Is Your Cloud Data Safe?

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) has fundamentally changed the development, marketing and delivery of software, becoming the preferred delivery model for a range of core business applications. In the rush to SaaS, however, many organizations are failing to adequately protect all the data that is flowing into the cloud.

A Forrester Research study finds that companies don’t protect SaaS-based data with anywhere near the care they use with on-premises data. There is a widespread assumption that SaaS providers have strong data protection in place — which may not be the case.

Consider Salesforce.com, for example. The cloud-based CRM product is one of the oldest and most widely adopted SaaS applications, and many customers correctly assume that the company maintains a copy of customer data for disaster recovery purposes. However, Salesforce reportedly charges $10,000 to restore data that has been deleted or corrupted, and the process can take several weeks. The company makes no secret that it considers this a last-resort process, and it strongly recommends that customers develop their own data backup and recovery strategy.

Google Apps deletes data when a user deletes it, and data cannot be retrieved from a user account that has been deleted. Microsoft wipes all data for users 30 days after their subscription stops. Many other SaaS providers have similar policies, although many others have no explicit policy — or at least do not disclose their policies. However, nearly all SaaS providers do say explicitly in their terms and conditions that they don’t accept responsibility for customer data.

Given the risk, organizations must develop a sound backup strategy for their SaaS apps. Experts generally agree that a cloud-to-cloud backup solution makes the most sense.

It is certainly possible to back up everything to local storage, but that’s a bit of a step backwards. It nullifies some of the chief benefits of the cloud model through the increased costs and management burdens of supporting on-premises infrastructure. It’s also of limited usefulness because you won’t be able to use the backup to run the SaaS environment in-house.

Cloud-to-cloud backup offers better protection and more functionality by backing up data from one cloud application directly to another. Cloud backups are accessible anywhere and offer much faster recovery. Additionally, organizations are finding they get additional benefit from their cloud backups by using them for data mining and analytics without putting the original data at risk.

Veeam is making it easier to protect cloud data with availability solutions that are seamlessly integrated with leading cloud providers including AWS, Microsoft Cloud, IBM Cloud and more than 16,000 managed cloud providers. The latest version of its Veeam Availability Suite (VAS), which includes the firm’s flagship Backup & Replication software, simplifies the entire data protection environment by allowing you to manage all workloads — virtual, physical and cloud — from a single console.

Veeam Cloud Connect enables organizations to send backups from multiple cloud locations to either cloud or onsite archives. Many organizations use this solution to act as a disaster recovery service provider for internal customers and branch locations by delivering a range of offsite backup and replication services within the company.

Data protection is arguably the most important function of an IT operation when you consider the consequences of data loss. Unfortunately, it has become something of a lost art during the ongoing shift to cloud services. Don’t assume your essential SaaS data will be protected by the service provider. Our data protection professionals can show you how to use Veeam and other cloud-to-cloud backup tools to craft a backup and recovery solution that ensures the safety of your data in the cloud.