Data protection handbook for cloud apps

Published on 13 May 2021

White paper - The cloud apps data protection handbook

As companies are increasingly shifting to cloud solutions like Microsoft 365 and Google suite, the amount of business data stored in the cloud is increasing. As of 2020, 50 percent of all corporate data was stored in the cloud [1]. Businesses should invest time in understanding how secure their data is and what infrastructure they have in place for data recovery and for backup.

The need for cloud data backups

The question businesses need to ask is if their data is being protected by critical backup options by leading SaaS providers like Slack, Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft. If there is a crisis, can these solutions quickly and effectively recover data that was lost or will it be gone forever? The truth is that cloud solutions generally have limited levels of data retention and recovery. They only protect clients from certain types of data loss. Thus, businesses have started to question if there is a need to have additional protection for their data that is in the cloud. Because of the way cloud technology has been explained and how SaaS providers pitch their service, businesses don't fully understand what risks persist for data saved in the cloud and what limitations there are to recovery.

See also: Top five reasons for Microsoft 365 backup

What is missing from current cloud data protection

The reason data saved in the cloud needs protection is because fundamentally these cloud SaaS services were not designed as data backup solutions. Their retention capabilities were not intended to provide clients with access to all versions of data, from all points in time as and when they need it. These services cannot fulfill the requirements for long-term policy-based data retention. The search and management capabilities for data backs ups that come with these solutions are also very limited. Often these services will charge clients a significant fee to recover even a small amount of data. The fact of the matter is, the built-in data retention and recovery functionality that comes with these solutions is not a robust and viable data backup solution. Hence, businesses should consider investing in a third party solution to ensure optimal data protection and the ability to quickly gain access to any data that may be lost.

What are the causes for data loss:

Below are three common reasons why businesses may lose data stored in the cloud:

i. Human error and accidents

Mistakes happen. Accidents occur. According to research, 14% of data loss can be tied to human error[2]. Employees often delete data by mistake or because they think it is no longer needed. Often organizations realize the data is needed long after it has already been deleted. For example, an employee collaborating on a project may delete the files associated with it once the project is scrapped, only to find out later that the project is starting up again. Sometimes employees may overwrite information and cause data loss without realizing it.

ii. Bad actors and malicious actions

Bad actors are a reality that businesses must contend with. External bad actors like hackers may delete or corrupt a business's data as part of a ransomware attack. A disgruntled employee may delete data before they leave their position or because they suspect they might be let go.

iii. Data corruption due to third party apps

Often businesses use integrations and third-party apps along with a core SaaS solution as part of their technology stack. This means that often large amounts of data is being uploaded and updated regularly between these applications. This creates a risk of data being overwritten or corrupted. For example, your expense management app may overwrite your tax records with incorrect data or your marketing tool may interfere with your CMS's database. Any such instances can cause loss of data that leads to loss of productivity and can create serious challenges for a business.

Download this white paper by Druva and learn more about the key reasons for having third-party data availability and governance offering along with your SaaS solution. Subscribe to


1. Mar 21, K. Mlitz, "Cloud storage of corporate data in organizations worldwide 2015-2020", Statista [avaialbe online] available from: [accessed May 2021]

2. Feb 21, "10 Common Causes of Data Loss", Consolidated Technologies, Inc., [available online] available from: [accessed May 2021]


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