With the exponential rise in cyber-attacks and other data risks in recent years, SME leaders are more aware than ever that they need robust data backup and restore functions to protect their business. Unfortunately, a lack of knowledge in data management also means that those same leaders are unaware of just how much of their data is at risk through the SaaS tools they use.
Many assume that their data is backed up and recoverable from the side of the vendor. In fact, 40 percent of Saas vendors surveyed have lost data stored in online SaaS tools. This happens because cloud services vendors such as Microsoft operate on a shared responsibility model, which puts the onus of data protection on the consumer, but many are unaware of this when they sign up for the service. Most SaaS vendors will offer a backup service as an addition, but the value and importance of it is often overlooked due to the perception that the data is already secure.
SMEs are also strapped for resources, and finding people to manage data backup and recovery is particularly difficult now due to the global shortages in IT skills. Managed services providers that can help SMEs audit their SaaS environment to determine what data is at risk and then provide a backup and recovery service therefore have a significant opportunity to engage with their customers and deliver solutions that can prevent business-ending data loss.
Introducing Cove Data Protection by N-able
Cove Data Protection is a data protection-as-a-service solution from N-able. It applies to Microsoft 365 as well as servers and workstations and also features a full suite of backup features including full image recovery and virtualisation, file-level restores, automated recovery testing, and fast failover. The solution can also archive older data (at no extra cost) to meet retention requirements. Cove’s TrueDelta architecture means incremental backups are significantly smaller than with image backup, making it possible to back up to the N-able cloud as often as every 15 minutes, even over slower Internet speeds in remote locations.
For MSPs this means an easier to manage and maintain backup solution that they can offer customers, as Procision IT discovered when it shifted from an on-premises backup solution to Cove Data Protection. “It meant that we could go to our customers and say, ‘the data is on shore, which helps us comply with all the privacy laws’, so we ticked the box on that, and because it was on cloud, the local backup became the secondary option,” Paul Foley, Procision IT Director, said.
“In the past, the local backup was the primary, and we were forever trying to make sure that the NAS was working at the customer site, that the hard drives were working. We’d also have to regularly tell the customer that we’d need to buy more storage, and it became an ongoing maintenance argument.”
Beyond the technical issues that Cove Data Protection address, N-able has also come up with a solution to the challenge of getting SME customers to sign on in the first place. The nature of data backup is such that until you need to recover data, it’s not adding value to the business in the day-to-day operation, and most SMEs don’t have big budgets for technology. Research by the Australian government found that the typical SME spends less than $500 on cybersecurity every year and, while 80 percent consider cybersecurity to be “very important”, almost half of SMEs rated their cybersecurity knowledge as insufficient. These data points combined highlight how it is far too easy for an SME to put data backup to the side until it’s too late.
To help MSPs address this challenge, N-able is providing a year of free access to Cove Data Protection for Microsoft 365 for up to 100 unique end users per MSP. This allows the MSP to offer it to their customers as a live trial. It is likely that, over the course of the year, some form of data recovery and restore will be needed. Having then articulated the value of Cove Data Protection in that operation, the MSP will then have the opportunity to maintain the customer on a paying basis beyond the trial period.
Cove Data Protection by N-able can also boost an MSP internally. As Procision IT’s Foley said, Cove Data Protection saves each individual technician hours of time each week, allowing the company to service more customers. It also reduces risk. Research shows that more than half of backups fail when restoration is attempted, and this can really hurt the relationship between the MSP and their customer. The recovery testing built into Cove Data Protection reduces the risk, providing more assurance that the data can be restored if needed.
With security risks further on the rise, backup essential as part of the Australian Government’s Australian Cyber Security Centre’s Essential Eight framework, and with no end to the skills shortage in sight, SMEs need to find a good MSP partner to assist them with managing their increasingly cloud-driven environments. SaaS data loss is one of the great “hidden” risks facing SMEs, and a year of Cove Data Protection for Microsoft 365 is an ideal opportunity for MSPs to get ahead and address it for their customers.
For more information on Cove Data Protection, or the offer of a year’s free access for 100 end users, click here.