Your Guide to
Protecting Data in the Cloud

Why it's important and what it means to you

What Does It Mean to Protect Data in the Cloud?

The Evolution of Enterprise Data Protection

The all-encompassing data center is a thing of the past. Modern data environments are distributed and include remote and branch officesmobile devices, and cloud solutions such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). There is more critical data to back up than ever before. Plus, data silos and fragmented management mean poor visibility, which can make it difficult to comply with regional data residency and security rules as well as service-level agreements (SLAs). On-premises data protection has not kept pace and experts agree cloud-based data protection delivers improved security, recoverability, backup reliability, and reduced IT costs.

Transitioning to Data Protection in the Cloud

As a result of these shortcomings, organizations are increasingly moving away from on-premises data protection and backup, and shifting to a cloud-based approach. Cloud data protection refers to data partially or entirely backed up, stored, or managed in the cloud — regardless of whether these processes are done by the organization internally or by a third party. 

Data protection differs from security in that it typically refers to your data being backed up to be easily recovered in the event of loss (accidental or malicious) or corruption. Though often going hand-in-hand with data protection, security professionals also use this phrase to refer to the protection of primary data sources from malicious threats.

How Secure is Data Stored in the Cloud?

By 2024, close to half of IT spending on system infrastructure, infrastructure software, application software, and business process outsourcing will shift from traditional solutions to cloud. Cloud data protection enables the following:

  • Improved Physical Security. Cloud service providers have outfitted their physical premises with protective infrastructure and severely limited human access to critical servers. 
  • Continuous Monitoring. Automated, 24/7 security monitoring allows cloud service providers to identify anomalies, like potentially malicious bulk deletions, before they impact customer data. 
  • Frequent Security Audits. Cloud service providers conduct frequent security audits to ensure they’re using the latest best practices. 

Why Protect Sensitive Data with the Cloud?

Keep Critical Data Resilient

Cloud storage is designed for enhanced cloud data security to protect against malware and ransomware, as well as prevent malicious or accidental deletion. Cloud solutions back up data automatically without the need to manage local storage infrastructure and update backups only when certain files change (I.e., forever incremental). Automated infection monitoring helps teams locate when the infection first occurred and “roll back” to clean data.

Increase Efficiency and Scale

The cloud partially or entirely eliminates hardware and software. This means less to manage and maintain, and fewer time-consuming tasks for the IT team to perform. Patches and upgrades take place automatically with reduced downtime. Automated backups happen across the whole organization and initial deployment often takes only minutes.

Cut Management Costs, Break from Hidden Fees, and Save Big

Automated and always up-to-date, SaaS-based solutions free up resources while eliminating delays from capacity planning, hardware acquisition, software upgrades, patches, and more. Pricing is delivered on a consumption-based model where organizations only pay for what they use — without costly overage fees or rigid usage plans, many organizations appreciate the transparency and see savings up to 50% or more over their legacy solution.

What Types of Architectures Benefit from Cloud Data Protection?

Hybrid Cloud

The hybrid cloud uses a mix of on-premises servers and the public cloud to store data. The IT team manages the on-premises infrastructure and the cloud provider manages the public cloud. It helps eliminate the use of tapes for offsite storing of replicated data.

Hosted Cloud

The data is stored in the cloud, offsite, and managed by a third party on behalf of the organization. This is similar to remotely accessing data stored in on-premises servers. This setup allows an organization to reap some benefits of the public cloud without having to share the hardware resources or data. However, this approach is difficult to scale. You need to inform (and also pay) the third party if you want to upgrade or add hardware. This could add significant time to deploying new backup resources.


Backup data is stored in data centers owned and operated by the public cloud provider. To protect data from site-level failures, errors, and threats, the stored data is auto-replicated across three or more availability zones within a region. This ensures that your data is always safe, available, and accessible from anywhere at any time. As the cloud eliminates the need of buying and maintaining backup infrastructure, it is the most cost-effective, agile, and easy-to-manage data protection method. The Druva solution is cloud-native and 100% SaaS.

Download the Definitive Guide for an in-depth Exploration of Cloud Backup

In this comprehensive guide, we examine the benefits of each cloud-based approach and contrast them with legacy on-premises backup. Explore the key features and more, download the guide.

10 Key Features of a Cloud Data Protection Solution

Industry experts advise against go-it-alone approaches to securing critical data in the cloud. Your team will need to partner with a proven third-party vendor like Druva to keep your workloads secure. However, new cloud offerings are coming to market daily and you should take time to evaluate their appropriateness for your particular enterprise and applications. But not all services are built to the same standards, nor will they necessarily meet your needs. 

