Yes, your cloud vendor can delete your files

by | Apr 1, 2021 | Security, Cloud, Email

Graphic showing a cloud backup for a desktop and mobile endpoints.

Here is something that should be “Headline News”: If your cloud vendor deletes your files without a backup, they’re gone forever.

Due to a technical glitch or human error, Microsoft recently deleted files from some SharePoint online sites.  Across our client base, one customer was affected, and found approximately 300k files missing, scattered randomly about their file structure. 

There were grumblings online about this happening to others: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/microsoft/mysterious-bug-is-deleting-microsoft-teams-sharepoint-files/ 

Microsoft issued some advisories but did not claim responsibility. Technical support was extremely slow to assist or even acknowledge the situation. How much data was lost or how many data centers were affected was not disclosed.

We believe the issue was related to a Microsoft Azure AD authentication problem that happened around the same time – also plaguing lots of businesses – around March 15th in 2021, where people could not login to any Microsoft or other cloud services that depend on Azure AD for authentication.  

Is your cloud data backed up?

This should underscore the message that you do need to back up your cloud storage using a cloud service provider or specialized hardware.  This includes all cloud vendors and cloud platforms, not just Microsoft.  As we all know and experience frequently, software bugs or human error can lead to data loss.   

We typically implement Synology NAS hardware for this, because it includes the software for free.  Most of these cloud backup solutions are using an application programming interface (API) to perform the backup and restores – this means that recovery options can be limited, slow, and painful.  Due these sorts of technical limitations, it took 3 days to recover this client’s massive amount of data. 

If you are not currently backing up your cloud-stored data, please get in touch with us or your cloud service provider so your organization can be properly protected.