Yes, your cloud vendor can delete your files
We aren’t sure why this isn’t “Headline News”, but it should be: 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 – to the tune of 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 wasn’t fessing up to the cause, and technical support was extremely slow to assist or even acknowledge the situation. We believe the issue was related to an Azure AD authentication problem that happened around the same time – also plaguing lots of businesses – around March 15th, where people could not login to any Microsoft or other cloud services that depend on Azure AD for authentication.
So yes, this should underscore the message that you do need to backup your cloud storage using a service or specialized hardware. This would include all cloud vendors – 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 so we can help you implement a proper solution.