4 Critical Steps to Protecting Your Cloud Data

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud providers almost all spell out in their terms and conditions that protecting cloud data is the client’s responsibility.  Despite this, most clients assume that they don’t need to concern themselves with data backup.  This is not a safe assumption.  Cloud data needs protecting just like your local data.

SaaS providers take responsibility and have measures in place in the event of a disaster or infrastructure failure – so they don’t lose your data. If you lose data through no fault of your provider, they may not be able to retrieve that data from backups.  Even if they can, you will likely encounter delays, restrictions or even significant fees.  Salesforce, for example, charges a minimum of $10,000 to recover customer data, and it can take several weeks. 

It’s your responsibility to plan for other risks, which could include:

  • Accidental Deletion – This can be a problem if the deletion is not noticed before the data is deleted from the user’s recycle bin or trashcan. Also, if data is accidentally overwritten with incorrect information, this usually can’t easily be reversed, if at all. 
  • Departing Employees – When an employee leaves your organization, deactivating their user account in your SaaS application usually means their stored data is deleted. If you wish to keep this data, you need to have a good way of exporting or transferring that data somewhere. 
  • Cybercrime – So far, cybercriminals have been targeting on-premises systems, but rest assured they will focus more and more on cloud-based data, especially as the number of companies storing critical data in the cloud increases.
  • Malicious Insiders – These could be disgruntled employees, a vendor, or a contractor who has access to your network and has intent to do harm. How much harm they can do will depend on the data access and authorizations they have been granted.
  • Rogue Applications – There are a growing number of add-on applications for SaaS solutions. What happens if one of these applications misbehaves, for instance if duplicate records are supposed to be consolidated but instead unique records are accidentally deleted or corrupted? 
  • SaaS Provider’s Prolonged Outage – Could you function without your cloud data for a day, a week or a month in the event of a serious outage on their part?

4 Steps you should take now:

  1. Find out what your SaaS provider’s backup and restore policies are. Perhaps there’s an additional backup service option. 
  2. While you’re at it, you should also review their disaster recovery capabilities. Watch out for terms of service regarding “force majeure”, which allows the provider to free themselves of responsibility in the case of “an act of God”. 
  3. If you are not satisfied with the data protection provided by your SaaS vendor, work with a cloud-to-cloud backup provider. These providers have automated systems to back up copies of your cloud data from one cloud to another.  Finding and restoring data from backups is usually simplified with search and granular recovery capabilities. 
  4. Another option is to manually export your cloud data on a scheduled basis and store it elsewhere. Many SaaS providers offer data export tools.  Note however, that with this method, it is virtually impossible to restore just a portion of the exported data.  You would need to restore all the data if the need arose.  

If you’re storing data with Microsoft Office 365 or Google Apps, and want to learn more about BSC Solutions Group’s cloud-to-cloud backup solution, please give us a call. 

August 09, 2017 3:04:11 PM

Bill Boisvenue

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