5 Best Practices for Cloud Backup

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84% of businesses use cloud backup and the number goes up to 93% for small and mid-sized businesses. No surprise given the reliability, affordability and accessibility of the cloud. Backing up your data to a cloud-based server is a more secure, reliable, and cost-effective way to protect data than traditional backup methods. However, to ensure that your cloud backup strategy provides the best possible protection, you need to follow certain best practices. In this blog post, we will discuss the 5 best practices that an organization should follow to optimize their cloud data backup protection. While there are native options for Microsoft 365 backup, they fall short in terms of comprehensiveness, ease of use and recoverability from any point-in-time – all must-haves for a good backup and recovery solution.

5 Best Practices for Cloud Data Backup

#1 Ensure Redundancy with the 3-2-1 Rule

To ensure backup data survivability, data redundancy is important and can be achieved by following the 3-2-1 backup rule, the gold standard for backups. This rule recommends having three copies of the data, with two stored in different formats and one copy stored offsite. By implementing this rule, you have multiple copies of their data saved in different locations, improving security and reducing the risk of data loss due to corruption, breach, or cyberattack.

When applied to cloud backup, the 3-2-1 rule can be viewed as:

  1. Copy #1 on Cloud #1: Production data on your SaaS platform:
  2. Copy #2 on Cloud #2: Backup data on your cloud backup provider’s cloud storage
  3. Copy #3 on Cloud #3: Long-term backup copy on another cloud storage

Check that your cloud backup solution has built-in redundancy in their cloud storage to provide you with a long-term immutable backup copy in keeping with the 3-2-1 backup rule.

#2 Leave No One Out

Comprehensiveness is essential for an optimized backup. This means that your all your SaaS data should be included in the cloud backup. For instance, check that both data and metadata is backed up. For instance, Salesforce’s native options for “backup” does not include metadata. Data needs metadata to provide it useful information. Without metadata recovery, the recovery of the cloud data may not include settings and customizations, causing confusion and frustration.

Also, ensure that other “low-profile” ecosystem apps that hold essential data such as Public Folders, Teams, shared Drives, archived folders, Notes, etc. are not excluded. Teams, in particular, holds business-critical information and is not always included in Microsoft 365 cloud backup solutions.

#3 Champion Adoption of Cloud Backup and Cybersecurity Best Practices

A secure and robust cloud backup solution can help you restore your data in the event of a data loss incident. But that’s only if your admins and users are well-trained in using it. Ensure that your admins are acclimatized the cloud backup tool’s backup and recovery processes and fully understand its features, tips and tricks. For example, cloud backup solutions often provide multiple recovery options such as granular, search and filter, point-in-time snapshots, hierarchical, cross-user, and cross-site. Knowing which option would be the best to use for a particular type of data loss would quicken recovery and business continuity. If the cloud backup tool allows for self-service recovery, train your employees too for quick, hassle-free recovery of lost data.

Finally, continue to evangelize cybersecurity best practices, safe email hygiene and a checklist for secure remote working. Circulate your Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plan and/or your Ransomware Incident Response Plan to ensure that everyone understands their roles if an incident does occur.

#4 Check on Security and Audit-ready Credentials

Your data is only as secure as its backup. Here are a few must-have security credential checks of your cloud backup

  1. Firstly check that your cloud backup is stringently encrypted both at rest and in flight.
  2. Make sure your backup sy