Cloud adoption has grown phenomenally – we’re all either on the cloud or getting there – 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020. However, cloud security still lags behind cloud adoption, with almost two-thirds of organizations not having even the basic cloud security technology in place. This disparity is fueling SaaS data breaches and increasing the cloud’s vulnerability to malware. The good news is that organizations worldwide are gradually waking up to the fact that SaaS data needs protection too. Gartner forecasts a strong uptick in cloud security, by ~57.5% CAGR, to reach $459 million in 2019. SaaS backup though is a different ball game than on-prem backup. So before jumping on the SaaS security bandwagon, let us first step back to understand the essential aspects of data protection in the cloud, so you can pick the solution that fits best.

Feature-check your SaaS Backup and Restore Solution

A puzzle graphic depicting the 6 key pieces of a SaaS backup and Restore solution.

#1 Strong Security Credentials

To backup reliably, it is a given that the solution must first be secure itself. Start by checking on the backup solution’s certifications such as SSAE 16, US-EU, US-Swiss Safe Harbor, TRUSTe privacy and security seals, etc. and the solution’s compliance with laws such as the GDPR (particularly having global data centers) and HIPAA. Ensure that they have a virtual cloud with compartmentalized access, which would enable them to harness the excellent scalability of the public cloud, while still providing the granular network control and security fine-tuning of a private cloud. Finally, do not assume data encryption – check on strong encryption ciphers, including 128-bit SSL and 256-bit AES.

#2 Comprehensive, Automated Backup

Backup ideally has to be an unobtrusive safety net protecting your data, without taking up your time or effort. Daily, automatic backups that comprehensively protect all your cloud data are essential to providing silent, but reliable data protection. The solution should automatically detect newly added artifacts and protect them, without administrator intervention.

#3 Flexible Restore Options

While having backup options such as on-demand backup, one-click backup, and automated backup are helpful, flexible restore options are the real deal, as a good backup solution shines due to its adeptness at providing quick and easy recovery. Check if the solution provides support both for granular restores with multiple search criteria, and for point-in-time restores for one/many files, or for the entire account. Cross-user restore capabilities, where data can be restored to another user can be a lifesaver, especially when dealing with employee onboarding and off-boarding.

#4 Admin & User-Friendly

Your Office 365/G Suite/Salesforce Admin has enough on their plate – without a cumbersome backup solution that requires plenty of hand-holding. Verify that status monitoring and reporting is transparent, exhaustive, and is available both via an easy-to-use interface and via email/SMS notifications. Also, check that the backup solution simplifies licensing management for easy scalability.

#5 Smooth Recovery

You would need your backup solution the most in the event of data loss, which is why smooth data recovery is a critical differentiator. It can transform an extremely stressful moment of panic, into a two-click quick recovery of the lost data. The UI for restoring data should be built into the cloud solution’s UI with intuitive options to select the missing artifact or account. Furthermore, it should be simple enough for an end user to self-service their own data recovery – thus freeing up the IT admin’s time, cutting the risks of data loss and ensuring business continuity.

#6 Good Support

Support is oftentimes the clincher when it comes to picking a solution, no matter what its feature set is. Ensure that your solution provider has dedicated email/phone support with a guaranteed turnaround and a strong self-service knowledge base with video tutorials and FAQs.