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What Is SaaS Backup?

Software as a Service backup, or SaaS backup, is the process of duplicating and storing data generated from using SaaS products. This data often originates from cloud-based SaaS applications, PaaS (Platform as a Service), and cloud-based network IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).

Why Is SaaS Backup Important?

SaaS backup is key because it involves the backup and recovery of your organization’s business-critical data generated from cloud-based solutions.

Each organization may prioritize SaaS backup differently, depending on how critical it is to their operations. Here are some questions to help you decide how important SaaS is to you:

  • Is your SaaS solution a critical component to your business operations? For example, is it key for your CRM, ERP, e-commerce store, communications, collaboration, or productivity software?
  • Does your solution collect, manage, or store historical information, sensitive customer data, patient or financial records, or other business-critical data?
  • Would data loss of your SaaS data impact your daily operations or business continuity, or would they compromise your marketplace advantage, or otherwise expose your business?
  • How vulnerable is your SaaS data to cyberattacks? Healthcare and business sectors are, historically, the most affected by data breaches.
  • Do your employees use a SaaS solution to routinely access, handle, or share critical data?
  • Are you using or do you plan to use your SaaS solutions to centralize or expand access to geographically dispersed employees, organizations, or third-parties?

Which Solution Types Need SaaS Backup?

Some of the most common “as a Service” solution types requiring backup are those used by businesses, including:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms: These platforms help businesses store, track, and manage customer relationships to drive interactions. Examples include: Salesforce, Zendesk, HubSpot.
  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software: ERP software is used for large-scale business operations and process management, including functions such as budgeting, accounting, workforce management, and inventory management. Examples include: NetSuite, SAP, Workday, Katana, Infor.
  • E-commerce SaaS solutions: All types of businesses build these platforms for web-based stores to sell products and services. Examples include: Shopify, Magento, Wix.
  • Communications, collaboration, and productivity solutions: Includes online file sharing, instant messaging, mobile apps, email, virtual meeting software, and more. Examples include: Microsoft 365 (Sharepoint, OneDrive, Teams), Azure Active Directory, Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), Adobe Creative Cloud, Box, Dropbox, Github, Gitlab, Jira, AWS.

How Does SaaS Backup Protect My Critical Data?

There are many threats that can result in data incidents, loss, or deletions. Two primary ones are cybersecurity threats and human error. Let’s consider each one and see how SaaS backup provides protection.

Cybersecurity Threats

Cybersecurity threats like malware, ransomware, phishing, and social engineering are an ever-present concern in today’s mobile economy. Technology trends, like Internet of Things (IoT) bring your own device (BYOD), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) have only increased threat vectors and accelerated malicious hacking behaviors.

Backup and recovery solutions feature a strong set of data backup and recovery capabilities that ensure business continuity, minimize data loss, and simplify data management by consolidating siloed data from multiple sources to a single, multicloud data platform that reduces the total number of accessible points.

Human Error

Employees are managing more sensitive data than ever before. According to a report published in 2022, Psychology of Human Error, more than one-fourth of employees fell for phishing scam emails in the last year. Also in the last year, more than a third of employees thought they had made a security-compromising decision at work.

The research suggests that distraction, stress, and fatigue can contribute to a person’s ability to consistently make good cybersecurity decisions. 

Clicking on phishing scams and misdirecting emails are some of the most frequent risky behaviors that can lead to data incidents, according to this study. Losing devices or leaving them unattended and forgetting to save work are common culprits of data loss as well.

How SaaS Backup Works with Cloud Platforms, Applications, and Services

There are misconceptions that the vendor-provided backup included with the software will always fully protect and restore your critical data. In fact,  IT-managed services, enterprises, cloud software and service providers, and cloud computing organizations like the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) specify that cloud security is a shared responsibility.

Your SaaS provider will have backup systems in place to prevent end-user outages and downtime and protect against infrastructure, network, hardware, and software disruptions. However, because their motivation for backup may be different from yours, you won’t necessarily achieve the level of granularity needed to comply with current data privacy and access regulations, or even fully recover your data during a cyberattack, data breach, or natural disaster.

Third-party SaaS backup is the recommended enterprise backup solution to ensure your data is securely stored, accessible, recoverable, and leverageable—allowing you to derive more valuable insights from it.

How Do You Choose the Right SaaS Backup Solution?

The purpose of a SaaS backup solution is to protect your organization’s data, so you want to make sure you select the right one. To do this, you’ll want to evaluate how different solutions store data and what the disaster recovery process is like. The best solution will also comply with retention policies, service-level agreements (SLAs), and data privacy best practices. 

This checklist can help you prepare for vendor conversations to decide which solution is best for your organization:

  • Environment: How is your data currently being stored? On-premises, cloud, multicloud, hybrid cloud?
  • Volume: How much SaaS data do you need to protect? Do you expect this to increase? Will you need a scalable long-term solution to meet future requirements?
  • Security: How important/critical is your SaaS data and does the solution support fast recovery? Does the data need to be protected with encryption, immutability, and other security measures?
  • Cadence: How often should data be backed up to ensure you have the most complete recoverable snapshot? Daily, hourly, more frequently?
  • Compliance: Does your data need to be available to customers to satisfy geo-specific data regulations or policy-specific compliance criteria?
  • Lifecycle management: Does your backup solution need automations that help you adhere to content or data lifecycle management policies such as storage duration, deletion, and archival?
  • Resources: Do you have knowledgeable or dedicated IT staff to implement and manage your data environment, or are you looking for support migrating, setting up, and managing your backups, or modernizing with a custom solution?

Cohesity and SaaS Backup

If recent events have taught us anything, it’s that change can introduce uncertainties overnight—even in technology. SaaS applications and platforms use critical data to help you make the most informed decisions for your products, customers, and your business.

So, where there’s critical data, not only is secure backup a necessity but, so is redundancy—even in the cloud. SaaS backup is the first step towards securing business-critical, valuable data against tomorrow’s uncertainties. 

An enterprise backup and recovery software solutions leader, Cohesity, offers flexible, best-in-class next-gen data management solutions that help simplify how your organization manages its data now and into the future.

Here are a few ways Cohesity empowers IT teams, helping them simply and efficiently manage sensitive data:

  • Offering a comprehensive, enterprise-class backup and data management solution for most-used business email suite solutions, like Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace
  • Enabling auto-discover and auto-protection for mailboxes, groups, files, and folders
  • Indexing metadata to aid easy global search and rapid recovery from internal and external threats
  • Helping restore objects to their original or an alternative location—including the cloud
  • Granular instant recovery and the ability to search for particular emails or files according to different metadata fields

Sign up today for a free 30-day trial.


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