Backup and file archiving solutions create point-in-time copies of files and databases and write those copies out to a secondary storage platform. This means that IT teams can quickly and easily restore data that is lost—whether a file has been deleted accidentally or an entire system has been destroyed by a malicious actor.
Unfortunately, these types of attacks are becoming increasingly common—even among SMBs. With news headlines reporting multi-million-dollar attacks against global enterprises, some small businesses falsely assume that they don’t provide lucrative enough a profit to be targeted by ransomware. However, SMBs often lack the dedicated cybersecurity resource and infrastructure to adequately protect themselves these attacks, making them an easy target for cybercriminals searching for “low-hanging fruit.”
On top of this, a cybercriminal can use an SMBs compromised systems as a platform from which to launch further attacks at that company’s partners, including their service providers—making it easier for them to go after the big bucks.
However, ransomware isn’t the only kind of data loss that your business may have to deal with. Natural disasters such as floods, fires, and earthquakes can destroy on-premises data stores just as completely as a cyberattack can, and even a user accidentally deleting an important file can cause damage to a business.
In these scenarios, the most effective and efficient way to recover data is by restoring backups. But to do that, you must have created those backups in the first place. Manually backing up your files on a regular basis, then deduplicating them to save storage space, takes a lot of time—which is where backup and file archiving solutions come in.
In this article, we’ll explore the top backup and file archiving solutions designed to help you recover from data loss. These solutions include features such as real-time backups, intuitive searching and eDiscovery, and data restoration. We’ll give you some background information on the provider and the key features of each solution, as well as the type of customer that they are most suitable for.
Acronis is a cybersecurity provider that specializes in backup and disaster recovery software. Acronis offers backup and recovery as a part of their Cyber Protect Cloud security platform, which also includes email security, data loss prevention (DLP), and endpoint management. Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud Backup offers file backup and recovery, file syncing and secure file sharing, protecting all data sources across over 20 virtual, physical cloud and mobile platforms to ensure that corporate data is always secure, no matter where it’s stored. The solution uses Acronis’ runVM technology to provide as fast a recovery as possible, reducing downtime and disruption for end users, and minimizing the impact on productivity should a system go down and need restoring.
Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud Backup prevents unauthorized alteration and encryption of backed-up files, ensuring that all copies are secured against the threat of ransomware. In addition to this, the solution verifies that all copies are authentic and secure before restoring them, making sure that no malicious content is uploaded to an organization’s systems during the recovery process. From the centralized, web-based management console, admins can manage all of their data protection tasks, including configuring regular backups and managing file restorations.
Customers praise Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud Backup for its straightforward deployment and ease of management across all common server types. Its documentation is available in 25 languages, making it easy for organizations to get the most out of the solution and receive the support they need, no matter where they’re located. Additionally, Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud Backup is designed to meet the needs of various industries, including healthcare and government verticals, to help them meet their compliance regulations. We recommend Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud Backup as a strong solution for medium-sized organizations looking for backup and recovery tailored to their industry.
Barracuda is a leader in cloud-based data protection, offering a range of email, endpoint and content security products. Barracuda Backup is their backup and recovery solution, designed to safely store files in a secure location of the organization’s choice, including another physical location, AWS or Barracuda’s secure cloud storage. The solution supports the archiving of files stored on physical devices, in the cloud and in virtual environments, as well as SQL and Office 365 data.
Barracuda Backup replicates data to the secure location of your company’s choice, implementing AES 256-bit encryption for all data in transit and at rest to ensure its integrity. Customers that choose to store their data in Barracuda’s Cloud Storage can leverage unlimited data storage and extended retention to help meet compliance needs. Backups of critical servers can be carried out up to every 15 minutes and, to avoid exceeding storage and bandwidth limits, Barracuda implements deduplication technology as all data is received. Barracuda Backup offers a wide range of data restoration options when necessary, including bare-metal and image-based restores, and instant VMware and Hyper-V restoration.
