SMBs need to consider the backup strategy they create for data stored in cloud services. Cloud services are the answer to everything, right? You can scale your applications and technology without having to make hardware investments and someone else oversees the maintenance and updates for those services. These services are exactly the right solution. Until something goes wrong.

One common misconception is that because a service is in the cloud, all the data associated with that service is safe. But one in three companies reports losing data stored in cloud applications. How is that? Isn’t data in cloud services automatically backed up? Isn’t it always safe?

Even though cloud services are by nature in the cloud, the data used in those applications can still be lost or compromised. For example, if you’re a Microsoft Office 365 user that stores your company documents on OneDrive, those documents can still be lost. Being in the cloud doesn’t make them invincible. That means a backup service for your cloud applications is essential in ensuring data safety.

Why Backup Cloud Application Data?

All data is vulnerable to some degree, which means there are compelling reasons to back up data that resides in cloud services:

  • Security concerns are evolving. One reason many SMBs choose cloud-based applications is because those services have increased security over what the business can reasonably afford to provide. However, security threats are evolving at a rapid rate. Malware, ransomware, and other threats are becoming more and more prevalent, even in cloud-based applications. A secure backup of the data that resides in your cloud applications ensures a clean copy is available if damage from one of those infections occurs.
  • User’s make mistakes. Data is accidentally deleted all the time and many cloud applications don’t have recovery options. However, a backup copy of your data that is easily restorable makes it possible to erase even an accidental mistake.
  • One location = potential disaster. A common rule about backing up data is called the 3-2-1 Rule. You should have three copies of your data stored in two different locations and one of those locations should be offsite. Having all your data stored only with your cloud services vendor doesn’t meet those requirements. If the vendor were to have an outage or unexpectedly go out of business where would that leave you?
  • Malicious insiders have access to that data. No one likes to think about malicious insiders. We’d all like to believe the people we work with are generally trustworthy and wouldn’t intentionally delete or compromise data. The hard truth is, you never know. People are often driven by emotion and can be unpredictable when they feel they’ve been slighted or treated unfairly.
  • Subscriptions are canceled or deemed inactive. What happens to all the data associated with an account in a cloud services application when a user license is canceled or is deemed inactive? Can you still access that data or is it erased? Many cloud service providers delete the data along with the account. How would you get that back? Would you have to maintain the license to maintain the data? Regular backups ensure that data remains viable and accessible even if the cloud provider deletes it.
  • Operational mishaps happen. Something as simple as an incorrect setting could cause data to be accidentally overwritten. Data may also be lost or corrupted during a restoration process. How would you get that back? A cloud application data backup ensures the data is still there, in an accessible form if something goes wrong.
  • Data revision losses. Lost data due to improper revisioning isn’t something that’s often considered or discussed, but what happens when someone in your organization makes incorrect changes to an important document? Could you retrieve the old version of the document? Most cloud services providers don’t have revision controls, however, backups of that data could ensure that a previous version was available, should you need it.
  • Archival and compliance cannot be achieved without cloud application backups. An archive and a backup are not the same, and if you’re in a regulated industry, specific guidelines are in place that dictate backup and archiving activities. The backup provided by a cloud application service provider isn’t enough to meet those requirements. Instead, plan to have a separate backup and archival plan to meet compliance guidelines.

Even though your cloud applications are hosted outside your organization, it’s important to ensure that you have appropriate backups of the data associated with those services.  Even with services that provide a high level of durability and redundancy for your data are not infallible. Protect your company and your data with a cloud services backup that ensures your data is available when you need it.

Have questions about the safety of your cloud services data? One of our IT professionals is ready to answer those questions and provide the information you need to ensure you have accessible, recoverable copies of your data. Contact Advanced Network Solutions today to discuss your cloud data backup needs.