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HYCU R-Cloud expands data protection for SaaS

The new R-Cloud connects SaaS data silos to HYCU's data protection capabilities for an under protected part of the IT infrastructure.

HYCU's latest offering adds cybersecurity capabilities to existing and new SaaS applications that lack ransomware protection or disaster recovery tools.

HYCU R-Cloud lets companies purchase and utilize HYCU's data protection and backup technology directly through their SaaS applications. SaaS vendors using R-Cloud can offer HYCU's data protection services without significant engineering work.

HYCU R-Cloud will be available for Amazon RDS, Google Cloud SQL, Google Workspace, Google BigQuery, Salesforce, Confluence, Jira, Jira Service Management and Microsoft 365 at launch. HYCU expects additional platforms to be supported in the months to follow.

Launching alongside R-Cloud is R-Graph, a free flowchart tool of SaaS applications in the enterprise. The chart is generated through Okta or Microsoft Azure Active Directory account connections, providing a visual overview of what apps are being used and their level of data protection.

R-Cloud enters preview for existing HYCU customers and partners on Feb. 1, with general availability to follow in April.

The continued proliferation of SaaS applications requires data protection now more than ever due to the rise in ransomware, according to Krista Macomber, an analyst at Evaluator Group.

A handful of mission-critical SaaS applications, such as Microsoft 365 and Salesforce, are popular targets for backup services, she said. But others lack customized protection.

"These applications are coming, and they need protection," Macomber said. "We're making headway in some pockets. But certainly there's some room to grow, especially when we think about how splintered that [SaaS] landscape is."

Missing link

R-Cloud connects to SaaS applications through APIs to provide what HYCU Founder and CEO Simon Taylor described as a low-code development platform that lets those apps start using or offering HYCU data protection and backup services, based on HYCU's flagship software Protégé.

Many SaaS applications operate using a shared responsibility model for data protection. This requires the SaaS provider to maintain operation of the application and the availability of data but does not guarantee recovery for deleted, stolen or lost data.

"It's not because these SaaS vendors don't care. It's because they don't have the time or expertise and they don't know where to turn," he said.

R-Cloud capabilities include granular recovery, self-service tools for user recovery and connections to HYCU's own Protégé Marketplace for SaaS applications. Pricing is based on the number of protected users within a given SaaS and costs around $1 to $3 based on the app, Taylor said.

SaaS education still needed

Disaster recovery and data backup analysts said the SaaS market is growing. But the number of vendors providing comprehensive SaaS protection is lacking.

Some analysts compare HYCU to other cloud data protection companies, such as Druva, Clumio and Cohesity. These companies are similar in their focus on cloud workloads, Macomber said, with Clumio in particular focusing on AWS protection.

You've got an increasing number of industry-specific applications where the business wants the [backup] services managed, but they're not big enough or attractive enough to a service provider.
Mike SmallAnalyst, KuppingerCole

SaaS applications are often added to enterprise workflows from departments without IT oversight. Protecting those applications, especially if they lack native data protection capabilities, is important, Macomber said.

"Typically, we see these applications being brought into the enterprise outside of IT," she said. "It's IT's job to support the business and facilitate those preferences."

HYCU's R-Cloud lets the line of business adopt data protection capabilities without wasting development resources, said Mike Small, an analyst at KuppingerCole Analysts, a technology analyst firm headquartered in Wiesbaden, Germany.

"It's inverted the problem," Small said. "You've got an increasing number of industry-specific applications where the business wants the [backup] services managed, but they're not big enough or attractive enough to a service provider."

But education about SaaS adoption and the shared responsibility model still has a ways to go, Small added. Many buyers still believe data protection is handled entirely by the vendor.

"There are all kinds of circumstances where you can find your data has been compromised [and] that's not the responsibility of the service provider," he said.

The lack of knowledge surrounding the shared responsibility model is common among even trained enterprise IT teams, resulting in business downtime should an outage occur, said Christophe Bertrand, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, a division of TechTarget.

"People are very confused when they need to back [data] up, and vendors haven't built backup in because they're focused on their core service," Bertrand said. "The services protect themselves. They're not telling you they're going to do your backup. Your data, your responsibility."

Tim McCarthy is a journalist living on the North Shore of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.

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