The key to securing your data is closer to home than you think

Software-as-a Service (SaaS) apps have changed the way we do business – but there’s a common misconception that user data in SaaS applications is fully backed up. The cloud, when left alone, is safe. SaaS providers like Microsoft and Google take security very seriously and do a great job of securing your data to ensure it is protected. But data loss still happens every day. A well-intentioned employee deleting a file they need later is a far more likely scenario than all of Google’s servers being destroyed in a hurricane.

As an SME, it’s important to understand that if data loss is your fault, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get the data back without a backup solution in place. It is crucial to understand the following:

1. Accidental deletion and user mistakes

Businesses need to be aware it’s far more likely for employees to be responsible for data loss than a natural disaster. Although cyclones, floods and fires can do their fair share of damage, research shows that natural disasters account for just 10 percent of downtime.

The single leading (and unpreventable) cause of data loss in the cloud is end-user error. Human mistakes account for 45 per cent of downtime, with 58 per cent for large volume sites and 44 per cent for all other sites.

Until a time where software can discern between intentional and unintentional commands, human error will always be the Achilles heel of the cloud. More often than not, employees will delete data only to realise that they still need it. A collaborator may accidentally delete a completed or redundant project which will restart a few months down the track.

2. Overwriting data

It’s possible for information to be unknowingly overwritten or corrupted by users and third-party apps. SaaS applications hold large amounts of data that are constantly being changed and updated. Overwritten or corrupted data are risks, especially if large data sets are imported into an application via bulk uploads, or when data inside the base SaaS application is managed by an integrated third-party application.

If you accidentally overwrite something, or corrupt a file, you may not be able to get back the data you need.

3. Malicious actions

Disgruntled employees can cause any organisation a major headache, and they can also put critical data at risk. It’s not uncommon for an employee to delete data if they suspect they’re about to be fired or to spite a co-worker or boss.

Think about it: if you have a strained relationship with an employee, what’s stopping them from deleting or redistributing your important business files before they head out the door? And if they did, how would you get that information back?

Of course, hackers also pose a threat. If your business is targeted, hackers can surpass your security systems to delete and corrupt data.

Whether they are internal or external, untrustworthy people are an unfortunate reality.

Okay… so now what?

Odds are it’s not a question of if your business will lose data – but when. And without a backup solution, your critical data can slip through the cracks. Think about the most important data to your business – and then imagine trying to operate without it. Not only would continued operations be near impossible, but the time and money spent trying to retrieve the lost data could be devastating.

Backup will ensure you can find any missing data – quickly and painlessly – so you can continue to run your business without the costly downtime.

James Bergl, Regional Director – ANZ, Datto

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