Backup & data protection for SaaS applications

Posted:
11/30/2020

Reminding clients of the importance of backing up data might sound obvious when talking about data and digital transformation. However, protecting SaaS-based data with backup is not that obvious when it comes to cloud services—even popular ones like Microsoft 365®, formerly known as Microsoft Office 365, and tools like Microsoft Teams. We believe that making smart decisions about cloud backup today is the foundation for intelligent data management and digital trust tomorrow.

Digital transformation and the Coronavirus pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic and the downturn in economies and businesses following it didn’t slow down the pace of digital transformation. On the contrary, the need for working and executing tasks remotely has brought new attention to digital collaboration tools and revitalized both discussions about and the execution of digital transformation strategies in many organizations.

Remote work, automation of processes, and digitalization of services were needed to stay in business as the pandemic hit the world. Businesses were forced by the pace and the degree of change occurring to swiftly deploy new technologies to cross the business chasm and recover the operations. Digital transformation projects were accelerated in some cases by years. The abrupt shift and rapid deployment of cloud collaboration services lead to oversights in security configurations and undermine a sound data projection and security strategy.

Data protection and backup

Many customers confuse Microsoft's availability SLAs, and other SaaS-native tools, with backup strategies. In contrast, others do not see the need to think of backup for cloud workloads because it is a "different" technology.

Regardless of whether the data is on-premises or in cloud infrastructure/SaaS, such as Microsoft 365, the ultimate responsibility of data protection lies with the customer or the data owner—you. Adopting Microsoft 365 or any SaaS solution without enterprise-grade backup is a risky strategy.

There are multiple ways organizations lose cloud data:

  • Human error: Employees inevitably delete the wrong email, contacts, or critical configurations. Everyday human errors account for up to 64% of data loss incidents, according to Aberdeen research.
  • Illegitimate deletion requests: SaaS providers will honor your deletion request without question. They have no way of knowing if it’s a hasty (or malicious) request, and they are not responsible for any unexpected results.
  • Programmatic errors: Otherwise known as sync errors, those powerful tools designed to streamline the business processes can ruin critical data in a flash—with no undo button.
  • Hackers: Whether through technical means or social engineering, aggressive individuals and organizations are constantly inventing new tactics for getting to your data.
  • Malicious insiders: Employee action is involved in up to 23% of all electronic crime events, according to the CERT Insider Threat Center at Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute.
  • Ransomware, Malware, and Viruses: Rogue software can spread mayhem with programmatic efficiency without an active attack from a hacker. Many malware programs and viruses emerge from existing code after hibernation, making them especially hard to defend against.
Digital trust with your clients

Organizations need to realize that they need to take responsibility for data themselves to ensure data security, privacy, and retention. This is also an essential part, if not the most essential part of creating a digital trust for an organization. Data should always be at the center of any organization's digital transformation.

It's not complicated

The good news is that thanks to digital cloud-based services, it is not complicated to get the process of cloud backup started in a matter of minutes without any CapEx requirements and by creating a foundation for the future of data management in the organization.

Services like ConnectWise Recover™ SaaS, formerly a Continuum solution, are available. It is an example of an as-a-service approach that delivers specific functionality that provides the protection customers need on one of the most valuable business assets.

Introducing ConnectWise Recover SaaS

ConnectWise Recover™ SaaS makes it easy for MSPs by automating SaaS backup to protect client data and provide quick data restoration when needed. ConnectWise Recover SaaS backs up the following SaaS providers: Microsoft 365, including SharePoint and Teams, Google Workspace (formerly known as Google G Suite), Salesforce.com, and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Summary and checklist for SaaS Backups

We provided a lot of information to consider when designing your backup plan for SaaS workloads. As an MSP, you must educate your clients on the importance of backing up SaaS solutions like Microsoft 365, so they don’t lose data in the cloud.

To help you and your clients with a backup plan, here’s a list of questions to ask when determining the backup of SaaS:

  1. What problem is the end client trying to solve when it comes to SaaS workloads?
  2. What are the financial and intangible costs and benefits?
  3. How will we know if we are successful?
  4. What is the payoff if success is achieved?
  5. Who or what is affected?
  6. What is important to understand about your organization as a whole?
  7. What has stopped your organization from resolving this in the past?
  8. What might stop your organization from achieving these results in the future?

For more information, check out our additional resources: ConnectWise Recover SaaS Data Sheet and our whitepaper: SaaS Data Backup—Everything You Need to Know (and Do) About It.

This blog was written in cooperation with Niels van Ingen, CCO and VP Business Development at KeepIt and Sagar Kamat, Product Manager, ConnectWise Recover SaaS.