In today's tech-driven world, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications have become an integral part of business operations. However, with the convenience of SaaS comes the responsibility of safeguarding critical data. To give insight on this topic, Johnny Yu, Research Manager at IDC, recently detailed SaaS data backup requirements and best practices in a new report sponsored by Own. Below are the highlights.\n\nProtecting against SaaS data loss and corruption\n\nFirst and foremost, organisations must understand the shared responsibility model inherent in SaaS applications. While SaaS providers ensure platform availability, they're not responsible for data loss, corruption, or unauthorised access. This responsibility falls on organisations to safeguard their data. While some SaaS applications offer rudimentary backup and restore features, these lack independence and may fail to ensure comprehensive protection.\n\nTurning to third-party SaaS backup solutions is essential for organisations with critical SaaS data. These solutions store data separately from the application, mitigating downtime and data loss risks. Such tools will also provide additional capabilities, like extended retention periods, unlimited storage, and data loss and corruption alerts.\n\nUnique aspects of SaaS data backup and recovery\n\nSaaS data backup and recovery present distinct challenges compared to traditional applications. Traditional data resides within an organisation's infrastructure, facilitating backup via data protection software. In contrast, SaaS applications demand a different approach. SaaS data backup software employs APIs provided by vendors to copy and store data externally, under the customer's control. During recovery, the software integrates with the SaaS application for restoration. Additionally, SaaS data backup software is tailored to specific applications, unlike traditional backup software designed for various workloads.\n\nEfficient data restoration and resuming operations\n\nEfficient recovery from data loss requires low Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs). Achieving this involves factors like the speed of recovery execution and a streamlined workflow. Well-defined protocols for detecting, verifying, and executing recovery are crucial. The best SaaS backup tools facilitate this process, minimising data overwrite and reducing RTOs.\n\nLowering RPOs demands aligning backup frequency with acceptable data loss levels. Organisations must target high-transaction objects with frequent backups and initiate on-demand backups before significant changes.\n\nCompliance in backup strategies\n\nLong-term data retention for compliance is a critical consideration. Regulations such as HIPAA and GDPR dictate retention periods for different data types. Furthermore, data destruction must be managed to comply with privacy regulations. Backup solutions must accommodate data deletion requests to prevent unintentional data reintroduction.\n\nBeyond technology: preparing for data emergencies\n\nWhile having the right technology is essential, certain emergencies require specialised knowledge. Mass deletion or data corruption incidents necessitate expertise in the affected SaaS application or the backup solution. For this reason, organisations should have access to specialists who can manage such emergencies through services or hires.\n\nIn summary, SaaS data protection requires understanding the shared responsibility model, employing third-party backup solutions, and adhering to compliance and recovery best practices. With the right technology and preparedness, organisations can navigate the intricacies of SaaS data backup and recovery and ensure business continuity in the face of data emergencies.\n\nDownload the full IDC Analyst Connection, sponsored by Own.