Companies should back up their data externally because they are a company’s most valuable asset. If internal company information is lost – whether as a result of a cyber-attack or unintentional mistakes by employees – it puts business continuity at risk. Proper backups are essential to save your data at any time and restore it in an emergency.
In the following paragraphs, you’ll learn what backup outsourcing means, the benefits of outsourcing your data backup, and what a cloud backup solution has to do to ensure the continuity of your operations. If you work with a managed service provider, asking the right questions can help ensure your data is in good hands.
What is backup outsourcing?
Backup outsourcing is an IT service for data backup carried out by a Managed Service Provider (MSP). Customers are supported in all aspects of cyber-protection through:
- Local backups
- Cloud backups
- Disaster recovery.
An MSP should be familiar with the latest technology and IT solutions. In this way, the firm can advise your company sensibly and implement the right measures to protect your data.
Professional tip: A serious MSP should know that conventional data backup is no longer enough to meet today’s network challenges. The cyber-protection for your outsourced data must combine data protection with cybersecurity.
When does backup outsourcing make sense for companies?
In certain areas of the company, it makes sense to outsource tasks, i.e. to hand them over to service providers. This is the case with the following:
- Recurring tasks: Activities that are not part of the company’s core business and must be carried out regularly (e.g., payroll accounting and logistics).
- Complex tasks: Areas in which numerous requirements must be observed, such as in information technology. The knowledge of specialists (IT experts) is required here.
Hiring IT experts is too costly for many companies. Outsourcing allows companies to concentrate on their core business. Spending time and resources on consulting services and tools can make the company more successful.
Outsource data backup or perform it internally?
Even if you already manage part of your IT internally, it can make sense to call in a managed service provider. Use the following information to find out whether an outsourced backup or internal backup management is best for your company.
An MSP will tell you in advance exactly what price the company will have to pay for the service. This can be daunting at first, but it can also be a great benefit.
Internal data backup involve these financial expenses:
- Salaries of the people who manage the internal backup solution
- Time spent by employees to carry out other tasks
- Training time and costs for managing data protection in the company (from providing the solution to implementation and administration)
- Investments in technology and infrastructure to support your backup plan (e.g., the backup solution itself, the associated costs of cloud backup storage, required servers, etc.).
Consider security and compliance
Most departments within a company are subject to legal regulations regarding correct employment contracts, correct competitive behavior, legally compliant data protection, and so on. This means that any DIY approach to data backup must take into account the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as well as country-specific guidelines. These require precise information about:
- the location of the data
- the duration of the data storage
- the purpose of data storage
Important: Don’t forget that data protection and data security are separate but interconnected entities.
With an in-house backup solution, you retain complete control over data storage. With a managed service provider, you involve a third party that must guarantee your data is handled in accordance with the law.
Professional tip: When commissioning an MSP, ask them to explain exactly where and how your data is stored.
Ensure IT expertise
Companies with their own IT departments also often want to back up their data externally, because managing an effective backup plan is very complex. It takes a ton of expertise and time. Therefore, weigh whether the data backup expertise of your internal team is sufficient and whether the fulfillment of other IT tasks can still be guaranteed.
Also, assess the risk that you’re taking with internal data backup. MSPs have the necessary expertise and resources to avoid data loss or to restore data quickly if necessary. You also benefit from the following services:
- Analysis of your business continuity requirements
- A suitable backup plan
- Risk assessment in the event of data loss
- Measures that minimize the impact
Outsourced data backup: What must a good MSP be able to do?
If you choose to outsource data protection, it’s important to find the right managed service provider for your requirements. Not all MSPs are created equal, and they should be able to offer you an advanced solution to ensure business continuity in the face of cyber threats. Using the following questions, you can identify a reputable MSP and thus choose the right contact person for your backup outsourcing.
- How much time do they invest in training their employees every year?
- What topics are they trained in?
- What certifications do they have?
- Is cloud backup one of the central services they offer?
- What cloud backup options are available? (Depending on the size of the provided cloud, you can reduce your local system load.)
- Do they offer disaster recovery as a service?
Security, protection, and compliance
- Does their solution provide protection for any workload?
- Do they also provide cloud backup for G Suite or Microsoft 365?
- What are their backup retention guidelines?
- What type of encryption do they use for the storage and transmission of data?
- Does the MSP provide storage options, too? Are backups stored both in the cloud and on-site?
- Does the MSP guarantee data security in compliance with all five vectors of cyber protection – safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security (SAPAS)?
- If so, what technologies is the MSP using to ensure SAPAS?
- Does the MSP offer built-in AI-based anti-ransomware protection to add an extra layer of protection to prevent known & unknown cyber-threats?
- How fast can the solution back up your data?
- Does the backup process interrupt common or critical IT applications?
- How fast can the MSP recover data? What does this process entail?
- Can I call up data in a granular way – for example, if only an email, a document, or a table is required?
- Can the solution be scaled easily and cost-effectively (e.g., due to increasing company growth or higher data volumes in the high season)?
- What is the price of the services? Are the costs for backup, cloud backup, disaster recovery, and data storage billed separately or together?
- What are the costs of the infrastructure?
- Are there any hidden fees?
Professional tip: Modern data protection requires a comprehensive approach. In any case, make sure that your MSP offers cyber-protection. A good MSP demonstrates a solid knowledge of current cyber threats and offers its staff regular field training in cybersecurity and data protection.
Conclusion on outsourcing backup
Regardless of whether you want to secure your data externally or opt for an internal solution, the financial outlay for comprehensive protection is worthwhile. The costs that arise from data losses are much higher and can threaten the very existence of your company. If you want to secure your data externally by specialists, you now know the central questions to ask to assess the quality of the various providers.
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