Data protection is one of the most critical priorities of businesses today. With almost every business-critical process being data-driven for most companies today, protecting that data is of primary importance. As companies have migrated a large portion of their critical data to cloud SaaS environments, protecting that SaaS data has become vital. With a wide range of cloud SaaS solutions available for protecting your critical data, how do you choose a SaaS Data Protection Platform?
Why cloud SaaS backups are more important than ever
We can rightly say that cloud SaaS backups are more important than ever. Why? Simply put, there is more business-critical cloud SaaS data than ever. As a result, you would be hard-pressed to find businesses not leveraging the cloud in some way today. With the onset of the global pandemic in early 2020, organizations accelerated cloud adoption. They quickly pivoted to cloud SaaS solutions to empower the hybrid workforce with the tools they needed for communication, collaboration, and productivity.
With the increase of cloud SaaS data, cybersecurity risks are growing at an alarming rate. For example, cybersecurity Ventures estimated that by 2022 there would be a ransomware attack every 11 seconds. Your critical data has never been more vulnerable and at risk. Data backups are the first line of defense with any data loss.
A data backup allows recreating the data from scratch without any original production infrastructure. Relying on any part of your production infrastructure goes against all backup best practices, including the well-known 3-2-1 backup strategy. With the 3-2-1 strategy, it is recommended to have (3) copies of your data stored on at least (2) types of media, with (1) copy stored offsite.
Businesses need to consider their cloud SaaS backups as there are no built-in backups in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) environments like Google Workspace and Microsoft 365. Organizations can be caught off guard by this reality when disaster strikes.
Cloud hyperscale vendors like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft operate using what is known as a shared responsibility model. The shared responsibility model used by cloud services providers places the burden of responsibility for protecting the data squarely on the shoulders of the customer.
With all of the reasons mentioned above and the massive cybersecurity and compliance challenges facing organizations today, choosing the right SaaS data protection platform represents a crucial investment in the security and integrity of your critical data.
How to choose a SaaS data protection platform
When you think about a platform, you think about the supporting structure, the underlying base, and the support mechanism. Following this terminology, a data protection platform defines the supporting technologies upon which your entire data backup solution will be architected. Therefore, the processes and tasks associated with backing up your data depend on your chosen data protection solution and its capabilities.
Note the following essential requirements for a modern cloud SaaS data protection solution to protect your critical data in your cloud SaaS environment.
- It bolsters your 3-2-1 backup best practice strategy
- It is a Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) solution
- Backups are automatic and incremental
- Encryption protects data in-flight and at-rest
- Ransomware protection is a built-in feature
- The solution is aligned with modern compliance regulations
- The SaaS backup solution covers the services your business uses
1. It bolsters your 3-2-1 backup best practice strategy
The 3-2-1 backup best practice strategy serves to help architect data backups that are resilient to catastrophic data loss, where all data is lost. It does this by helping to architect copies of your data stored in separate locations and on different technologies. This diversification of location and storage media helps to ensure that data loss will not occur across all data copies.
When choosing a SaaS data protection platform, note the locations where you can store your backup data. Unfortunately, many cloud-to-cloud SaaS data protection platforms do not allow customers to choose which cloud storage they can target to store their SaaS backups. Even worse, many store backups in the same cloud they are backing up.
For example, when backing up Google Workspace, they store the critical data in Google. When backing up Microsoft 365, the data is stored in Azure. Look for a solution that bolsters your 3-2-1 backup best practice strategy and allows you to choose where SaaS backup data is stored.
2. It is a Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) solution
While there is nothing inherently wrong with using an on-premises solution for storing your cloud SaaS backups, using a Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) solution is a much more modern approach for SaaS backups. It also provides several advantages over traditional on-premises infrastructure, including helping organizations align with the subscription-based OpEx spending model and eliminating the need for physical backup infrastructure.
Backup-as-a-Service solutions also help to minimize the risk of ransomware and other malicious processes affecting backups. Since businesses generally have to spin up Windows Server or Linux hosts with solutions housed on-premises, IT must continuously defend backups against ransomware and other malicious processes. With SaaS cloud-to-cloud backups, there is no user space or file system that ransomware can access directly. In addition, it helps to protect against the file-level encryption operations carried out by modern ransomware variants.
3. Backups are automatic and incremental
This characteristic should fit most current backup solutions on the market. Most can schedule backups to process cloud SaaS backups automatically and without manual intervention. Look for a solution that provides easy scheduling and seamless management of backup scheduling. SaaS data protection platforms should also use incremental backups. Incremental backups only copy the changes to the data between each subsequent backup. As a result, each backup is much smaller, and the time it takes to perform the backup is drastically reduced.
4. Encryption protects data in-flight and at-rest
Encryption enables businesses to protect their business-critical data from unauthorized access to the information contained in the data. It does this by using an encryption key to scramble the data so that only those with the correct key can read it. As a result, encryption technology is one of the pillars of data security, allowing data to be securely transmitted and stored without the risk of having it fall into the wrong hands.
Encryption in-flight encrypts data as it is transmitted across the network, while encryption at-rest encrypts data as it is stored on disk. Any cloud SaaS data protection platform, should incorporate both types of encryption for a holistic approach to data security. If you find that a SaaS backup solution includes one but not the other, it is time to move to the next vendor on the list for consideration.
