AVG Technologies has just launched a new cloud security platform, geared towards helping small businesses back up their data.

For small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs), anti-virus solutions provider AVG’s new Online Backup tool can help them back up data to the cloud or to their premises. That means SMBs’ data can be protected against hardware failure, loss, and theft.

The new tool includes military-grade encryption for SMBs’ data, meaning the encryption technology has passed certifications used by the military. It also allows for encrypting data on devices, before data is securely transferred to either the cloud or on-premise, giving SMBs an extra layer of security.

Online Backup is integrated with AVG’s anti-virus solution, as well as providing options for scheduling automated backup and integrated alerts and reports. There are also options for creating images of large files like databases and email servers in case data is corrupted, there’s an outage, or if there is a hardware failure.

For AVG, the Online Backup tool marks a significant shift, as it signals the company is not just focused on shielding customers from viruses, but it is also moving towards protecting businesses’ data. The company has been working on Online Backup for most of this year, putting the tool into beta in August, says Mike Foreman, AVG’s general manager for SMBs.

He adds a lot of SMBs don’t even think about backing up their data. Last week, AVG published a study showing only one in four SMBs in North America and the U.K. ask their employees to back up their data every week.

Having a tool like this in place might make their job easier, Foreman says.

“All those files and that data, when you start to combine that with the cloud and as we’re seeing a rise in mobile among small businesses, accessing data on the move, data becomes more and more valuable,” he says.

“So I think this is kind of a natural extension to where we’re going, it puts trust and protection for small business.”

For SMBs concerned about storing their data in the cloud, where it might be held in servers in either the U.K. or the U.S., it may also be possible to ask resellers to avoid storing it in the U.S., Foreman adds.

The tool is an add-on to AVG’s unified dashboard for resellers, which it announced in September during an event in New York City. A full version of Online Backup is now available to SMBs through resellers.

For pricing, SMBs can talk to AVG resellers. They can also opt for a free 30-day trial.

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