Think your SaaS data is automatically safe? Five ways to make sure it’s actually backed up

SaaS Application Backup Solutions

Five backup solutions for important SaaS data

With Software as a Service (SaaS) backups becoming a major part of disaster recovery for businesses, people are researching every available option. Yet they’re finding that not all are the same.

For those who have Cloud-based applications, supporting and maintaining your data is important, especially when it needs to be recovered in an emergency.  Most people don’t know that most SaaS solutions actually only offer limited backup & disaster recovery scenarios primarily to handle their liability.  See our other blog that describes the many reasons you could still lose data HERE.

Here we’ll take a look at five options that can help solve your issues when it comes to backing up critical information.

What’s most important?

Upon reviewing your SaaS options, there are several factors that must be considered when it comes to your operations. In viewing each possible solution, some questions should be:

  1. Which SaaS apps can be protected at all times?
  2. Are backups manual or automatic?
  3. How frequently are backups done?
  4. When data is recovered, how much is recovered and how will it appear?
  5. Will your organization be in compliance with regulations?
  6. Is the data backed up at your physical location or via the Cloud?

Most SaaS providers have a backup mechanism, but such backups are limited in scope and restoring data might be more complicated than imagined.

How lost data impacts your business

If you lose your SaaS data, this can be particularly damaging to your firm, depending on the severity. Decreased productivity, as every department attempts to maintain order, can cause major workplace disruptions. With lost time, comes lower revenue and more spending to compensate for everything.

One deleted file, or a critical email in Outlook, can turn your workplace into total anarchy.

Yet what if more than one item is removed from your system? What if a whole section of data is written over without warning? The problems facing your operations and possible recovery can result in a costly headache.

No Backup Tool for your SaaS Application

With most common SaaS platforms not including any backup options, you can find yourself in a dangerous situation.

For instance, QuickBooks Online has been a popular SaaS-based accounting software with over 2 million users globally. While QuickBooks states they perform nightly backups, you have no control or access to those backups. Something made painfully obvious when they mention that they can’t restore your firms to an older period.

What’s possible for your business in such tight situations?

If you can’t back up your Cloud data, limiting the risk of severe data losses is your only other alternative.  Companies in such predicaments can do some or all of the following:

  • Limit access to your SaaS application for specific users based on their role. For instance, accounting department personnel could be among the only ones allowed to access SaaS data within their section.
  • Have strong employee policies and training to make sure everyone who uses a SaaS program, does it correctly.
  • Restrict any third-party integrations and potential data migrations unless they have be authorized by a higher-up to avoid lost or overwritten data.
  • Pre-configure the settings for your SaaS application to prevent unintended accidents or mistakes when inputting information.
  • If possible, manually export your data from the application regularly to a safe location.

The five backup options

Let’s review five common backup solutions for your SaaS data and see what’s ideal and different for your needs.

  1. Built-in Backups

Most SaaS systems have an internal backup that works within any common workplace environment. You might be thinking that’s perfect, however relying solely on this is a fatal mistake.

The limitations of these backups are numerous and can prove damaging to your organization, including:

  • Limited Retention of Data: Most backups will only preserve recent modifications or updates. If you want to go back much further, that will be impossible.
  • Limited Control: There’s no control on your end over where backups will be done, the data involved or how long they’ll be maintained.
  • Only Recovers Data: Built-in backups will not support the full restoration of your data. Most will only have export data with everything put into a single folder.
  • Restoring Everything Manually: With only a large export folder being the source of your recovery, breaking everything down and reinserting it into the app will only prolong existing problems.
  • Speed:  There is no guarantee of how long it can take to contact support and for them to pull the requested backup for you.  It can often be days or longer.

The truth is having this is better than having nothing at all to support your data. If you have nothing else, this can be the last resort to avoid a complete business shutdown.

  1. Backup Application Integrations

Based on the SaaS platform you have, third-party integrations and options can be offered by your provider as well. It’s an important step and can provide strong reliability, but you’ll have to ask some hard questions:

  • Does the third-party provider have a solid track record?
  • Can you find reviews that indicate a wide range of customer experience?
  • Do SaaS providers officially approve the integration they’re offering and has it been fully evaluated for all potential risks?

