What Is Backup as a Service (BaaS)?
BaaS is a blanket term for a service that provides online or cloud-based backups, says
Ben Dumke, information systems manager for the Hortonville School District in Wisconsin. The service often is remotely managed, offers encryption and validation, and maintains version history. Functionality varies depending on the system, Dumke says.
“In general, an agent or client software is installed on the host device, and scheduled tasks are created that transfer the data to an offsite location,” he says. “Alternatively, BaaS could be part of a larger on-premises backup solution. In that case, the existing solution creates a backup and then, on a regular schedule, migrates the backups to offsite storage.”
With BaaS, you pay a company or service provider to back up your data, says Rick Jiggens, a cybersecurity engineer with the Auburn School District in Washington state.
“It takes it out of your hands and puts it in theirs,” Jiggens says.
Why Are Data Backups Important?
Schools store sensitive information, including identifying information for students and staff, payroll data and more, which could be compromised and disrupted by a cyberattack or natural disaster.
This data, and access to it, is the district’s lifeblood, King says.
Jiggens says his school district has adopted a hybrid solution to BaaS, which includes a combination of on-premises backups and a BaaS provider that stores backups in the cloud.
Having BaaS means that, in the event backed-up data is needed, access to it “can get us up and running, so we can be operational in a couple of hours,” Dumke says.
“The ability to restore data to a known good point in time, such as prior to an attack, is critical,” he adds. “Paying ransom does not guarantee the recovery of your data. We are also seeing attackers destroy data out of spite or frustration.”