5. Ransomware protection is a built-in feature
Unquestionably, ransomware is one of the top cybersecurity challenges on the security priority list today. Unfortunately, ransomware is increasingly going after backups as part of the damage inflicted. Modern ransomware variants strive to do anything possible to prevent organizations from restoring critical data, leading to a ransom payment. Therefore, modern SaaS data protection platforms should have ransomware protection as a built-in feature.
Backups and cybersecurity go hand-in-hand. Without one or the other, your data is exposed to catastrophic data loss. Look for a BaaS solution incorporating next-generation ransomware protection as part of the portfolio of capabilities and features.
6. The solution is aligned with modern compliance regulations
Prospective SaaS data protection platforms should align with recognized compliance frameworks and security standards. When a backup vendor works hard to ensure they meet the requirements and expectations of the big compliance regulations in the enterprise today, it helps to have confidence in the security and compliance of the solution in general. Look for strong ties with modern compliance regulations when considering a backup vendor. It is also important to note if the vendor undergoes regular security and compliance assessments.
To which compliance frameworks should a reputable SaaS backup vendor align? These should include GDPR, HIPAA, CPPA, PCI-DSS, and others. SOC 2 Type II compliance also speaks volumes to the integrity and excellence of the solutions security standards.
7. The SaaS backup solution covers the services your business uses
Another important area of consideration for a SaaS data protection platform is the services protected by the solution. Make sure the Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 data protection platform you are considering protects the individual SaaS services your business uses.
You may be using various Google services across their ecosystem of SaaS products, such as Gmail, Drive, Contacts, Calendar, and Shared Drives. In Microsoft 365, you may be consuming Outlook, OneDrive, Calendar, People, Sharepoint, and Teams.
If so, you must ensure you pick a solution that can protect data across all the services your organization uses in cloud SaaS environments. After all, you would not want your data fully covered in one service with no protection in another. Choosing a mature cloud SaaS backup solution protecting data across all services will ensure you are not missing data protection across the full range of services your company uses.
SpinOne – A modern SaaS data protection platform
The landscape of cloud-to-cloud SaaS backup vendors is full of many different solutions. However, there is a solution that stands out among its competitors. SpinOne is a modern, fully-featured data protection and cybersecurity platform that understands how data protection and the security of your data go hand-in-hand. With SpinOne, businesses can provide modern, enterprise-grade backups for their Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, and Salesforce SaaS environments.
SpinOne provides a full suite of tools and capabilities, ensuring data is protected and secured from sinister threats, such as ransomware. Note the following capabilities included in the SpinOne suite of tools and capabilities:
- SpinOne provides fully automated backups and incremental backup snapshots that only copy the changes to the data. It provides highly efficient and time-sensitive backups to ensure SaaS data is fully protected. No agents or other special connections are needed for SpinOne to back up Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, and Salesforce.
- SpinOne does not require any special-purpose physical infrastructure to back up your SaaS environment. You do not have to provision physical servers or backup storage on-premises. It operates in the modern “as-a-Service” model that aligns with the cloud strategies of most organizations.
- You get detailed reporting and visibility of your backups and their data. SpinOne helps to see which services are backed up for each user, helping to understand any gaps in coverage. In addition, the reporting and auditing functionality allows meeting compliance objectives and auditing requirements easily
- SpinOne’s capabilities enable organizations to align with backup best practices, such as the 3-2-1 backup strategy. With SpinOne, you can not only choose which region your data is stored in but also choose the cloud provider used to store the data.
- It uses modern encryption capabilities to protect your data, such as TLS 1.3 and AES 256-bit encryption, both in-flight and at rest. This full-circle encryption helps to ensure your data is protected through the entire process of the backup lifecycle.
- The SpinOne cloud SaaS solution is backed by the world’s top cloud service providers for processing and storing customer data. It uses the latest TLS 1.3 and AES 256-bit encryption for data transmission and storage. It also meets the requirements of the top compliance frameworks required in most environments today, such as GDPR, HIPAA, CPPA, and PCI-DSS. Spin also undergoes periodic compliance assessments to ensure continuous compliance with these standards.
To protect your cloud SaaS data and backups from modern ransomware threats, SpinOne includes a Ransomware Protection module to protect against an attack. It uses modern artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms to quickly identify and remediate attacks in real time, without human intervention.
The SpinOne Ransomware Protection module does the following:
- Monitors cloud SaaS environments for signs of ransomware 24/7/365
- It ransomware is detected, SpinOne blocks the ransomware source
- It automatically isolates assets affected by the ransomware attack
- Affected files are automatically restored to the latest backup version
- IT admins are immediately notified of incidents in real-time
- It continuously protects against ransomware, providing granular SaaS security policy orchestration
SpinOne’s intelligent, automated data protection and cybersecurity solution helps eliminate slow and inefficient manual steps related to backups and protecting against ransomware. Instead of taking days to recover from a ransomware attack, SpinOne enables businesses to recover in as little as 2 hours and reduce recovery costs by up to 90%.Learn more about how SpinOne can protect your environment here.
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