Backing up and securing data is critical to a company’s business continuity, disaster recovery and legal compliance but some organisations are still solely relying on dated tape and on-premise solutions: solutions that fall very short of the level of protection offered by cloud backup. So, for those of you who are yet to venture into cloud backup, here’s what you are missing out on.

A faster and more reliable backup and restore process

Modern businesses need access to their backed up data quickly and potentially from multiple locations. Cloud backup enables a restore to be performed at the touch of a button and, depending on the size of the restore, this can take seconds.

Generally, the moment an employee realises they have lost a file or they need to perform a restore, is the moment they need to access it. It’s therefore not ideal to wait hours for the correct tape to be located, transported from the off-site archive all the while praying that the restore will be successful.

If a fire, flood or any other disaster should hit an organisation’s main office, backing up to the Cloud means that data can be easily and quickly restored. Again, mass tape restores in the event of a disaster are a long and arduous process.

Worse still, companies just backing up to on-premise hardware are unlikely to have any form of disaster recovery in place.

Lower overheads and greater flexibility

Cloud backup is generally cheaper than tape and on-premise. Cloud enables businesses to avoid expensive hardware purchases and lengthy contract tie-ins; providers store data at their own off-site data centres, so businesses only pay for the service rather than the entire solution.

Focusing on operational expenditure rather than capital expenditure means that businesses can scale their Cloud backup as required, only paying for what they use. Also, companies implementing Cloud backup are not restricted by the space on their on-premise datacentre, Cloud can scale up indefinitely.

Services that backup to the Cloud are also completely automated, performing backups at regular intervals. This removes the need for IT to spend time swapping over backup tapes and transporting them off-site or maintaining on-premise hardware and frees up their time to perform more value-add tasks.

It is also important to note that the flexibility of Cloud backup extends to a hybrid system, integrating on-premise or tape solutions with a Cloud service; enabling businesses to tailor their backup to specific requirements.

Increased security that ensures compliance

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is very clear about what is expected of organisations when handling corporate data: the seventh principle of the Data Protection Act states “Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data”.

Traditional backup involves someone physically managing the process before storing the data on-premise, or transporting it off-site for disaster recovery purposes. Businesses utilising these methods need to ask themselves if they are happy bearing the responsibility of handling corporate data whilst off-site, if they trust the people handling the data and what penalties they would incur if data was lost or stolen.

Reputable Cloud providers are compliant with ICO legislation, meaning that corporate data will be handled within the required security levels as well as taking liability in the very unlikely event that there were to be a data breach.

Leading UK Cloud providers offer a fully encrypted backup service, requiring no onsite backup hardware or software. This minimises human interaction, saving time and eliminating issues around human error. Data is sent securely to the providers’ data centres which would be based in the UK. All data is encrypted before transit and whilst at rest on the providers’ platforms – only the end user is able to read their data. Any decent provider will also be ISO9001 (Quality Management) and ISO27001 (Information Security Management) accredited.