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Four Customers Who Found Out the Hard Way You Need To Backup Your Cloud Data

The Fool TarotTo the cloud!

It’s this magical place where resources are infinite, SLAs are tight, and you never need to back things up because that’s all handled by the provider.  Right?

Don’t count on it.

All the major clouds provide backup services and most major SaaS providers promise they’re backing things up, but you really should take responsibility for your own cloud backups.  Yes, it’s a pain and yes it’s an extra cost, but simply assuming that your provider is going to take care of everything and you haven’t a care in the world is foolish.

Want some examples?  Try these:

Code Spaces: This firm hosted Git and Subversion repositories for customers.  In 2014 it was hacked – to oblivion.  First there was a DDoS and they were hit up for ransom.  The ransom demand was left on Code Spaces’ EC2 console.  So the attackers were already deep inside before they started applying leverage.  SVN and Git repos were nuked and, to quote the company’s announcement, “most of our data, backups, machine configurations and offsite backups were either partially or completely deleted.”

Rackspace: Less than a year, Rackspace’s hosted Exchange environment was compromised and ransomware’d.  The outage lasted for days and the company apparently had no means of recovering customers’ data.  Ultimately, Rackspace recommended that all their customers migrate to Microsoft 365 – which is Microsoft’s hosted Exchange business.  The attack eliminated this line of business for Rackspace, and also a lot of customers’ data.

KPMG: Like a ton of companies, they use Microsoft Teams.  Microsoft Teams didn’t have a problem though.  The issue was KPMG admins, who accidentally deleted 145,000 users’ chat histories due to a mistake.  Apparently this data could not be recovered because the admin did it with extreme prejudice.

Musey, Inc.: This interior design tools firm accidentally deleted its Google Drive folder and ultimately sued Google out of desperation when the tech giant said they couldn’t recover it.  This sounds like a lack of personal responsibility but the plaintiff was operating under the theory that if there was a subpoena, Google would have to go to more extreme lengths to recover their data.  Certainly not a sound backup strategy.

We could go on with other examples – the OVH fire, HostSolutions, so many more – but the point is clear.  Yes, the cloud is a wonderful thing and you should absolutely use it if it makes sense for you.  But putting all your data eggs in one basket and assuming the provider won’t drop it is a flirting with disaster.



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