, you can quickly and easily restore your company's data in the event of a disaster. In fact, a cloud backup can even help you prevent data loss.
What Are the Drawbacks of Cloud Backup?
While there are many benefits to an enterprise backup solution, there are also a few drawbacks, which include:
- Data Latency: The cloud is a global platform and can have latency issues in certain parts of the world, causing problems for companies that need to access their data in real time.
- Bandwidth Requirements: The cloud requires a high-speed internet connection to function correctly. If your company doesn't have a fast enough connection, the cloud may not be a good fit.
- Data Sovereignty: When you store your data in the cloud, you're trusting the cloud provider with that data; however, this can be problematic for companies that are subject to data sovereignty laws.
Cloud Backup vs. Cloud Storage
Cloud storage and cloud backup are often confused with each other, but they are two different things.
Cloud storage is a service that allows you to store your company's data in the cloud and can be used for archiving purposes or to free up space on your local servers. Cloud backup is a service that replicates your company's data to cloud-based storage and can be used for disaster recovery or to keep a copy of your data off-site.
In short, cloud backup is a more comprehensive solution than cloud storage. It can be used for both disaster recovery and archiving purposes, while cloud storage can only be used for archiving purposes.
Cloud Backup: Four Best Practices
Knowing what cloud backup is and choosing a provider isn't enough to keep your data safe. After choosing a cloud backup solution, make sure to follow these four tips to safeguard your company data from unauthorized and malicious users:
1. Make Sure to Follow the 3-2-1 Rule
The 3-2-1 rule is a data backup best practice that states you should have at least three copies of your data, two of which should be on different media, and one should be off-site.
2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security that requires you to provide two pieces of information before you can log in to your account and can help protect your company's data from unauthorized access.
3. Set Up a Regular Backup Schedule
It's important to back up your data regularly, ensuring you have up-to-date copies of your data in the event of a disaster.
4. Ensure Your Cloud Provider is HIPAA Compliant
If your company deals with Protected Health Information (PHI), it's important to choose a cloud provider that is HIPAA compliant to help you maintain compliance with federal law and avoid any fines and penalties in the process.
How Can Micro Focus Help With Cloud Backup?
Cloud backup can be a simple process when you choose the right platform. At Micro Focus, our Data Protector solution offers cutting-edge backup compatibility with cloud applications paired with world-class cloud backup support.
Our cloud backup capabilities extend to a wide array of different cloud platforms, hypervisors, and containers such as:
- Microsoft 365 Applications: Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Teams
- Cloud Platforms: Microsoft Azure Storage, Google Cloud Storage, Cloudian, AWS S3, Ceph, Scality, and more
- Hypervisors: KVM, Nutanix, Red Hat Virtualization, Citrix Hypervisor, and more
- Containers: Kubernetes
Discover Cloud Backup with Micro Focus Data Protector
Cloud backup is an essential component for any organization that stores sensitive data, whether in a physical data center or online. The solution you choose to back up your data will make the difference in how effective a data protection initiative is.
With Micro Focus Data Protector, you can manage a comprehensive data backup across different cloud platforms. Access your free trial , or request a live demo to get started.