From cloud ransomware attacks to service outages, it’s becoming clear that SaaS application data is not as immune to data loss as some users may believe.
According to a Straits Times article, Google suffered a seven-hour global outage on Thursday (Aug 20) that affected many of its services, including e-mail, storage, document and videoconferencing.
The disruption hit users at a time when they needed the tools most to stay productive amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many users including those in Singapore could not log into their Gmail accounts while some could not send or receive attachments. Others could not create files in their Google Drive, post messages via Google Chat and record Meet videoconferencing sessions.
This thus emphasises the importance of backing up your cloud services (e.g. emails, documents) on popular SaaS applications such as Microsoft Office 365 and Google G Suite.
Common Causes of Cloud Data Loss
There’s a common misconception that user data in SaaS applications is fully backed up. It’s more likely that an employee will delete something they end up needing two weeks later than the possibility of all servers being destroyed by a fire. In fact, SaaS applications usually aren’t the responsible party for data loss, but they aren’t built to protect against accidental or malicious actions either. Because here’s the reality: if users lose data, they’re out of luck in most cases unless you have a backup solution in place.
Therefore, it is firstly important to know the many ways data can be lost:
- Accidental Deletion and User Mistakes: More often than not, data is deleted only for the user or organization to later realize that it is actually still necessary. A collaborator might accidentally delete a shared project, or you might delete a scrapped project and then later learn it is starting up again. Information can also unknowingly be overwritten or corrupted by users themselves, retention settings within the application and third-party apps.
- Overwriting Data: SaaS applications hold large amounts of data that is constantly added to and updated. Overwriting data is a common problem that occurs when large data sets are imported into the application via bulk uploads or when integrated third-party applications are used to manage the data inside the base SaaS application. Also, watch out for backup vendors with destructive restore features!
- Malicious Actions: People often delete data before they quit their role if they suspect they are going to be fired, or to spite a boss or coworker they are angry with. Hackers can also be the culprit, surpassing security systems to delete or corrupt data. Whether internal or external, untrustworthy users are a reality that needs to be secured against.
This shows us that while we may think the cloud is inherently secure, it is not immune to data loss. And without backup for services like Office 365 and G Suite, businesses stand to lose valuable time and data.
Why you need SaaS Backup
The thing that you might have realised is that whenever we bring up SaaS backup, we often talk about the need to protect against accidental or malicious deletion and ransomware attacks. That’s because these are the most common data loss scenarios when using SaaS applications like Google G Suite!
However, outages are another important consideration. The problem is that as organizations migrate to the cloud for email, file storage, and other business-critical services, data protection can be an afterthought. So for those who believe that data is safe from harm once it’s in the cloud, these outages and interruptions should make you think again!
And while a third-party SaaS backup solution can’t solve email send/receive issues, it does ensure that users have access to their documents during an outage—so businesses remain productive and to minimize downtime.
So in the event of a SaaS vendor outage, SaaS Protection thus keeps Microsoft and G Suite data safe and accessible with daily backups and flexible restores. This is because it is essential to your company to ensure you’re protected no matter the circumstance! Such software create an independent second copy of SaaS data.
The benefits are two-fold:
- For the purpose of protecting Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and emails against any form of data loss, from ransomware to accidental deletion and
- Granting users access to critical documents by restoring directly to their desktops while the app is down. The data stored in the private cloud can be restored en masse or get as granular as a single email, giving you a scalable way of managing SaaS backups and document access across all of your users during a data loss incident or app outage. During instances of downtime like the recent Google outage, a third-party solution allows you to save the day in just a few clicks
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