World Backup Day, Disaster Recovery, and Managed Service Providers

One topic that managed service providers (MSPs) should be ready to discuss with their customers, according to Michael Brown, is their plans for backup and disaster recovery (BDR). Since today (March 31) is World Backup Day, now is a good time to make sure you are ready for this discussion. MSPs should “help clients create a comprehensive disaster recovery plan,” Brown explained, “to minimize the impact of a security breach if one occurs. By helping their clients understand where their information is, how it’s backed up, and whether or not their vendor can access it, MSPs can enhance security and ensure both parties understand the boundaries between the client and provider.”

A roundup of 2015 cloud computing forecasts and market estimates by Louis Columbus revealed that this year’s top two tech spending increases are security technologies and cloud computing. With more companies investing in cloud computing, these two spending trends often coalesce, which is why cloud service providers must also be cloud security providers.

“The first step in architecting a cloud security solution,” David Auslander blogged, “is to identify the layers of the environment to be protected. The next step is to determine how to provide protection for each layer.” One of those layers is cloud-based BDR for data stored in the cloud and protection at this layer includes physical firewalls and network activity monitoring. According to Neal Bradbury, these solutions must also be able to protect both physical and virtual environments, “while offering simplified management, unified backup and replication, deduplication, and the ability to recover data from any location. A unified solution that allows for backup interoperability between physical and virtual systems makes BDR within hybrid infrastructures easier to manage and can offer greater flexibility and improved efficiency.”

“The most important element of securing any environment,” Auslander explained, “is an ongoing and ever evolving plan for maintaining the security aspects of the environment.” This includes applying software updates and security patches as soon as they become available from vendors, and regularly scheduled vulnerability testing to make sure the environment remains secure.

Too often we don’t think about disaster recovery until we suffer a disaster, at which point we realize we haven’t been backing up our critical data as diligently as we should. So we should use World Backup Day to review our BDR procedures and MSPs should use it an occasion to discuss their cloud-based BDR solutions with customers and prospects.

This post was brought to you by IBM for Midsize Business and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit IBM’s Midsize Insider. Dedicated to providing businesses with expertise, solutions and tools that are specific to small and midsized companies, the Midsize Business program provides businesses with the materials and knowledge they need to become engines of a smarter planet.