Oxygen IT Blog

Why Is Data Back-Up A Challenge for SMEs?

Oxygen Digital
Posted by Oxygen Digital on 13 October 2020 6:19:56 PM

We are in this digital age where more than half of the industries and the public sector, are embracing a cloud-first approach to drive innovation, performance, optimize cost, and enhance security. Yet, with this modern data-driven approach comes the challenge of data backup and protection. 

Most small and medium-sized businesses struggle with data backup and recovery, based on a study by Ipsos-Reid according to eWeek. Thirty-five percent of small business owners do not understand proper storage, security, or backup protocols for confidential data. This manifests a major disengage between small and enterprise-sized companies. In the case of enterprise companies, 95 percent are wary of legalities and other storage compliance requirements. 

Small and medium-sized businesses do not typically generate the same amount of data compared to larger organizations. However, they require the same protocols to ensure the security of essential business data. 


Challenges Encountered by SMEs 

Frugality seems like it governs the approach many SMEs have to safeguard data adequately. There is an implicit misconstruction that with budget and staff time at a premium, there is always something more pressing to do than manage backups. 

SMEs require solutions that are both cost-efficient and simple to use.  


The main challenges SMEs face on data protection include: 

  • Gathering increasingly rigid backup and recovery specifications: The requirements to recover lost or corrupt data to a specific point in time and reduce the overall time to restore data are becoming more stringent and are now often measured in hours instead of days.  
  • Implementing comprehensive protection with minimal impact on business operations: With an increasing amount of data being used by businesses each year, the opportunity for higher system downtime is shrinking the timeframe for backup windows. This trend places substantial pressure on small to medium-sized businesses to enhance their backup efficiencies. Say bye-bye to those days when critical systems could be powered off to perform backup operations. 
  • Establishing disaster recovery strategies cost-efficiently: Data protection practices do not fall into place as to where it should be for most SMEs. Too often than not, most SMEs lack the resources, administrative expertise, and off-site storage needed to provide real disaster recovery measures. 
  • Allocating limited backup administration resources: With a large percentage of necessary data generated by distributed clients and an inability to protect this data, IT departments can run the risks of potential data loss that may significantly impact the business. 


How Can Office 365 Handle Your Business-Critical Data? 

For most organizations, while they recognize these are imminent issues that need attention, sometimes they lack even the fundamental knowledge to execute a data protection strategy that can deliver them from potential data loss.

Just the same, most businesses have gone for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products simply because this modern approach offers diverse advantages over the conventional software systems and the consumption models related to them. The increased availability of cloud infrastructure and resources has eliminated the need to set-up, maintain, and support infrastructure and brought the idea of resiliency to light. This one solution that delivers excellent value to an organization is Microsoft Office 365. 

There has been a presumption that if the data is in SaaS, businesses need not worry about the data as we rely on the vendor to back it up. That is not the case, neither with Office 365.  

However, the fundamental question here would be, in the event of accidental deletion, malicious attacks including ransomware or internal security threats, does Office 365 include backup? 

The answer would be both a yes and no. As most SaaS vendors pivot on protecting its infrastructure to meet its contractual service level agreements, Microsoft follows the same architecture. This protection, however, does not extend to the customer. It is the customer’s control to back up the organization’s data still proactively. Office 365's SharePoint and OneDrive essentially offer data archiving workflows, but this is not a complete solution to address the problem of accidental deletion. Logically, once a file is permanently deleted, there is no way of recovering it again. 

It is also crucial to backup Office 365. Microsoft provides recovery options; however, you still need to have full control of your data.  Your data is independent of the cloud platform, with a backup you are utilizing. It is managed by a set of tools that offer more sophisticated and granular recovery, security, and governance around privacy-based laws positioned with new ground rules. 

The Road Ahead 

You see, fast recovery, fast access, and hyper-availability are not just trends nor business jargon. They are concerns encountered by organizations, whether small or large. Backups assure you peace of mind in any unforeseen circumstances.  

  • Security and compliance drive the need to keep a copy of your data. Most businesses can be left unprotected due to misinterpretation of the safety of data on the cloud. 
  • Backup consistency will streamline organizational efficiency and minimize any overhead. 
  • The power to airgap a backup repository with the Office 365 data will take security to the next level. In other words, your service provider will have exclusive access to these backups – making them safe from ransomware or malicious attacks. 

Developing a comprehensive data backup and recovery strategy and deploying appropriate solutions regarding backups on a timely basis is a validation that SMEs can ensure that their data, or most of it at least, will never be truly lost. This ensures business continuity and stable business growth for the organization. 

Find more information here about how OxygenIT can help you step up your business towards data resiliency and protection. 

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Join us for free webinars for the most significant cybersecurity and data backup events and get real life insights from industry experts on how to best defend against current and future threats.


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Topics: Backup and Security, Office 365, Article

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