Barracuda have designed their Backup solution for ultimate ease of use and peace of mind, enabling admins to “set it and forget it”. To achieve this, Barracuda Backup offers cloud-based deployment and management via one centralized admin console. This enables admins to manage all backed-up data and generate reports across all environments remotely. However, there is also the option to deploy the solution as an all-in-one physical appliance, enabling organizations to choose the deployment option that best fits their existing infrastructure. Barracuda also offers 24/7 technical support with all products, staffed with their own in-house engineers. We recommend Barracuda Backup as a strong solution for any SMBs looking for simple, easy-to-manage file backup with solid customer support.
Carbonite, recently acquired by information management leader OpenText, specialize in data protection from creation, through utilization, until deletion. They protect the data lifespan of over 100,000 small businesses globally. Carbonite Safe is their data backup solution designed to be as unobtrusive to the user as possible. It achieves this through a quick and easy installation process that doesn’t require any technical expertise, and through its automated and vendor-managed backup and restoration processes. Carbonite Safe protects files on physical and Hyper-V servers, desktops, laptops and external storage devices.
Once installed and configured, Carbonite Safe runs automatically in the background to perform incremental backups and secure the data on each device’s hard drive, including email content. Backed-up data is encrypted and written out to a secure cloud location, but users also have the option to send it to a secondary external hard drive. Admins can manage backups from a secure web-based dashboard, where they can access backup information and files for all devices from any location. Carbonite manages all recovery operations, which also run in the background. Carbonite Safe’s data recovery isn’t as fast as some other solutions on this list, but users are able to view all files in the cloud, as well as prioritize which files they’d like to recover first, in order to minimize disruption. Finally, the solution includes support from Carbonite’s technical team, a feature that other vendors may typically charge extra for.
Carbonite Safe is targeted toward SMBs, and its simple interface and backup automation make it a great full-service offering for this audience. In addition to this, Carbonite fully manages their solution’s data recovery, which frees up the valuable time of smaller IT teams who might not always have the capacity to do it themselves.
Commvault is a market-leading provider of data management solutions that scale to meet the needs of every organization, no matter how large or small. Part of Commvault’s Intelligent Data Services Platform, Commvault Backup & Recovery is their business data backup solution that ensures the security of data in both cloud and on-premise environments. Once deployed, admins can manage their data protection and backup configurations via a single web-based interface, which enables them to monitor backup process and quickly remediate any data loss issues from any location.
Commvault Backup & Recovery proactively searches for any new databases and automatically creates backups of files stored within them. Monitoring and file retention processes are policy-driven, which makes them easier for admins to set up without having to use scripts. All data backups are encrypted and written out to a secure cloud location and deduplicated, which helps to improve storage and transfer efficiency by removing duplicated copies. Backed-up data is also tiered automatically for more effective long-term archiving.
Commvault Backup & Recovery provides powerful security against data loss caused by negligence, malicious activity or natural disaster.To do this, it requires several components to be installed and configured, making the deployment process relatively complex. For this reason, we recommend Commvault’s solution to larger mid-market organizations, or those with the technical resource to dedicate to a more complex deployment. However, once deployed, Commvault is a strong solution for backing up and archiving files, applications and databases across all environments.
Dell Technologies offers a wide range of business IT products, from employee endpoint devices to security solutions. PowerProtect Data Manager is Dell’s core backup and recovery solution, offering secure file backup and storage for physical and virtual environments, including data clouds. PowerProtect Data Manager is available as a standalone solution and as a part of Dell’s Data Protection Suite, which also includes Avamar, their deduplication software, and NetWorker, their unified enterprise-grade backup and recovery software.
PowerProtect Data Manager gives admins the option to store their backups in the cloud for long-term archiving, or in self-managed, native applications. The cloud-based management console enables admins to easily access backup information and monitor running backups remotely. They can also generate reports into backups across the organization, achieving a complete overview of data governance across all backed-up servers. Once data is backed up, PowerProtect Data Manager deduplicates it, helping to make the archive of backups more efficient and easy to navigate.