Most people won’t just integrate a third-party app from a bad source, yet checking on the credibility and reliability of said option is critical. If the integration offered is legitimate, determining that it meets your needs is the next step. Such capabilities should include:

  • Their data retention policy.
  • How often do they back up your data?
  • The choice between Simple Recovery and Full Restoration.
  • How they can configure your backups?
  1. Alternative SaaS Backup Options

Beyond built-in support and applications, many competing firms offer their own SaaS backups to provide results.

Each one carries their own unique features and storage capabilities that requires critical research by you.  When comparing them, directly cross-checking certain functions as we’ve discussed can make all the difference. Items like Configuration Control, Data Retention and Recovery Prioritization should be reviewed and can determine how it performs for your business.

Asking these, and other relevant questions, about security, datacenter locations, and other features can have a huge impact. Despite the overarching similarities between certain options, you might be surprised to discover they’re very different.

  1. A Custom API Option

If your SaaS option has Application Programming Interface (API) capabilities, there are potential options for that. Beforehand, you’ll have to research and determine if these provide a secure foundation for your business. If you have no available third-party solution, you do have another choice.

With the right developers, you can build your own option from scratch to backup your solution. You can customize the option to your unique specifications and integrate it fully into the existing system architecture. Of course, this assumes you have the personnel, time and money to create this.

  1. EverSafe! Recommended from Clients First Business Solutions

EverSafe! from Clients First can provide exactly what you need for your Cloud ERP solution. Backed by one of the strongest national ERP providers, this works for those using major SaaS platforms including Salesforce and Office 365.

Scalable to the needs of your business, EverSafe! can deliver exceptional recovery to your system. Regularly updated, lost files, whether in Google Drive or OneDrive, are restorable in an instant.

Key Functions:

  • Automatically backs up three times per day.
  • A customized backup retention period for all your files.
  • Comprehensive backups of all email accounts, files, contact lists, calendars and any Salesforce information.
  • Compliant with HIPAA and data centers are audited and SOC2 Type II compliant.
  • Vulnerability tested and management options.

EverSafe!’s simplistic interface makes it easy to find the information you need for recovery. As a “Cloud-Cloud” backup, your data is simultaneously replicated between your provider’s cloud and the EverSafe! cloud.

Discover The Options You Have

Learn how EverSafe! from Clients First can help you protect data within your SaaS applications. If you’d like a free demonstration from Clients First, call us at (732)-970-1450 or online at






Five ways you could lose your Office 365 data

Office 365 Cloud Backup from EverSafe!

When using a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) option like Office 365, managing your data is important. In 2018, Office 365 reached over 155 million users worldwide, making it Microsoft’s fastest growing platform.

With many businesses adapting Cloud-based environments, having the right backup options has come much slower. Often, owners are unaware of the severity of losing data on their platforms, whether Office 365 or another SaaS option.

Here, we’ll talk about five serious threats and how the proper backup tool can prevent such costly issues.

Is Office 365 data safe?

Some might immediately jump to this conclusion when it comes to their data security in various SaaS options like Office 365.

In truth, there are two possibilities to consider when losing your data.

  • Data being lost on the part of your SaaS provider.
  • User issues resulting in some form of data loss internally.

Reality Check: Microsoft, or another SaaS provider, isn’t going to be the cause of your data loss. Many providers have top-notch security which can prevent data from being damaged or lost. If data loss does occur, backups make it possible to avoid permanently losing your information.

The more common result is that it’s the fault of users that they will incur data loss at one point or another. Similarly, most firms have very few options for full restoration, without a strong Office 365 backup.

Let’s see what are some common user threats facing companies.

  1. Accidental Deletion

Whether we admit it or not, accidents can happen, even within the confines of your data systems.

Half of all SaaS data losses are caused by employees accidentally deleting items. Usually unintentional, these mistakes can impact your firm if the information is irreplaceable.

