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OwnBackup CEO: Stay safe in the cloud

Your cloud data may not be as secure as you think.

No matter where your data lives, you should put the same level of thought and care into its protection, according to Sam Gutmann, CEO of cloud-to-cloud backup and restore vendor OwnBackup. He pointed to the recent Salesforce outage that resulted in lost data.

“It really raised awareness,” Gutmann said. “There’s a myth that if it’s in the cloud, it’s safe.”

OwnBackup offers products to back up Salesforce data, ServiceNow data and social media accounts. Gutmann said OwnBackup allows users to compare two snapshots to see what has changed or been deleted, and then restore the database back to the way they want it. The company’s vision is to become a single pane of glass for backup and protection of software as a service data and platform as a service data stored in the cloud.

OwnBackup plans to add support for another application this year, and will likely add a couple more next year, but have not determined which ones yet. Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps are common applications supported by vendors that protect data in the cloud.

Gutmann said there is no hurry to expand its product because “Salesforce is huge.” Customers are responsible for their data in Salesforce, Gutmann said. Salesforce recommends customers use one of the vendor’s “partner backup” products — which include OwnBackup — to ensure the safety of their data.

OwnBackup had customers affected by the outage who were able to restore data.

Many companies are moving business-critical data to the cloud. But on-premises platform requirements and vulnerabilities are also present in the cloud. Take the example of an employee on his way out the door who deletes important files.

“That threat is there no matter where the data is,” Gutmann said.

To that end, Gutmann offered a few more general tips for cloud-to-cloud backup and restore:

  • “Backup’s nice, but it all comes down to recovery,” so use a product that is strong in both disciplines
  • “Make sure the vendor understands the intricacies of your data,” and recognizes how complicated your setup is
  • Test your backup — verify you have a product that works

OwnBackup, which has sales and marketing in the United States and research and development in Israel, claims about 300 customers, ranging from small businesses to large manufacturing companies and universities. Gutmann, who helped found Intronis (now part of Barracuda) in 2003 and has been in the backup field for 16 years, said OwnBackup has about 20 employees, but that number should be closer to 30 by the end of the year.