Many businesses, today, choose to store their data in the cloud due to its many advantages like high flexibility, security, and the ability to access data from anywhere at any time. Data storage in the cloud makes it easy for geographically separated teams to share information and collaborate with each other.
It is generally assumed that data stored in the cloud is safe but this is not always the case. It is true that storing data in the cloud is comparatively safer and reliable than any other data storage method. However, malicious attacks, human error, or a technical failure can result in data loss, even in cloud data. Taking regular backups of your data in the cloud, protects you from data loss and keeps your business running as usual.
Here is why backing up your cloud data is a wise decision.
- Protect yourself from malicious attacks
The history of recent years is replete with incidents of data breaches. The Dropbox data breach wherein 68 million user account details were leaked is proof enough that data stored in the cloud is not always safe. This year alone, nearly 725 malicious attacks have been reported as of April, exposing over 29 million records.
A data breach can be costly. A study by the Ponemon Institute finds that the average cost incurred by a company for every lost or stolen record is $158. The total cost of recovering from a data breach this year is $4 million, up from $3.8 million reported last year. Apart from the financial implications of a data breach, the business also suffers from a loss of customer trust in cases where customer data has been compromised. A practical way to protect your data is to take periodic back-ups so that you can easily recover lost data and get back to business as usual.
- Protect your data from user errors
User errors are responsible for 64% of data loss in the cloud. Incorrect instructions, accidental overwriting, and unintended deletions of files are some of the top reasons for data loss. Insider attack in the form of malicious deletions, account for another 7% of data loss in the cloud. Having a backup of your data gives you peace of mind as you know that you can always recover lost data from the latest backup without hassle.
- Retain access to your data even during a downtime
A server failure or interruption in services due to a natural disaster can restrict access to your mission-critical data. The much talked about Microsoft Sidekick incident saw 800,000 users lose access to their personal data like address books, emails, photos, and the like, from their phones for over two weeks due to a server failure. If your business is faced with a server failure, you cannot afford to halt operations until the downtime is resolved and you regain access to your data. Backing up your data to an alternate location is useful in such instances, as your failover system can instantaneously switch to the secondary location and your applications can continue to operate as usual.
- Protect your data from being erased during data syncs
Data syncing is an important activity that ensures data integrity by replicating a single version of a data across storage centers. However, data syncing operations can sometimes lead to accidental overwriting of important data. Once the syncing operation is complete, there is no way to recover the lost data unless you have a backup. With a backup, it may be possible for you to do a selective restore and get your original data back.
- Your data is safe whenever you switch service providers
It is common for businesses to switch from one cloud service provider to another in search of better services and more value for their money, or simply because their current service provider have discontinued operations. Whatever may be the reason for the switch, if you have a backed-up version of your cloud data, you are protected from any loss of data that may happen during the migration. Once you have migrated to the new service provider, you can readily get access to all your data through your backup.
Also, most online applications like Gmail or OneDrive will erase account data after a set period, post account deletion. If you have important data in such places, you may lose access to them if you have not been cautious enough to move everything you needed to your new location. A backup ensures that your important data is always secure.
Cloud platforms like Azure have in-built backup and data recovery systems. These services are transparent and allow the user to control which data needs to be backed up, and, how and where the backed-up data is stored.
Storing your business data in the cloud does not obviate the need to take periodic backups. Data redundancy, i.e. storing critical data in multiple locations, makes your business immune to data outages, and data loss due to intended and unintended causes.