Cloud data backup: Inexperience and ignorance key fear factors

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Organisations’ fears of cloud-based backup are mostly down to inexperience or ignorance of how the systems work rather than technological issues, according to new survey results released by analyst house Clutch.co.

The research, which surveyed more than 300 small to medium US businesses to measure the benefits and challenges of cloud-based backup, found that 87% of respondents said online backup was either equally or more secure than on-premises equivalents. 24% argued it was “much more” secure, with 32% opting for “somewhat” and 31% equally secure. Only 2% argued online backup was much less secure.

In terms of benefits to cloud backup, greater data security (31%) was most frequently cited, ahead of data space (21%) and simpler backup (21%), while more than a third (37%) of businesses polled said they had experienced no problems when utilising cloud backup, with downtime and bugs (36%) cited most often ahead of limited data space (22%), security issues (19%), and data recovery problems (14%).

Despite this, the research argues these factors can be improved upon. “It’s often very disconcerting if there’s any downtime with getting to the provider to get the data,” said Bob Lamendola, general manager of infrastructure services at MindShift. “It makes people very uneasy if the solution is not reliable and stable…it really casts a dark shadow and can create a barrier to adoption.”

Almost half (49%) of respondents say they back their data up on a daily basis, according to the research, compared with 34% who say weekly. Perhaps worryingly, 2% of firms polled said they back up their data annually. On a similar theme, backup services are usually tested weekly (34% of respondents) or monthly (34%). One in 10 ensure to perform a test daily, while 3% admit they have never done it.

Clutch argues a mix of frequent monitoring and annual, or semi-annual, testing by fully simulating a data leak and checking if the data can be fully restored. “[You should] simulate the ‘loss’ of a critical file, folder, database, or system, and document the exact steps and amount of time it takes to recover this data completely,” said Mark Anderson, of Anderson Technologies. “Go through every step necessary to get the data back on a system in-house and completely usable again.”

The concept of companies fearing change, rather than technology, is one which has been covered extensively in this publication. Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, argued as much when speaking to CloudTech last month. “It’s all transitionary,” he said. “From our experience, the speed of [cloud] transformation has got nothing to do with technology…[but] many times the fear and loathing of the IT department.”

You can read the full Clutch report here.

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