The ideal cloud data protection platform should enable your organization to reduce data protection costs, improve cyber resilience, maintain compliance, and simplify the management and execution of cloud projects. With this in mind, we’ve developed the following 10 key principles of a cloud data protection service.


Reliability and Availability

Ensure the provider is committed to well-defined SLAs for the resiliency and availability of your data without any compromise.The cloud data protection solution must perform the services you need when you need them — this depends on the two most important attributes of a modern cloud service: the system works consistently and, if it does fail, there’s an immediate backup. Your business processes won’t be interrupted.


Zero-Trust Security

The zero-trust model — never trust, always verify — is a primary tenet of cloud security. So is the 3-2-1 rule: three copies of data (production and two backups) on two different media and one copy offsite, completely separate from the production environment. All data should be encrypted in transit and at rest. Check the provider enables identity and access management, RBAC, and audit trails.


Compliance and Privacy

Making life easy is the overarching benefit of using a cloud-based data protection solution. You won’t have to worry about hardware, and the service automatically updates the application in the cloud without taxing your enterprise IT. But nobody can relax when it comes to compliance. Fines and lawsuits are too costly, and compliance policies need to be governed accurately over time. 

That’s why when you’re evaluating a cloud data protection provider, you have to be especially careful to ensure they take compliance as seriously as you do. Look for those with more than a decade of FedRAMP, HIPAA, and SOC 2 certifications.


Data Localization and Multi-Regional Support

Data localization and residency concerns the physical location of data storage and how agencies and companies control access to the data. Typically, governments extensively regulate any data that may include personal, governmental, or legal information, and a cloud data protection provider has to be 100% aware of the complex state, country, and regional laws. Ensure your provider has a thorough understanding of, and strict adherence to, all local and country data protection regulations.


Radical Simplicity

Cloud-native SaaS does away with a score of management tasks typical of traditional enterprise apps. In fact, ease of management is a sure way of telling if an app was designed from the start for the cloud. 

Adding cloud-connectivity features to a legacy application or service and rebranding it as “cloud-ready” is called cloud washing — it’s an obsolescent product and it’s not going to give you real cloud performance. Triple check to ensure the solution eliminates capacity management, system management, and software upgrades.


Linear and Infinite Scaling

Your application should provide the same benefits regardless of how demand fluctuates. With a cloud application built on a cloud service provider’s virtually infinite capacity, both processing and storage resources can be automatically added and subtracted. Need more GPUs to process an AI model? Additional VMs can be allocated in seconds. Need more backup capacity? The sky’s the limit. A true cloud-native data protection solution automatically scales up and down to meet your needs. It is easy to deploy, run, and scale, so you can focus on delivering value to the business.


Simplified Pricing and Lower Costs

Old architectures have been replaced with comparatively simple solutions. Deployment involves little more than connecting to the internet. And the price? Again, a fraction of what you’d pay for a legacy app that didn’t work half as well. Purchase the solution from a marketplace (such as AWS Marketplace), know exactly what you’re paying for, look for a history of price reductions, and understand its licensing.


Network Optimization

Data sprawl is a simple fact of life for modern enterprise networks. Critically important enterprise data is stored in the cloud, on endpoints, and in data centers. Thanks to the cloud, it’s all connected. But to function efficiently, cloud resources need to be well architected for global deduplication and active bandwidth management.


Data Portability and Disaster Recovery

With the cloud, data can now be stored exactly where it belongs and be accessible only by those who are properly authorized. Your business should be able to recover data quickly and easily anywhere when a disaster occurs with support to fail over to other regions without any manual steps.


APIs that Enable a Healthy Partner Ecosystem

The ideal cloud data protection solution securely interacts with a variety of partners, working with identity and access management (IAM) services to apply policies and technologies that make sure only the right, credentialed people are interacting with your data and other resources. These include litigation and eDiscovery support tools for preserving content and metadata, author and recipient information, and other important file properties. It’s hard work, but it’s infinitely easier when using a pre-built integration.

6 Benefits of Protecting Your Data in the Cloud

Major benefits of cloud-native data protection include:

1. Improved Reliability and Recoverability of Backups

The ability to recover data from backups is a significant benefit of cloud-based backup and recovery. But it's not just about the ability to restore files from backups, but also the ability to recover files from backups in the event of a disaster — or even if you need to access your data for a legal reason.


As such, cloud data protection models — and cloud-native in particular — are built to meet aggressive SLAs.

2. Increased Security

A growing number of businesses are recognizing that data protection in the cloud is actually more secure than on-premises data protection. Cloud applications include heightened safety measures like multi-factor authentication, immutable backups, and zero-trust security. 


AI and machine learning monitor the cloud environment for breaches and threats. These systems automatically find compromised files, quarantine them, and accelerate data recovery. Companies minimize downtime and get back to business faster — saving money and their reputation in the process.

