I have my data in the cloud so it’s safe, right? RIGHT?! Data loss in the cloud happens more often than you think. The Cloud Security Alliance listed the Top 9 Cloud Security Threats in 2013 and rated “Loss of Data” as the #2 most severe threat, up from #5 in 2010.
More companies are making the switch to cloud applications such as Google Apps and Salesforce.com but there’s a common misconception that all this data in the cloud is completely backed up. Here are three specific ways in which you can lose data in the cloud (specifically with a SaaS app such as Google Apps).
1. Accidental Deletion and User Mistakes
Typically data is deleted and then later realized it’s actually still needed. Companies or other organizations such as schools that are using Google Apps often have many collaborators working on a project at once. A collaborator might accidentally delete the shared project or someone might delete a scrapped project and then later learn it’s starting up again. Information can also unknowingly be overwritten by users or third party apps.
2. Overwriting Data
SaaS applications hold large amounts of data that are constantly being added to and/or updated. Overwriting data is a common problem that occurs when large data sets are imported into an application via bulk uploads or when integrated third party applications are used to manage the data inside the base SaaS application.
3. Malicious Actions
Unfortunately people often delete information on purpose. Employees might delete data before they quit (or if they suspect they’re being let go). An angry employee may hit the delete button on a bunch of emails or documents to spite a boss and now it’s impossible to recover the gmail or documents. It happens. Some accidental deletion isn’t so accidental.
So how do I prevent data loss?
In order to protect your company’s data in the cloud, it’s important to implement a combination of the following:
- Good data management processes
- SaaS application training
- Robust password policies
- Automated backup (specifically, cloud-to-cloud backup) with a way to recover and restore lost data
Have you experienced any of the data loss scenarios above? If so, what type of policies and/or technology has your company put in place?
For more information on this topic, download "Making the Case for Cloud-to-Cloud Backup".