Reasons It’s Vital to Back Up Cloud Services like Office 365, Dropbox, and G Suite.

Reasons It's Vital to Back Up Cloud Services like Office 365, Dropbox, and G Suite.

Data loss is about more than just losing digital assets, it’s about your entire business being disrupted because you no longer have the information needed to run it effectively. 

From years of accounting and invoicing files to entire catalogs of marketing assets, data loss can wipe out much of the information that your company has generated over the years.

That’s why many companies in the Bay Area and elsewhere put a safety net in place in the form of backup and recovery to ensure they have a copy of their files should anything happen, like a hard drive crash or physical disaster at their office.

But, many of these businesses are leaving a large chunk of their data out of their daily backup… the information stored in cloud services.

Nearly 80% of small businesses are using the cloud for their business processes.

Full cloud adoption is nearly complete, with 94% of enterprises and just about 80% of small businesses using the cloud solutions, like Office 365, G Suite, and Dropbox, daily to generate and save data.

These cloud services have a place to store data, but data storage is not the same as data backup, which is leaving millions of business files at risk of being lost.

How Data Can be Lost from Cloud Services 

A storage system like Dropbox is designed to store data in the cloud and sync files between your devices. Why isn’t that the same as a backup?

One reason is because if a file is accidentally deleted on one device, it can also be deleted from the system. If you’re trying to restore data, a cloud service that is not specifically a backup and recovery solution, won’t have a way to quickly restore a full image of your computer.

Backup and recovery services are designed to snapshot your entire operating system, folders, files, settings, and apps. Backups also typically keep more than a single copy of that backup, having them saved from several from different dates and then deleting the oldest when a new one is taken according to your backup configurations. 

Backups guard against an individual file being accidentally deleted, because they’re not syncing in the same way that cloud services do, their job is to simply keep an updated copy of everything on your computer so it can be restored in full when needed.

Cloud services can leave you at risk of data loss in several ways, which is why they need to be backed up with a cloud backup service to ensure you’re not risking a large part of your company data.

If you read Microsoft’s Services Agreement, you’ll see that they specifically recommend that you back up your data that’s in their cloud services with a third-party solution. They state”

“In the event of an outage, you may not be able to retrieve Your Content or Data that you’ve stored. We recommend that you regularly backup Your Content and Data that you store on the Services or store using Third-Party Apps and Services.”

Here are ways that you can lose your data from cloud services like Dropbox, G Suite, Office 365 and others and why it’s important that you’re backing it up separately.

Syncing Failures

The data syncing features in programs like Dropbox help ensure your data is available on all devices and it’s always up to date. But this feature can also lead to data loss if there’s a problem.

If your device crashes or the cloud service freezes up during syncing, it could lead to data being deleted from the service. Many of these services only have a 30-day retention policy for items in the “deleted folder,” and once that’s reached, they’re permanently deleted and irretrievable.

Accidental or Malicious Deletion

Many an iCloud user has suffered accidental data loss when trying to save room on their phone by deleting photos and videos, thinking they’re safely stored in the cloud, only to realize they were deleted from iCloud simultaneously. 

An employee with access to your company Google Drive or OneDrive account could delete a file or entire folder full of files without you realizing it until it’s too late to restore the data. Overwriting files can also happen, causing the original to be lost forever.

This ability to delete and overwrite files in the service is one reason that cloud storage is not the same thing as a cloud backup system.

Cloud Service Outage

Cloud services are not immune from outages and when they’re down, you’re cut off from access to your files if you don’t have them backed up anywhere.

Just a few of the cloud service outages that impacted users in 2019 were:

  • Gmail & Google Drive outage for 3.5 hours on March 12th
  • Salesforce CRM outage for several days in late May
  • Google Cloud services outage for 4 hours June 2nd
  • Slack cloud messaging tool outage for 7 hours on June 28th

Limitations in Storage and Retention Policies

Cloud services run out of space, which can lead to older files being deleted to make room. You can also run into issues with varying retention policies for things like email in Office 365 or Gmail that delete old messages that you wanted to retain.

The only way to ensure you’re able to retain all your data and not lose it due to retention policies or storage limitations is to back it all up in a service specifically designed for cloud backup and recovery.

Is a Large Part of Your Data Not Being Backed Up?

How much of your data in cloud services is not being backed up by a backup solution? Skillio can work with you to ensure data in multiple cloud platforms as well as on your devices is stored securely and recoverable in full when you need it.

Contact us today for a free IT consultation. Call 1-888-926-1985 or connect with us online.