Dell Technologies delivers PowerProtect Data Manager in an agile way, which enables them to roll out updates and new features rapidly to combat the newest threats. It’s important to note that PowerProtect Data Manager does not offer a unified admin console for on-prem and cloud environments; admins must manage different environments separately. Despite this, customers praise the solution for its ease of management. We recommend Dell’s PowerProtect Data Manager as a strong, user-friendly solution for SMBs looking to securely archive data for long periods of time, and those who need to be able to generate reports into data governance for compliance purposes.
IBM is a cybersecurity provider that offers a wide range of solutions across analytics, IT infrastructure and management, and software development. IBM Spectrum Protect is their core backup and recovery solution that enables organizations to safely backup and store their data held in physical file servers, virtual environments and cloud applications. Companies can choose to write their data out to public cloud services, on-prem object storage or copy it to tape, ensuring that data stays secure and accessible even in the event of a disaster.
IMB Spectrum Protect creates data backups incrementally and deduplicates all data, helping to make each backup run as efficiently as possible and making it easier for admins to search backup archives for specific data. Backups can be written out to a range of on-premises and cloud storage options, making it easy to integrate the platform with your existing architecture. From the central management console, admins can manage their backups, configure proactive security notifications and set data retention policies, which can differ for on-site and off-site data. The solution has a high focus on security: all backups are encrypted and scanned for signs of ransomware, and two-key authorization can be enabled for all admin commands to ensure that no archived data can be tampered with.
IBM Spectrum Protect may take longer to configure than some others in this guide due to the granularity of admin policies it offers but, once set up, it offers highly secure, scalable backup and data recovery in the cloud. We recommend IMB Spectrum Protect as a strong backup solution for mid-market organizations that want secure data backup that will scale as they grow.
Mimecast is a cybersecurity vendor known for its email security and anti-phishing products. However, they’ve developed their cloud architecture to also offer service continuity and archiving. Cloud Archive is Mimecast’s data archiving and eDiscovery platform for business, designed to simplify the process of securely storing email and file content, as well as managing content archives. Mimecast enables organizations to create a digital memory of all of their data, allowing for anytime, anywhere access to data, as well as helping to streamline legal and compliance processes.
Mimecast Cloud Archive facilitates the secure backup of all email, file folder and Office 365 data, including MS Teams. The platform is SEC 17a-4 validated and meets FINRA requirements to help support governance and compliance needs, and the archive is fully indexed to make it easy for admins to search for specific data. Cloud Archive is delivered via a single platform and is managed by a single admin console, making deployment and ongoing management straightforward. From this console, admins can use the platform’s Sync and Recover feature to recover archived files, even without a dedicated backup and recovery solution in place. Recovery can take place per item, per inbox or per folder and is easy to carry out with Cloud Archive’s eDiscovery search function.
Customers praise Cloud Archive for its user-friendly search functionality and ease of deployment. We recommend it as a strong solution for SMBs who are looking for a secure way to archive their email, file and Office 365 data for quick recovery of file groups, and to meet compliance requirements.
Proofpoint is a market-leading vendor of cybersecurity solutions, specializing in cloud email and compliance solutions, as well as security awareness training. Enterprise Archive is Proofpoint’s cloud-native business data archiving solution. It enables organizations of all sizes to backup file data from multiple sources to a secure archive, relieving the strain on legal, compliance and security resources by simplifying data access and eDiscovery.
Proofpoint Enterprise Archive enables businesses to preserve, manage, recover and securely dispose of all email, file and collaboration data. Its central eDiscovery feature makes it easy for admins to search for specific data within the archive, either for restoration or legal purposes. Admins can also enable self-service eDiscovery so that legal teams can search and export files from any device or location without requesting admin approval, helping to reduce the burden on admin resources. Additionally, users can also search through their own Personal Archive for backed-up data. Admins can configure granular retention policies for maximum storage efficiency and to ensure compliance, and all data capture and storage is SEC 17a-4 and FINRA compliant.
