Data can be everything to a company or individual. Financial records, company records, photographs, important documents and files can all be lost in the blink of an eye. But the cloud is so simple and efficient to use for data storage, document creation and editing, and so much more that companies will continue to put their data in the cloud. And most of cloud services claim they are safe and secure (and they are). So why do you need to backup or replicate your data in the cloud to some other cloud provider?
You may think that cloud services are 100% secure and while cloud service providers do have very good security measures in place, the truth is that even though cloud services are probably very safe and secure there are still many external factor which can cause loss of your data. There are measures you can take to prevent the unthinkable from happening however- the unthinkable being your lost, damaged or deleted data. Here are a few instances in which cloud data can become damaged or deleted.
Accidental Deletion: This is the most common reason for cloud data loss. Data such as important documents or files can be accidentally deleted, including history and trash, making recovery of your data nearly impossible if you don’t have a solid backup plan in place.
Wrongful Account Deletion or Deactivation: Most cloud account providers have a system to detect users that violate their Terms of Service (ToS). Sometimes accounts in good standing get accidentally caught up by this system and it mistakenly detects a violation and the account is closed and sometimes deleted. There are instances of Google doing this and even Microsoft has implemented strict measures that can cause accounts to wrongfully be accused of violating the ToS. Sometimes even if the deleted account is restored, important data can be lost and unrecoverable – especially if you did not promptly contact cloud storage provider to re-activate your account (and that can happen if you are on vacation or similar)
Social media consultant Chris Brogan recently wrote about his experience being locked out of all Google services. (This can happen when Google detects “abnormal usage” and will result in your account being locked for up to 24 hours – and sometimes completely deleted.) Although his access was restored, his experience points to the day-to-day reliance many of us have upon various cloud-based services, such as Google Drive.
Malicious Deletion: You may think that your data is secure and that you have the best authentication (password, security questions, etc…) in the world but there is always a way that these measures can be compromised. Usually hackers are able to access accounts by use of weak passwords or easy to guess security questions. Even if they can’t get past these, they may be able to access your account by using social engineering to get your info.
A recently fired employee may have access to your company account or he may be able to use his knowledge of the company to get past the security question or other authentication measures that can allow him to gain access to your account. Once he has access he can delete the data, and all deletions will be replicated to your office PCs and laptop. Only a secure replica of your data on other cloud system can ensure efficient and easy recovery.
Data Corruption: Data can be corrupted for unknown reasons. It could be server-related or due to maintenance issues but the point is- data corruption (while rare) does happen. One way to tell you may have experienced data corruption is if you get the 500 error when you attempt to access your files.
Software Bug: There have been instances of a software bug in the cloud provider’s software that can cause files to be lost for seemingly no reason. In this instance it is very important to have a safe and secure backup and data replication plan in place.