SaaS Backup is just as important, and necessary, as backups for data hosted on in-house servers and systems.
With more remote work, our reliance on SaaS applications and services such as Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace has become more critical to our success. Easy access to files and folders from anywhere and the integrated collaboration tools keep our teams connected and productive.
Here are 4 common, but dangerous, myths and misconceptions about SaaS applications and services that will put your data and your business at risk.
Top 4 Software as a service (SaaS) Backup Myths Dispelled
Myth 1: SaaS Applications do not Require Backup
While SaaS applications protect against data loss in their cloud servers, this does not protect against user error, accidental and malicious deletion, or ransomware attacks. And while accidental deletion of files is by far the most
common form of data loss in SaaS apps, ransomware can be the most damaging. Ransomware is designed to spread across networks and into SaaS applications, impacting many users.
Ransomware isn’t only an on-premises problem. It can and does spread into the cloud, especially when using the OneDrive and/or Drive File Sync clients.
You need a way to quickly revert files, folders, settings, and permissions in the event of an attack.
Myth 2: File Sync is a Backup
While file sync tools like Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive File Sync do create a second copy of files and folders, they do not replace backup. File sync automatically copies changes to synchronized files. If a file or folder is infected with ransomware, the malware will automatically be copied to all synced versions of that file.
File sync services do offer some restore capabilities via versioning, but they fall short of a true SaaS backup solution.
- If a file is deleted, older versions of the file are also deleted
- End users control backup and recovery, so you have no control over coverage or process
- Large restores are a time-consuming, manual process.
Beyond simply lacking the restore capabilities of a backup solution, file sync and share can introduce ransomware to Microsoft 365 or Google Drive. File sync and backup are not competitive solutions, rather they can and should be used together.
File sync and share tools are for productivity; backup is for data protection and fast restore.
Myth 3: SaaS Applications are Always Available
While SaaS apps are highly reliable, outages do occur. In 2020 alone, Microsoft 365 suffered five significant outages in the space of six weeks. Last year, Google Workspace suffered a global outage, leaving users with no access to for several hours.
Outages and slow restore times are not just an inconvenience. When you cannot access important business data, productivity falls and revenue suffers. Creating backups that are independent of a SaaS provider’s cloud servers is the only way to ensure access to essential files in the event of an extended outage.
Myth 4: Microsoft and Google are Responsible for Backup
Microsoft and Google ensure they will not lose your cloud data. However, they do not take responsibility for restoring data if you lose it. This is why Microsoft recommends third party backups for Microsoft 365 data, having defined the concept of the Shared Responsibility Model.
In the Shared Responsibility Model:
- Microsoft and Google protect your data against:
- Service interruptions due to hardware or software failure
- Loss of service due to natural disaster or power outage
- You must protect your data against:
- Accidental deletion and damage
- Hackers, ransomware attacks, other malware
- Malicious insiders
The Shared Responsibility Model places the onus of SaaS data protection squarely on you. Google and Microsoft are responsible for keeping their systems up and running; you are responsible for preserving and securing your data.
What are the disadvantages of cloud backups?
- Data recovery time
- Risk of failure
- Security concerns
Do I need to backup SaaS?
Yes, it is important to backup SaaS data to ensure that your critical data is protected against loss, corruption, or cyber attacks. While SaaS providers typically have their own data backup and recovery processes in place, they may not always guarantee the recovery of data lost due to user error, malicious deletion, or other data loss scenarios.
Why cloud backup may not be the best choice?
- Cost of cloud backup solutions can be expensive
- Security concerns still remain
- Dependency on internet connection
- Lack of control over how data is stored, accessed, and managed.
- Compliance concerns
- It can be difficult and costly to switch to a different provider or to migrate your data to a different solution in the future