In addition to their business data archiving solution, Proofpoint offers a product for archiving communication and collaboration content, such as social media posts. This product—Content Capture—integrates easily with Proofpoint Enterprise Archive, to ensure comprehensive archiving compliance across all of your organization’s data sources. We recommend Proofpoint Enterprise Archive as a robust file archiving and eDiscovery solution for organizations of all sizes looking to securely capture and store email, file, collaboration and communication data.
Veritas is a market-leader in the data protection space. They offer a wide range of data protection, virtualization, digital compliance and visibility products, and are trusted by over 80,000 organizations worldwide to keep their data secure. Backup Exec is Veritas’ SMB backup and recovery solution, designed to simplify and unify the process involved in creating a data archive. Backup Exec offers quick and easy protection and recovery, with a number of useful integrations that make the platform easier to manage.
Backup Exec features in-line deduplication for all backups to reduce storage costs as much as possible, and minimize bandwidth strain. From the central management console, admins can set up backups quickly in just a few clicks. They can then track the status of each backup, replication and recovery. Via the Instant Cloud Recovery feature, the platform offers Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service, which admins can utilize to carry out bare-metal, physical-to-virtual and virtual-to-physical data recovery. Backup Exec also provides instant recovery of virtual machines, thanks to its automated incremental backup of VM environments. Finally, the solution’s GDPR Guard feature helps organizations to ensure their backups are not only secure, but also GDPR compliant.
Veritas Backup Exec is easy to deploy in the cloud and offers useful integrations that enable backup of Office 365, Google Cloud, Google Workspace and Salesforce data, as well as file server data. We recommend Veritas Backup Exec as a user-friendly backup and recovery solution for all SMBs, but particularly those trying to achieve GDPR compliance.
Waterford Technologies is a cybersecurity provider that specializes in simple, scalable file and email archiving solutions. SISCIN is Waterford Technologies’ standalone file archiving and management solution, but it’s also available in their COMPLYKEY bundle, which also includes email archiving. Designed to give organizations full visibility into their archiving and eDiscovery processes, SISCIN helps businesses keep their data secure, whilst also meeting GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA and SOX compliance requirements, among others.
SISCIN compresses and encrypts all data on the customer’s file server before transferring backups to a secure, tiered Azure environment where admins have full visibility of—and access to—their data. Via the Vue-X File Index, admins can quickly search for specific files by keyword or phrase, Boolean, path, owner, creation and file type, among other pre-set filters. SISCIN applies deduplication technology to all archived data, removing all redundant, trivial or obsolete data, for further ease of management and to minimize bandwidth strain. From the centralized management dashboard, admins can also remotely generate reports into their data storage across multiple locations, helping them control how and where data is stored and used across the business.
SISCIN is cloud-based and hosted in Azure, making it highly scalable and easy to deploy without the need for additional hardware. The web-based dashboard enables flexible access from anywhere, at any time, making it possible for admins to quickly access backups and archived data in case of an emergency. Additionally, Waterford Technologies offers excellent customer support via email, telephone and their website. We recommend SISCIN as a robust, user-friendly eDiscovery platform for SMBs who want to archive their file servers for extra protection in case of a ransomware attack, as well as to achieve regulatory and federal compliance.
What Features Should You Look For In A Backup Or File Archiving Solution?
- The solution should log any changes made to archived or backed-up data and notify admins of these changes to prevent tampering that could cause compliance and litigation issues.
- The solution must be able to retain data for as long as you need it to. You may also wish to be able to set custom retention periods for different types of data.
- The solution should be able to restore accurate copies of all backups in a workable format. Some tools offer individual file recovery; others can restore entire systems.
- Admins must be able to search backups for specific data by keyword, with filters for data types, users, and time period.
- The solution must comply with any industry and federal data protection standards that your business operates within. For example, healthcare organizations in the US must make sure their backups are secured with AES 128-, 192-, or 256-bit encryption in order to comply with HIPAA.
Where And How Should You Store Your Backups?
We recommend you follow the “3-2-1” rule: keep at least three copies of your data, store them in at least two different formats, and keep at least one of those copies off-site.
This means that no single event—accidental or malicious—will be able to destroy all the copies you have of your data.