This post first appeared on the Keepit blog.
Data Protection Day – also known as Data Privacy Day – is an annual event observed on January 28 to raise awareness about the importance of protection of personal data and data privacy.
Data Protection Day serves as a reminder of the importance of protecting data. Businesses must take the necessary measures to ensure the continuity of their operations and to protect themselves from the potentially catastrophic outcomes of a data loss event.
Why Is It Relevant?
As businesses increasingly move toward using software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications to streamline their operations and reduce costs, it also becomes increasingly important to have a robust backup and recovery plan in place. Data loss or breaches can have serious consequences for businesses, companies may be left vulnerable to costly disruptions or devastating fines.
One major area of concern in the data protection sphere is the use of cloud SaaS applications and the large amounts of valuable cloud data they produce. SaaS is used by many businesses to increase flexibility, enable remote work, and reduce operational costs (to name a few). However, working with cloud services does not come without risks as the data created may be vulnerable to data loss due to a multitude of reasons, such as ransomware or a misunderstanding of shared responsibility models.
One of the greatest risks to cloud data is the false—yet widely spread—assumption that data stored in a SaaS cloud is automatically backed up and secure. However, that is not always the case: Read more about the M365 shared responsibility model.
How Do Businesses Protect Their Data?
The best way to mitigate the risks of SaaS is to implement a data protection and management plan. This can involve using cloud-based data backup and recovery solutions which allow businesses to store their data in an independent cloud and access it from anywhere.
This is especially important for businesses that rely on SaaS for their operations—which is many, many businesses – Microsoft 365 alone has over 345 million users—as it can help ensure that their data is always available, even if something should go wrong with the SaaS provider. Unfortunately, data loss events occur more and more – with some notable ones being, X, Y, and Z.
While cloud services can (and do) provide many benefits for businesses, they also present their own set of risks. For example, there is a very real risk that data stored in the cloud could be accessed by unauthorized parties (read our blog about the Zero Trust Principle here), or that data could be lost due to a number of issues, from technical glitches and issues to human error. Therefore, it’s important for companies to follow cloud data protection best practices. Read about backup strategy here.
Data protection involves not only “just” backing up data, but it also focuses on ensuring control of and continuous access to it (and the correct access at that). One way to do this is to have a security strategy in place that not only protects the data plane, but also the control plane, e.g., admin center backup solution which covers the necessary identity and application objects businesses rely on to remain operational. For those leveraging Microsoft 365, it’s important to learn about Azure AD data protection: Read more here.
Data Risks and Responsibility
But why is backing up SaaS data so important? Because it allows companies to mitigate the effects of ransomware and other data loss events – and at any time. Many SaaS providers (e.g., Google, Microsoft, Salesforce) have shared responsibility models that state you, as the customer, are responsible for the data. Here are a few reasons why backup is vital:
- Data breaches can happen to anyone. While no company is immune to data breaches, having a backup solution in place can help minimize the impact of a breach and get your business up and running again quickly.
- Data loss can be costly. Losing data can lead to lost productivity, lost revenue, and even legal penalties in some cases (read about NIS2 here). By implementing a backup solution, businesses can minimize the impact of data loss and get back to business as usual faster, and more intact, than without.
- The future is uncertain. A bit cliché, but it’s impossible to predict the future and that includes the risks to your data. According to the ESG ransomware e-Book, “79% of respondent organizations report having experienced a ransomware attack within the last year.” By implementing a backup solution now, businesses can protect themselves against potential risks down the road.
Where to Go from Here?
Data Protection Day reminds us that backing up SaaS data is essential in the current environment, which realistically stands to only become more important as it becomes targeted more often by nefarious actors.
By using a third-party backup solution like Keepit, businesses can maintain control of their data always and protect themselves against data loss events and mitigate the impacts of breaches and ransomware.
Don’t wait until it’s too late — what better day to start backing up your SaaS data than today.