SaaS Backup: An Overlooked Opportunity For MSPs

Cloud redundancy is great. Revolutionary, even. But it’s not a bulletproof solution to data loss.

  • November 23, 2021 | Author: Khali Henderson
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While redundancy is a central cloud value proposition, companies still experience data loss from their cloud applications – often from human error. By adding software-as-a-service (SaaS) backup to your clients’ cyber resilience frameworks, you can save them time and headaches – maybe even prevent catastrophe. Here’s what you need to know:

The cloudy security of the cloud
Your customers can’t open a news site these days without encountering a story about data breaches, ransomware or some other form of cybercrime. That works to your benefit when it comes to helping them build up their defenses and resiliency.
And in the case of cyber resilience, fear-motivated action may be a good thing. As the now proven adage goes, it’s only a matter of time before cybercriminals strike. Prepared organizations will weather the attack and move on – perhaps without missing an operational beat. 
But what about human error? Missed updates, lagging patches, phishing clicks and more are fallibilities baked into the philosophy that underpins cyber resilience. For most companies, these risks are a vital factor – and in some cases the vital factor – when adopting “always up-to-date” cloud applications. However, they don’t often think about the risk of accidental data deletion when jumping to the cloud.
Just an accidental deletion away…
The ability to restore entire databases following large-scale catastrophes is a well-established and fundamental cloud value proposition. But what about small directories or individual files that are deleted by accident? 
This is one instance in which the old-school system of on-site software licenses and backups served companies better than plain-vanilla cloud setups. Yes, on-premises systems fell out of date and were dysfunctional security disasters, but you could identify and restore individual files if you had a backup handy. 
The ability to restore deleted files is sorely needed for cloud solutions, as well. If an important file was accidentally deleted last week, you don’t want to roll back your entire company to retrieve it.  
SaaS backup is a solution for cloud solutions
SaaS backup provides another opportunity to become a cyber-resilience hero to your clients. The right SaaS backup solution delivers granular, file-level restoration to cloud applications. 
Moreover, backup is recommended by major application providers. Microsoft 365 represents a vital backup opportunity, which Microsoft expressly recommends:
“We recommend that you regularly backup Your Content and Data that you store on the Services or store using Third-Party Apps and Services.”
- Section 6 of Microsoft’s Services Agreement
SaaS backup is an underdeveloped opportunity for most MSPs, even when they’ve developed solid security practices. 
But adding SaaS backup can make a significant difference for your clients. One recent Cyber Resilience Zone case study was centered squarely on how one MSP became a client hero with Microsoft 365 backup.
Opening discussions with your clients
Microsoft 365 offers a great place to open discussions with your clients because of Microsoft’s own recommendation for backups. The three main talking points you can use are:
  • Human error — Accidental file deletion is an omnipresent threat. 
  • Ransomware and other threats — The ability to retrieve backups of files that cybercrooks have locked down or destroyed is essential to achieving cyber resilience.
  • Malicious insiders and departing employees — Shoring up internal protections is essential when one moment of anger, or one poor judgment call, can cause significant harm.  
And make sure that you include SaaS backup in all your client discussions and planning sessions about the need for holistic backup and rapid service restoration. True resilience can’t be achieved if SaaS data is overlooked in those processes. 

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