The Advantages of Offsite Backup & Storage for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

In the digital era, businesses no longer store critical data in filing cabinets. Instead, digital data is stored digitally, which is where offsite backup advantages step up to the plate. Making this investment is critical in a world where 68% of business leaders agree that their cybersecurity risks are increasing.

Your data is your treasure chest. It’s what the essence of your business is. And just as you wouldn’t stuff your life’s savings under the mattress, you shouldn’t store your data exclusively at home. This guide discusses offsite backup advantages and how to backup data offsite.

What is an Offsite Backup?

Offsite backups are the digital equivalent of a safety deposit box. With 45% of businesses that had experienced severe loss of critical data losing it forever, it just makes sense to have a copy of your data that you can call upon should the worst happen. Offsite data storage can be defined as storing copies of your data at a physical location separate from your primary data center.

The infrastructure, such as servers, data centers, external hard drives, and even flash drives, differs depending on your disaster recovery plan. Still, the only rule is that it must be separate from your primary location. Yet despite the inherent cybersecurity risks of not utilizing offsite storage backup, 96% of businesses don’t even back up their workstations.

Is Tape Storage a Good Way to Backup Data Offsite?

Cloud storage is the most popular data storage choice, with 90% of companies utilizing a cloud-based service in 2020. However, taking advantage of multiple storage solutions is the key to backing up your data offsite.

One of the most effective ways to secure your data is offsite tape storage. Tape is a storage option that stores your data on a magnetic film strip. Businesses can write and read their data using a tape drive. Each tape is then stored offsite in a locked, climate-controlled vault, known as tape vaulting. Although tape storage may sound archaic, it offers several disaster recovery advantages in the modern age, including:

  • Air Gap – Tape storage doesn’t require a connection to the network. This creates an essential barrier between any disaster at home and where your tapes are stored.
  • Immutability – If you use Linear Tape-Open (LTO) and Write-Once-Read-Many (WORM) as part of your local and offsite backups, data may only be written once but read as many times as you want. This ensures that the data cannot be changed or deleted under any circumstances.
  • Tremendous Storage Capacity – Tapes have a substantial storage capacity. Some tapes also have compression ratios of 2.5:1, which allows capacity to be measured in terabytes on a single tape.
  • Low Cost – The storage capacity and relative affordability of tapes make it a more cost-effective choice for secure offsite data storage than external hard drives and cloud storage.
  • Lifespan – Tapes also come with a longer lifespan. Tapes can last up to 30 years if stored under the correct conditions.

Magnetic tape is a product of a previous age, making it such a secure option in a digital-first era. Although retrieving said data can take longer, this legacy technology offers an impenetrable defense against even the most sophisticated cyberattacker. The offsite backup advantages of tape make it the go-to solution for long-term storage and archiving. Yet only 9% of enterprises use this type of offsite backup service today.

What are the Advantages of Storing Data Offsite?

Businesses are especially vulnerable to cyberattacks in 2024 and beyond. In fact, 60% of companies close within six months of a significant cyberattack. Although the advantages of data backup cannot guarantee that your business will survive, offsite storage can dramatically bolster your chances. So, why should you store backup data offsite?

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

Disasters can strike at any time. Most business owners immediately consider the risk of a cyberattack, but any number of disasters could wipe out months or even years of hard work. This may include fires or natural disasters. Due to climate change, natural disasters are also becoming more common.

Between 2016 and 2022, 122 billion-dollar disasters hit the country, causing over $1 trillion in damages. In the event of a disaster, possessing a robust offsite data backup storage and disaster recovery contingency can enable your business to function. If you can access all your data, you can minimize downtime and disruption while serving your customers as before.

Moreover, having multiple layers of offsite data storage can provide extra peace of mind. For example, using offsite backup tape storage for data recovery can allow your business to survive if your cloud storage provider gets hacked and forced offline. Offsite data storage is the ultimate safety net should the worst happen.

Enhanced Security

Cybersecurity threats are rising. According to one study, the global cost of cybercrime is expected to reach $8 trillion in 2023. Every year seems to result in a dramatic leap in damages, demonstrating the seriousness of this threat. The problem in confronting this threat is cybercriminals are becoming ever more sophisticated in their methods.

Many security experts compare it to a game of whack-a-mole because new techniques are emerging as quickly as cybersecurity companies can confront them. Unfortunately, it’s often inevitable that a business will experience a cyberattack of some severity at some stage. According to Aviva, one in five businesses experienced one of these attacks in 2023. They also emphasize that 67% of businesses are likelier to have experienced a cyberattack vs. physical theft.

In short, this is something that should keep you up at night. Even the best become victims sometimes, but what defines your future is how you react to said disaster. Offsite backups offer that layer of protection that lets you have your entire primary system wiped while keeping your data available and secure.

For example, ransomware attacks struck 66% of organizations globally in 2023. This attack locks businesses out of their systems and holds their data storage until they pay a substantial fee. One of the biggest offsite backup advantages is a business can avoid paying these ransoms, even if the attacker subsequently wipes their primary systems because they have copies stored elsewhere. Plus, offsite secure data centers offer enhanced security measures to give businesses peace of mind, including:

  • Encryption
  • Physical security
  • Specialized compliance with data protection regulations
  • Climate-controlled media vaults

Note that these advanced security measures don’t just safeguard your business against malicious attacks. They also provide security if you experience accidental deletion or alteration of your data.

Scalability

Your data grows alongside your business. Today’s brands generate more data than ever, and also at a faster rate than ever. It’s estimated that 120 zettabytes of data were created, captured, copied, and consumed in 2023. By 2025, this is expected to reach 185 zettabytes worldwide. Managing this growth can be problematic for businesses, especially if they experience a period of accelerated expansion.

In the past, this would mandate significant changes to your primary server, potentially requiring brand-new software alongside physical infrastructure. Today, businesses can rely on offsite storage services that enable them to scale at a fraction of the cost and a fragment of the hassle.

In short, it’s not just the scalability of offsite backups but the ease of scaling that makes it the best choice for today’s businesses. On a side note, scaling upward is as simple as scaling downward.

Cost-Effectiveness

Storing an ever-expanding data cache can quickly eat up your annual budget. Although larger organizations may opt to build and maintain an onsite data center, this is an enormous investment mandating:

  • Physical building and maintenance
  • Advanced data storage methods
  • Cost of security
  • Climate-controlled environments
  • Professional data storage experts

These costs are far above what the vast majority of enterprises can afford, especially at the current rate of data expansion. Instead, external offsite data storage is ideal because of the low upfront costs. In most cases, you could store your business’s entire data assets for a few thousand dollars annually, assuming you’re a larger business. Small businesses can enjoy even lower costs.

The money you can save on data security and disaster recovery can be diverted to other critical business operations, giving you a strategic edge.

Why Should You Use Tape Storage and Store Backup Data Offsite?

Offsite data storage is cost-effective, easy to take advantage of, and highly scalable while giving you the enhanced security your business needs to confront everything from cyberattacks to natural disasters.

However, the key to any disaster recovery and data storage plan is never relying on one type of offsite backup solution. A diverse mix encompassing connected storage options like the cloud and non-connected solutions like magnetic tape storage ensures your business is ready for anything.

If you need to improve your data security, Corodata is the expert in supporting businesses from our home in California. To learn more about building an offsite backup for your brand, contact the Corodata team today.