What keeps you up at night? Do you think about unknown security vulnerabilities in your network that might lead to a breach? Or are you constantly concerned with employee use of consumer-grade cloud services for sharing sensitive data with others, including people outside of your organization?
The sheer speed and scale of modern computing platforms – from the iPhone to Infrastructure-as-a-Service – together unlock some disconcerting possibilities along these lines, with potentially wide-reaching effects for a successful exploit. For example, data loss has become increasingly difficult to mitigate, creating fresh challenges in compliance.
Indeed, with the emergence of boundary-free networks (i.e., personnel may be able to continue accessing workplace applications even outside of the office/corporate firewall), it's possible for sensitive information to be uploaded to unapproved services, copied to personal devices or intercepted in non-secure environments such as public Wi-Fi connections. In response, organizations have invested in range of technical solutions, including data loss prevention tools and security operations centers, not to mention Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) and Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) subscriptions.
Stopping data loss before it's too late: The roles of BaaS and DRaaS
No matter how it actually happens, the stakes of data loss are extraordinarily high, especially for small and medium-sized organizations (SMBs):
- A 2017 research summary from Clutch found that 60 percent of SMBs experiencing major data loss shut down within six months of the incident.
- Similarly, IT research firm Gartner revealed that 51 percent of corporate data loss victims closed their doors within two years, while another 41 percent shut down almost immediately.
- Digging into a few more specifics, World Backup Day found that 29 percent of all hard disk drive (HDD) failures are accidental, while one backup vendor estimated that 140,000 HDDs fail every week.
- Despite the risk of something going unexpectedly wrong, 58 percent of SMBs are not well-prepared for data loss.
BaaS to the rescue
Now for some good news: Cloud-based solutions such as BaaS offer cost-effective and high-performance alternatives to owning, operating and maintaining traditional backup and DR infrastructure. In 2016, a Clutch survey of SMBs discovered that almost 90 percent of respondents thought cloud backup options were at least as secure as on-premises alternatives, according to Backup and Recovery Solutions Review. Safe and reliable backups are crucial in case data is ever lost due to an outage, theft or accidental deletion, all of which are real risks in a world of ubiquitous mobile devices and increasingly complex IT infrastructures.
While security has not always been regarded as a strong suit of cloud computing, Clutch's survey takers actually cited data security as the top perceived benefit of online backup solutions: Nearly one-third (31 percent) of them identified it as an advantage of BaaS. The other top perks included more space for data (21 percent), a simpler backup process (also 21 percent) and highly efficient data maintenance (16 percent). Five percent of respondents also pointed to lower costs of backup and less time to recover data as the biggest benefits of off-premises backup services.
DRaaS as a practical hedge against data loss
BaaS ultimately offers peace of mind that your data is being safely handled by a trusted service provider and that it is readily accessible when the need arises. DRaaS has a similar value proposition, but it may save you even more time and money by serving as an economical hedge against data loss under especially challenging circumstances.
To see the difference it makes, imagine you own a home and that it has an old plumbing system. Having one of its pipes burst would be a disaster, so it would be vital to know how you might respond in the immediate aftermath of such an event. You would probably just call a plumber to come and fix the issue; you would not instead invest in expensive professional-grade equipment, which you would store in your basement in case something went wrong.
Simply entrusting everything to a plumber who is available on-demand is both more cost-effective and more convenient. The same is true of DRaaS in comparison to self-maintained on-prem DR:
- With the latter, you often have to overpay for infrastructure just so you have the right level of resources available for a worst-case scenario.
- That setup drives up normal operating costs while placing a considerable burden on your own technical staff.
- DRaaS gives you much more flexibility in what you are billed for; you usually only pay for what you actually use, meaning you can reduce your expenses on day-to-day operations but still have the assurance that sufficient cloud-hosted DR infrastructure is always available if you ever need it.
A 2017 Technavio reported projected a 40 percent compound annual growth rate in the global DRaaS market between 2017 and 2022. The main engines of this expansion are expected to be the growing awareness of the risks of data loss, changes in regulatory environments and discoveries of the benefits we've discussed here, including the fundamental flexibility and scalability of a cloud-based DR solution. A Technavio executive highlighted "cost-effectiveness, testing flexibility, and decreased recovery time" as three of the biggest drivers of the current boom in DRaaS.
An investment in BaaS and DRaaS pay dividends in reduced data loss risk
As we can see, both BaaS and DRaaS are effective safeguards against the dangers of catastrophic data loss, which have become more prominent in recent years with the growing sophistication of cyberattacks. More specifically, threats such as self-propagating ransomware underscore the need for a comprehensive fallback plan.
In 2017, a major shipping company had to reinstall 45,000 PCs, 4,000 servers and 2,500 applications to recover from the debilitating NotPetya ransomware attack, according to Bleeping Computer. The damage from the attack was pegged at up to $300 million. The company eventually rebounded to pre-crisis revenue levels, but only after essentially reconfiguring its entire IT infrastructure. Many organizations would not have the same ability to recover from such an attack without the help of a trusted BaaS and DRaas provider.
Enter UbiStor. Since 2001, we have specialized in backup, DR and data management, giving you the assurance that your assets are safe if and when disaster strikes. Think of our services as insurance policies for your data: If you lose access to something because of downtime or an attack, you can rest assured that it is still secure and recoverable.