3. Reduced IT Personnel Costs

Cloud data protection — especially cloud-native — requires much less IT involvement than on-premises protection. Automated and kept up-to-date, SaaS-based solutions “just work” and need limited oversight or management from personnel.


Employees can back up or restore without training, enabling organizations to operate with a lean team of experts, and freeing IT resources for more critical projects.

4. Reduced On-site Data Protection Hardware Infrastructure and Costs

No legacy environments to maintain, secure, or manage frees your team from management and fosters innovation. Organizations see faster time-to-value with SaaS-based data protection solutions — whether supporting new offices or new workloads in the cloud. 


With no hardware or software to install or manage, they break the status quo which increases IT agility. SaaS solutions have shorter purchasing cycles, and have fully automated platform updates. Since these systems scale up or down automatically, you don’t need to worry about storage management.

5. Reduced Risk of Data Loss

SaaS data protection solutions go beyond backups and provide disaster recovery utilizing the same backup data without the need for additional disaster recovery (DR) data centers. SaaS-based data protection solutions build in security with a logical air gap between the customer environment and the cloud. 


Backup data is stored in a public cloud on a separate network from the customer environment. Additionally, customers can’t directly access a backup file system, but neither can ransomware. The backup data, application, users, and activity are all on one platform enabling advanced security monitoring and coordinated incident response activities from one source of data.

6. Greater Manageability and Compliance

If all backup data is stored in the cloud (e.g., data unification), businesses can manage that data from a single dashboard and more easily comply with data residency and other rules as well as SLAs. Cloud-based solutions may offer a simple method to automatically monitor data compliance across all workloads, receive, and respond to violation alerts. Compliance monitoring solutions integrate easily or come built in, and offer policy templates to monitor and respond to violations of regulations like GDPR, CCPA and HIPAA.


Understand insights and metrics to improve data governance, compliance, and business resilience, protect end-user data and devices for the remote workforce, and reduce valuable IT time and costs.

Cloud Data Protection Best Practices

Ultimately, the best cloud data protection for your business is the one that meets your requirements. 

Not all data needs the same level of protection. Define your RTO and RPO needs across key categories like mission-critical, business-critical, and non-critical data. Identify your top-level goals for change and improvements and then pick a data set or location to start your evaluation. 

When you’re doing research and talking to solution providers, these questions can help you see beyond the “cloud” buzzwords and identify which solutions will work best for you:

Security Considerations

Management and Scale

  • How quickly does the system scale when you need more capacity and are there any surprise costs (for example, ingress or egress fees)? 

  • Across how many regions can you store data today? How can you add new regions?

  • How does your solution handle bandwidth constraints?

Efficiency and Costs

  • Will your current storage footprint and costs decrease when switching to a new model?

  • How easily can you understand and project future costs for both backup and recovery (e.g. ingress or egress fees)?

  • What is the data archiving model? How is data moved from warm to cold storage? What are the associated costs? Who manages the cloud archival storage

  • Does your solution use block or object-based storage? If block, how does it provide replication and resiliency, and how does it scale as capacity increases

Protect Your Organization with Scalable Cloud Data Protection

Druva’s industry-leading solution, built on AWS, delivers data protection and governance for all enterprise infrastructure from mobile endpoints to VMs and cloud workloads. Druva offers high-performance, scalable backup, archival, and analytics to simplify data protection, improve visibility, and dramatically reduce the risk, cost, and effort of managing today’s complex information environments. 

Key features include:

  • Offsite Infrastructure. It automatically protects data without the need for expensive on-site hardware and administrative overhead. 

  • Improved Security. The Druva Data Resiliency Cloud offers logical user security with MFA and RBAC and physical ecosystem security with third-party security scans, compliance attestations, and continuous monitoring.

  • Improved Business Agility. Response times for failover are nearly instantaneous with RTOs measured in minutes. Likewise, it can seamlessly copy and move VMs across regions. 

  • Simplified Management. It provides a single dashboard for managing all of your data across on-prem, SaaS, and cloud

  • Low Costs. Its pay-per-use model means you pay only for what you consume versus forecasting and buying storage capacity that you may or may not consume. Because it performs backups, archiving, and analytics on a single, unified data set, you also avoid the costs associated with storing and managing data silos for business continuity and compliance. See what you could save by breaking from legacy hardware-based solutions and switching to Druva with our data protection cost calculator.

Take the Next Step in Your Cloud Journey with Druva

Druva is the industry’s first and only at-scale 100% SaaS platform for data protection and cyber resilience. Reach out for a free, personalized demo to see for yourself how the cloud eliminates hardware, software, and operational complexity from your unique environment.

Or, get set up with a trial to test drive Druva’s leading platform for yourself — free for 30 days.