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Sunday Onomo, Product Manager at Westcon-Comstor Sub-Saharan Africa

Westcon-Comstor press office

While virtually all companies globally use backups to protect their databases, only 16% have put measures in place to safeguard their software-as-a-service (SaaS) data.

This is surprising given how the cloud has become a critical part of business success, especially during these volatile times. Data loss or compromise can potentially cripple an organisation irrespective of where it is stored.

“Cloud service providers (CSPs) have stringent measures in place to recover from hardware failures or to ensure the durability of data, users accidentally deleting files or malware infecting business devices can still compromise systems.

It is a common misconception that once data is in the cloud, it is completely safe from harm. This is not the case. To this end, a shared responsibility model is something that every business must embrace in the digital landscape,” says Sunday Onomo, Product Manager at Westcon-Comstor Sub-Saharan Africa.

This means that CSPs are responsible for the security of the cloud while customers must secure the data they put in the cloud. But while organisations across Africa have been steadily incorporating the cloud into their business models, there is still a significant gap in adapting disaster recovery and business continuity strategies to keep up with these changing environments.

Limited protection

Take Microsoft 365 (previously Office 365) as an example. Not only does Outlook not keep deleted mail older than 30 days, but the suite does not offer recovery from a ransomware attack. Because there are no point-in-time backups in place that go back months or years, any business is at risk of suffering permanent data loss if ransomware strikes.

Furthermore, very few cloud-based productivity suites provide organisations with a second copy of their data. For those businesses in highly regulated environments (think financial services and healthcare), this is not an adequate best practice.

At the most basic, a 3-2-1 approach is required that sees a company having three copies of its data on two different media with one copy being off-site.

Protecting the cloud

A solution such as Veritas SaaS Backup becomes mission-critical to deliver secure, automated data protection across cloud-based environments.

“Whether business data is stored on Microsoft 365, G Suite,, or beyond, remaining in control of all backups and disaster recovery when it comes to SaaS can no longer be considered a luxury.

If the pandemic has highlighted anything, then it is on how important it is to not only equip employees with the tools to work remotely, but also having measures in place to keep data safe. With the challenging economic conditions, no company can afford not to protect its workloads irrespective of where it is stored.”

And because these backups are performed automatically, no user intervention is required. Veritas SaaS Backup also features a smooth integration process that provides instant activation with nothing to install or deploy.

“By removing the barrier to entry, solutions such as those provided by Veritas make backup and recovery a more seamless process. Eliminating a manual approach, especially when it comes to sensitive SaaS data, ensures the company can focus on being compliant while still delivering customer value," adds Sunday.

 Managing change

Additionally, a solution designed for SaaS backups also means an organisation can future-proof its workload data protection strategy as adding and managing accounts do not require costly technology upgrades, infrastructure, or even administration.

“Data is fundamental to business success. Not having solutions in place to mitigate against the risk of loss, compromise, or theft can result in significant financial and reputational damage. Whether data is stored on-premise or leveraged through SaaS workloads, it must be protected every step of the way,” concludes Sunday.

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