The Limitations of SaaS Vendor Back-up

The modern enterprise is adopting new solutions in order to reduce costs. Most of them are leaning towards Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, to utilize the clouds unique ability to proselytize strong, collaborative work environments. Forrester recently forecasted that the SaaS market with expand to $157 billion by 2020. This ballooning growth in SaaS usage will engender a pro rata increase in the migration of customer data, from on-premises to the cloud. Considering the sensitive and critical nature of customer related business data, the need to secure cloud data has never been more apparent.

Despite the fact that cloud services may provide high degrees of availability and resilience, they rarely meet all the back up and recovery needs for most organizations. Nonetheless, infrastructure and operations decision makers still sent sensitive data to SaaS vendors without any plan for guaranteeing data resiliency. In a data driven world, data loss constitutes a nightmare for any organization. Whether it’s as a result of accidental deletion, natural disaster, equipment failure or a cyber attack, it will lead to disruption and a subsequent loss of business opportunities. Don’t leave any room for data loss, proactively protect cloud data before it’s too late. Below are some of the limitations of SaaS backup and recovery.

They Can’t Protect You from Yourself

Human error continues to be a leading cause of data loss from SaaS applications – not data corruptions, hardware failures, or complex security breaches, but mistakes employees make whilst doing their work. Accidental deletion can be particularly problematic if the user doesn’t immediately notice the deletion and the data ages out of their trashcan. Human error may also take the form of accidentally overwriting business information with incorrect data. Preventing sync errors is nearly impossible when you’re importing data from an application or synching a device – something that most SaaS providers cannot reverse in their platform since they are impelled to execute your requests and can’t determine if the request was malicious or accidental. Humans can’t be predicted or completely eliminated, it’s up to you to curb the risk of user-driven data loss by backing up your SaaS data.

You Are Still Vulnerable to Hackers

Unauthorized access or malicious attacks by hackers remains the focal point of concern for companies since it results in radical data alteration and even permanent data deletion. Criminals typically target on premise systems, but ransomware and other forms of malware also affects data in SaaS applications. There are limited recovery methods and options in the event this occurs. The valuable data you store in SaaS applications can be irrevocably lost to the efforts of a hacker, unless a secure solution is put in place to back it up and restore it.

They Are the Single Point of Failure

While SaaS providers tout built in high availability capabilities, it’s hard to ignore murphy’s law – if anything that can go wrong, it will. An unforeseen, protracted SaaS outage can paralyze your business. Unless you have a plan in place to handle such a predicament, you will likely loose access to your data. In such a scenario the onus may entirely fall on you. Most SaaS providers have SLAs that stipulate they can’t be held accountable for lost revenue, indemnifying them from any liability when it comes to business interruptions. I&O leaders have to proactively mitigate such risks instead of waiting for the loss to occur. In order to secure the business, ensure you are well informed about your SaaS vendor’s backup policies and work with a cloud-to-cloud back vendor to backup critical data.

You Are Not Guaranteed Recovery

Since a SaaS vendor is incapable of detecting genuine data loss, it does not accept responsibility for user data. This means that while the preponderance of SaaS offering have powerful methodologies for the backup and restoration of data within their aforementioned scope of responsibility, they may fail to make this technology available to their customer. Additionally, data retention policies may not be sufficient since there are limitations when it comes to deleted data, recoverable data, and legal holds. Deleted items are only stored for a specific length of time, once that time has elapsed, the data is forever lost. Data recovery from SaaS apps could take anywhere between minutes and weeks. Furthermore, end-users may not have full control over which data is recoverable. In some situations, it’s all or nothing, while in others data has to be manually restored into the application.

Author: Gabriel Lando