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Shielding Your Cloud: Securing M365 and Google Workspace with SaaS Protection

Shielding Your Cloud: Securing M365 and Google Workspace with SaaS Protection

Many organizations assume that moving to a cloud-based collaboration app such as Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace means email security and backup is no longer necessary.

However, this can be a dangerous assumption. Cloud data is just as vulnerable to ransomware attacks as local data.



Causes of SaaS Data Loss


SaaS stands for "Software as a Service." It is a cloud computing model where software applications, including M365 and Google Workspace, are provided over the Internet as a service.




According to Statista, as of 2022, over 60% of all corporate data is stored in the cloud.

And according to a report from IDG Research:

  • 58% of businesses surveyed have experienced SaaS data loss in the past year, most often by accidental deletion.
  • 95% of organizations believe their SaaS provider can/will easily restore their lost data, which is often incorrect.

SaaS data loss can occur due to various factors, including technical issues, human error, malicious activities, and external events.


Common causes of SaaS data loss include:

  1. Accidental Deletion: Human error is one of the leading causes of data loss in SaaS environments. Users may mistakenly delete important files, emails, or other data without proper backup or recovery measures in place.

  2. Malware and Ransomware: Malware, ransomware, and other forms of cyberattacks can compromise SaaS applications and result in data loss. Attackers may encrypt, delete, or manipulate data, making it inaccessible or unusable for the organization.

  3. Insider Threats: Unauthorized access or malicious intentional actions by employees can lead to data loss. It could be a disgruntled employee, accidental sharing of sensitive information, or deliberate sabotage. Of course, you don’t want to believe that any of your employees, current or terminated, are capable of intentionally deleting your data, but it happens more than you might think.

  4. Cancelled user licenses: An employee leaves the company, and as part of the offboarding process a request is made to cancel their M365 account. But, the user had critical files stored in their account, or critical emails that their successor would need, and now that data is gone. This is also a common cause of SaaS data loss.

  5. Integration or Syncing Errors: SaaS applications often integrate with other systems or sync data across multiple platforms. Errors during integration or syncing processes can result in data loss or data corruption, especially if data is overwritten or not properly synchronized.

  6. Service Provider Issues: While SaaS providers have robust infrastructure and security measures, technical glitches, hardware failures, software bugs, or disruptions in service can occur. These incidents can lead to data loss or temporary unavailability of data.

  7. Data Migration or Transfer Errors: When migrating data between SaaS applications or transferring data to a new system, errors can occur, resulting in data loss. Incomplete or inaccurate data transfers can lead to missing or corrupt data.


Why Can’t the Data be Retrieved by the SaaS Application Provider?


Microsoft and Google are responsible for the availability of their services. And that is where their responsibilities end. They are protecting their infrastructure, and making sure services are accessible and available for users.


Microsoft operates off what is called a shared responsibility model. The message is simple, Microsoft is responsible for their cloud, and end-users and businesses are responsible for what’s in it. 



SaaS App Data Recovery is Limited


SaaS providers will provide a limited window of time for restoring deleted files, emails, etc. The app will do what’s it told, when the app receives a command to delete something whether intentional or not, the app follows the command. So, when deletion occurs on the user end, it’s the user’s responsibility.


Unlike data stored on your local servers, your SaaS data is not protected by your on-site backup systems.


Take a look at Microsoft’s SLA:





And Google’s SLA:



What is SaaS (Software as a Service)?


SaaS stands for Software as a Service and is a cloud-based software delivery model in which the cloud provider develops and maintains the cloud application software and provides automatic software updates. It is a pay-as-you-go subscription-based model to deliver software over the Internet, rather than bought and installed on individual computers. Some well-known SaaS providers include Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Dropbox, and Salesforce.


Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based SaaS (software as a service) productivity suite that includes applications like Microsoft Outlook, OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, and more.


Similarly, Google Workspace also a cloud-based SaaS productivity suite, includes applications like Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Contacts, and Shared drives.


What is SaaS Protection?


Moving to the cloud introduces a certain amount of risk to a business. SaaS data stored in the cloud - like the data that lives on users’ laptops or mobile devices - is still subject to human error, malicious deletion, misconfigured workflows, and ransomware.


SaaS protection refers to the measures and strategies implemented to safeguard Software as a Service (SaaS) applications and their associated data from threats, vulnerabilities, and data loss. It involves implementing security controls, backup mechanisms, and disaster recovery plans beyond what the SaaS provider offers, to ensure the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of the SaaS environment.


What Features Do I Get with SaaS Protection for M365 and Google Workspace?


SaaS protection typically includes features such as:

  1. Data backup and recovery: Regularly backing up your Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace data, including emails, files, and other important information, can help ensure that you can recover data in case of accidental deletion, data corruption, or other data loss scenarios.

  2. Advanced threat protection: SaaS protection solutions often offer additional layers of security against advanced threats like malware, ransomware, phishing attacks, and other malicious activities that may target your cloud data environment.

  3. Data loss prevention: Implementing data loss prevention measures can help you prevent sensitive data from being accidentally or intentionally leaked or shared with unauthorized parties.

  4. Compliance and regulatory requirements: SaaS protection solutions can assist you in meeting industry-specific compliance regulations and requirements by providing features like data encryption, access controls, and auditing capabilities.

  5. User activity monitoring: Monitoring user activity can help identify any suspicious behavior or potential security breaches, allowing you to take timely action.


By utilizing SaaS protection for Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, you can enhance the security and resilience of your cloud-based productivity suite, ensuring the protection of your data and minimizing the risk of data loss or unauthorized access.



IT Buyers Guide

Teknologize is a SOC 2 accredited, Professional Technology Services company with clients throughout the Pacific Northwest. We have offices located in:

  • Tri-Cities, Washington 509.396.6640
  • Yakima, Washington 509.396.6640
  • Bend, Oregon 541.848.6072

Questions about your IT or Cybersecurity? Give us a call today!

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