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12:02 PM
Tim Hannibal, VaultLogix
Tim Hannibal, VaultLogix

Why Insurers Should Consider Cloud Backup to Protect Critical Data

Cloud backup services can help ensure regulatory compliance while reducing the risk of data loss.

Insurers and other financial services institutions must manage ever-growing quantities of sensitive data and comply with increasingly strict regulations, all while maintaining security against relentless cyber-attacks. Many of these organizations, especially those with multiple business units and a history of mergers and acquisitions, are further challenged by complex, disparate and poorly integrated backup systems, which are inflexible and unable to scale to meet business needs. The result is high backup costs, a high risk of data loss for the industry as a whole.

To save money and protect business-critical data more efficiently and effectively, more and more insurers are now leveraging cloud backup. These backup services can eliminate upfront costs for new backup hardware purchases, reduce risks associated with media loss or theft, cut the cost of physical media pickup and storage, and offer business continuity benefits through redundant, offsite storage.

Benefits of Cloud Backup for Insurers

Cloud backup, also called online backup, involves sending a copy of the customer's data over a proprietary or public network (usually the Internet) to an offsite data center. Most cloud backup systems include software that resides in the customer's data center and performs backups on a predefined schedule. The software collects, compresses, encrypts and transmits the data to the service provider's data center.

[The cloud is helping insurers execute their big data strategies: What Big Data Means For Infrastructure Costs]

A great benefit of cloud backup for insurers is that it can be deployed very quickly with no capital expense incurred. Like other cloud services, cloud backup lets businesses shift backup costs from a capital expense to a variable operating expense. In this way, cloud backup can help cut the total cost of ownership for backup/recovery, especially by reducing the need to purchase additional storage devices. Cloud backup can also improve the predictability of backup costs, which are then tied to demand and scale up incrementally.

Cloud backup helps enforce standards and consistency across the backup infrastructure companywide. This also serves to reduce total backup costs by reducing demands for IT maintenance and support around backup systems. Users can often recover files on their own using online backup systems, for instance.

Cloud backup services leverage the latest technology (e.g., compression and deduplication) and offer high Quality of Service (QoS) and massive scalability. This includes not only solid performance for a shorter backup window, but also accelerated restore times and improved reliability of restores -- including the recovery of data for e-discovery and litigation purposes.

Finally, cloud backup services are highly reliable and secure. Business-class cloud backup providers generally offer redundant data storage in highly available data centers with redundant fail-safe systems to protect data across the entire backup and storage process. Combined with the flexibility to back up all kinds of structured and unstructured data, cloud backup helps ensure regulatory compliance while reducing the risk of data loss.

In short: cloud backup lets insurers align the cost of backup with the business value of the data being protected. It offers a cost-effective, "pay-for-what-you-use" cost structure along with high reliability, ease of use, strong security and the flexibility to meet changing business needs.

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