Using a Cloud Computing service doesn’t necessarily mean you can forget personal responsibility for valuable data. In many cases, building redundancy into data storage — especially the most important documents and information — offers an extra piece of mind should something catastrophic happen with your Cloud services provider. At the minimum be sure to do the proper research into multiple Cloud providers before trusting them with your information assets.
A recent article at IT World describes the horror when a Cloud storage provider gave access to a customer account to someone who ended up deleting all the stored data. The story serves as a wake up call for companies and individuals to perform the proper due diligence up front before choosing a Cloud services provider.
A Scary Day in the Cloud
The protagonist in the IT World article used Box.com to provide storage for large documents, which allowed him to give folder access to a business associate to download photos needed for a story. This is a great way to leverage the Cloud to improve workflows, as many email systems don’t allow large attachments to pass through their servers.
Unfortunately, when trying to access his account to upload a photo, he found that his log-in and password credentials didn’t work; when asking for a password reset, Box.com informed him there was no account associated with his email address. Cue panic!
A back and forth with Box.com support revealed his account and all the files associated with it — three year’s worth — had completely disappeared. After extensive research, Box.com discovered that his account was rolled into a large corporate account for a PR firm his wife worked with. Since at one time his wife invited someone from the PR firm to upload a file to a shared folder between the two, a Box.com employee incorrectly surmised his account belonged to the PR firm and “rolled-it” into that account without notifying anyone!
Later on, an employee from the PR firm saw that the email address of the wife had access to their account, didn’t recognize the address, and pressed “delete.” The account and all its files were history! Box.com issued a mea culpa and apparently found and restored all the files after a few months, but still their actions were reprehensible.
Always Keep your Own Data Backup
What are the lessons from this tale? While the Cloud still provides workflow advantages to a mobile workforce, it is wise to still maintain on-premise backups of mission critical data. For individuals, this also means any financial and health records, as well as any creative work.
Fully research the history of any Cloud provider, and pay close attention to any other stories like what happened with Box.com. Remember, that while a Cloud Computing service is storing your data, it is still your data. You still remain ultimately responsible for its safety.
Curious about how backups work in the cloud? Learn more about StorageCraft Cloud Services.