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3.8 min to readCloud ServicesDigital Workplace

Ensuring effective data backup for your multi-cloud strategy

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Matthew ShowersGlobal Best Practice Manager - Technology Services
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Digital transformation is driving cloud consumption, new application adoption and remote work, which is creating more data and presenting challenges in how to protect that data. The information and insights provided by this data are crucial to businesses to optimize products, services, and messaging based on what resonates with consumers. As a result of these business benefits, maintaining data has become a top priority.

However, as IT environments become more complex between on-premises data centers and the cloud, tracking, cleansing, and backing up all this data is a challenge. This challenge is compounded by the increase in multi-cloud and hybrid environments that require IT teams to correlate and centralize data being stored across multiple cloud service providers. IT teams have faced these types of challenges before. Managing the influx of applications and shadow IT brought in by different lines of business across distributed environments and the increased use of cloud, really stresses how important backup solutions are in today’s environment.

Data is a valuable asset to both businesses and cyber criminals, forcing organizations to ensure they have a mature backup strategy in place for their multi-cloud or hybrid cloud environment.

Why data backups are important

Data is among the most valuable business assets today, and as such, organizations cannot take chances with its backup plan. In fact, research has found 20 percent of small to medium sized businesses will suffer a major disaster causing loss of critical data every 5 years.

There are many sources of data loss. Cyber crime is prevalent, but you could also have accidental deletion, data corruption, malicious insiders – in addition to ransomware. Organizations need to pay special mind to all of these efforts in order to properly manage their data. Cyber criminals have become far more sophisticated in their attacks, with the aim of stealing data to sell on the dark web, use for fraudulent purposes, or hold for ransom. Ransomware attacks infect a corporate network, encrypt its data, and refuse to provide the decryption key until the criminals are paid a certain amount of money. This brings operations to a screeching halt, and many businesses opt to pay the ransom to minimize downtime and get back to work. Unfortunately, even when organizations do pay the ransom, their data has been in the control of cyber criminals for a significant amount of time, making it difficult to determine if it has been tampered with or corrupted.

With a current, secure backup, organizations can minimize the risks posed by ransomware and other cyber attacks as they are able to restore systems with data they know has not been compromised.

Aside from cyber attacks, data can also be lost due to physical destruction – for example flooding in the facility that stores the servers, rogue or compromised admin accounts that purposefully delete data, or even human error that leads to unintentional deletions. This is precisely why regular, uniform cloud backups are the most flexible and cost-effective way to ensure data accessibility and security.

Challenges of multi-cloud backup

Today, different stakeholders and lines of business make different cloud decisions. Perhaps marketing chooses to use an application that runs on Azure, while finance uses a different application that runs on AWS. These organizations are now referencing the same customer data in two cloud environments.

These multi-cloud environments are becoming commonplace, with 86 percent of enterprises having adopted a multi-cloud strategy. This means that IT teams must now ensure they are backing up all of this data on separate clouds, and maintaining compliance with various regulatory standards across each.

On the other hand, hybrid cloud models are still quite popular among many organizations. Hybrid cloud environments differ from multi-cloud environments in that they always include a private cloud component and exist within a single entity. While there’s no doubt multi-cloud has become the more popular choice, research has found that approximately 36 percent of organizations state they have a hybrid cloud environment. Backing up data within a hybrid environment still poses its own set of challenges, however, it is generally easier to navigate due to it existing in one entity.

Let’s delve into how you can build a strong strategy for backing up your multi-cloud or hybrid cloud environment.

Backup for your multi-cloud strategy

IT teams must establish a system to manage and maintain cross-organizational data stored across the       multi-cloud or hybrid cloud environment in order to comprehensively safeguard data and ensure business continuity. To do this effectively, organizations should move towards the following:


Before an organization deploys a backup strategy for their multi-cloud or hybrid environment, it’s imperative to plan, plan, plan. IT teams should go through the organization’s data and assets with a fine-tooth comb to evaluate the security priorities of each. Next, it’s crucial IT teams understand - especially in the case of multi-cloud environments - the data regulations involved. This will help everyone involved gain a better understanding as to what the consequences would be in the event of a breach or disaster. Knowing these elements prior to implementing your strategy will prove to be one of the most important aspects of your hybrid or multi-cloud strategy.


For effective multi-cloud or hybrid backup, organizations not only need one central location in which to store data, they must also have one centralized process by which this data is backed up and organized. Establishing this process will require in-depth knowledge and experience of how each cloud service operates and how data is configured within that environment. An effective strategy will provide the single pane of glass visibility into cloud instances as well as data stored on-premises – without piece-meal or niche solutions.


Organizations must ensure their backup is stored securely and is isolated from the broader network. This will guarantee that data backups are stored in air-gapped locations, ensuring data loss events and cyber-attacks on the network cannot also compromise the backup reserved for recovery. Part of this security is safeguarding encryption in transit and at rest, and that only authorized entities can access the backup and the data stored therein, especially in terms of compliance regulations.

Keep business continuity and disaster recovery in mind

As multi-cloud and hybrid environments become the new normal, unfortunately cyber-attacks will only continue to rise. When constructing your backup strategy, you must keep business continuity and disaster recovery in mind. Of course, your data will sync, but you can’t rely on that alone. Talk through the possible failures that could occur and what you may need to have in place in the event of a breach or loss. By having a failover plan in place, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’ve tried your best to ensure minimal downtime and  lower the chance of data loss.

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Discover why cloud data backup is important

In the age of remote work and digital transformation, cloud data backup is more important than ever. Read more:

Discover why cloud data backup is important

In the age of remote work and digital transformation, cloud data backup is more important than ever. Read more:


A silhouette of a person on a white background.

Matthew Showers
Global Best Practice Manager - Technology Services

Data Backup Specialist