Today, we store our entire lives on our devices. Which means if we lose them, we could be losing much more than just the hardware itself. What would you do if you lost all of the photos on your phone? Or thousands of emails? When it comes to your personal data, backing it up just seems like common sense.
Backing up business data on the other hand, which this post will cover, isn’t as intuitive for many organizations. But maybe it should be. Enterprises now average an astounding 288 SaaS apps, and by 2025, Gartner estimates that over 95% of new digital workloads will be deployed on cloud-native platforms, up from 30% in 2021. It's only a matter of time before every company is operating exclusively in the cloud.
While there are obvious advantages to this move, like scalability, cost-savings, and customization, it comes with risks as well. As SaaS continues to pervade, concerns about the ability of cloud service providers to safeguard customer data have largely diminished. However, this has created a false sense of security because organizations fail to realize that it’s their responsibility-not the SaaS provider’s-to protect all data stored in the cloud.
Let’s dig deeper into some of those risks and the cascading impacts they can have on an organization.
More data means more opportunities for things to go wrong
SaaS applications like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, ServiceNow and others enable organizations to guarantee their business will be digitally driven and their systems readily available when and where their teams need them. However, as companies' reliance on SaaS applications increases, many are seeing a corresponding uptick in data corruption, data overwrites, deletion by malicious attacks, and advanced threats like cyberattacks and ransomware.
IBM's 2023 Cost of a Data Breach Report found that 82% of breaches involved data stored in the cloud. According to the report attackers often gained access to multiple environments, with 39% of breaches spanning multiple environments and incurring a higher-than average cost of 4.75M dollars.
Still, as prevalent as these breaches have become, not all data loss comes from nefarious sources. In fact, the majority of incidents continue to be innocent errors. According to Gartner, 99% of cloud security failures and resulting data loss will be the customer’s fault through 2025. We see a similar trend within the Salesforce platform specifically. Based on our 2020 State of Salesforce Data Protection Survey, human error is the leading cause of data loss within the Salesforce ecosystem, making up just less than half of all incidents:
- Human error (49%): Inadvertent mistakes caused by Salesforce Admins or lax monitoring of privileges that give users rights that lead to data loss or corruption
- Integration errors (8%): Poorly tested integrations to internal systems and applications that result in unexpected behavior
- Bad code (8%): Developers or admins releasing applications, workflows or system updates into production without proper testing
- Migration errors (7%): Data overwritten when moving large volumes of data, consolidating data, or complex transformations such as transitioning to Lightning
The business impact of lost or corrupted data
If your organization were to suffer a data loss, it doesn’t just affect the IT team. It could impact the entire company with increased labor costs, tarnished reputation, revenue impact, compliance fines, and a loss in productivity and trust. Let’s take a closer look at each of these:
1. Labor Costs
If a Salesforce administrator is spending days or weeks trying to assess the scope of a data loss and how to recover, that’s time they aren’t spending on high-value projects to the organization. To calculate the labor costs, simply multiply the time it takes to recover by the salary (or hourly rates) of the people doing the work.
Data loss can impact your pricing, opportunity engagement, and revenue. How? Without the data they need, your sales team might end up making bad decisions and missing response deadlines. Additionally, missing data can also open windows of opportunity for your competitors. Security Magazine reported on a study that found that 52% of consumers would consider paying for the same products or services from a provider with better security. The same percentage of consumers also said that security is an important or main consideration when purchasing products or services.
Data loss doesn’t just impact the sales department. It could cause your customer service, marketing, HR, finance, C-suite, and potentially others to become less productive or make misinformed decisions. For example, without the correct data for certain accounts, companies could be unable to meet customer service SLAs. Another situation you could run into is if your CEO notices his or her forecast dashboard is incorrect data…or worse reports to the board with incorrect information.
All companies can become subject to e-discovery or litigation holds. Depending on your industry, you may also be required to comply with GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA/HITECH, SOC 2, or other regulations that require you to retain data. The consequences of non-compliance could result in major fines, as many companies have discovered the hard way, particularly when it comes to GDPR compliance. Despite being in effect for less than three years, the rough amount of all GDPR fines issued so far is already approaching €275 million. And although regulators have given companies some leeway during the COVID-19 pandemic, the beginning of 2021 suggests regulators will step up and test their powers once again.
Organizations have a responsibility to protect customers’ personal data, and any loss could significantly impact customer trust and tarnish a brand’s reputation. A Centrify study found that 65% of data breach victims lost trust in an organization as a result of the breach.
On top of lost trust, companies also need to worry about the networks of directly affected customers. If your customers find out about your company’s data loss via word of mouth, social media, and/or other media outlets, your company’s reputation could take a serious hit, especially if the data lost is highly confidential. An Interactions Marketing survey found that 85% of affected customers tell others about their experience, while 33.5% use social media to complain about their experience.
Protect your business with a comprehensive data protection solution
Enterprise data — whether it’s a company’s intellectual property or confidential client information — can be a firm’s biggest asset. However, if not managed well, it can easily become a significant liability. That's why organizations must embrace a comprehensive data management strategy to address all threats that are facing their organizations.
To learn more about how Own can help you protect your mission-critical data, request a demo below.