Specific Office 365 examples, which can occur across the entire set of applications include:

  • Deleted files and folders from OneDrive.
  • Accidentally erasing data from Excel spreadsheet cells.
  • Deleting Outlook emails.
  • Removing slides or other items from PowerPoint.

Why do these things happen?

Because they’re going to. Accidents, whether unintentional or not, will occur for the following reasons:

  • Users click the wrong thing and delete something they’re not supposed to.
  • They intend to delete something they don’t expect to use anymore, only realizing, later on, it’s needed.

At present, Office 365 does have some limited support for restoring lost items in different cases. For instance, If an item is deleted in SharePoint Online, it’s then stored in the Recycle Bin for 93 days. After that, it’s permanently deleted.

Your office should implement a “No Deletion” policy within their organization and its various departments. No matter, what’s put into effect, a critical item will be deleted three to four times a year by mistake.

  1. Intentionally Deleting Items

In contrast to accidentally removing something, some people will remove items because they know they’re important.

Why would that even happen?

If an employee is terminated from your company, they might clear out their folders, including all major data.  An Outlook inbox, his OneDrive folders, everything is erased including critical client communications and other primary contacts. All of which is needed by other employees continuing from where they left off.

Even if the employee wasn’t terminated, those with resentment and leaving for a new job may delete critical data as well. According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, 7% of companies that experience data loss claimed it was due to “malicious deletion.”

If any employee is leaving, your Office 365 administrator should be contacted as soon as their departure is public. This can prevent deletions from occurring and avoid any potential damage from rouge actions.

  1. Malware and Cybersecurity Attacks

Despite our best efforts, the risk of cyber attacks always exists within your business.

A Microsoft data center has a low chance of being hacked, but no Cloud infrastructure is perfect. Microsoft has developed data centers, backed by numerous levels of security. Any attack that gets past these defenses would be blocked by their security barriers and supported by Backups.

Yet what happens when the issues happen on the customer end? If you guessed you’re up the creek without a paddle without your own SaaS backup, you’re right.

Some common examples of these attacks include:

  • Ransomware: When you’re hit by one of these, files will be overwritten and corrupted in your Office 365 folder.
  • Phishing Attack: By tricking you to input key information, logins, passwords, email addresses, this can cause data theft and removals throughout your system.
  • Malware: Via a bad email attachment, this infects your computer with spyware and other malware viruses that lead to severely compromised data in your Office 365 system.

Each of these events involves something occurring on the user’s end, which is important for how applications can suffer critical data loss.

If a hacker was able to access to your Office 365 account and began removing data, the application will act as though it’s following user commands. It would not be able to distinguish between what is an actual or false deletion request. As a result, data recovery ends up on users, instead of Microsoft.

Training your staff, stricter rules for potential risk factors can do more for your workplace than imagined. Understanding these elements can come in handy when dealing with unknown email and internal scenarios.

  1. Bad Data Migrations

This is one possibility where you can lose a ton of data in a short time and many users don’t expect it.

Transferring items between different systems can pose their own problems if done incorrectly. During this, there’s always the possibility of deleting or overwriting whole sections of information. When wrongly configured, one mistake can lose large periods of data in an instant.

One example occurs when moving from an On-Premise deployment to the Cloud, for instance, Exchange or SharePoint. It’s easy in these scenarios to miswrite, poorly label or overwrite your items without realizing it.

This can be made far worse if you’re using a third party tool that’s integrated within Office 365. Issues that can come about with these tools include:

  • Misconfigured tool settings.
  • Bugs in the tools itself that sets off migration issues.
  • Security holes that result in compromised data when transferred.

Additionally, any type of migration tool can result in catastrophic data loss if it’s not properly set up. Referring back to the Aberdeen Group study, 17% of businesses said they lost their SaaS data due to overwrites caused by either the user or a poorly integrated third party tool.

  1. User Licenses Cancelled

There’s always a chance of rogue employees deleting data when they’re leaving your organization. However, accidental removals can be caused, without you being aware of it.

Let’s say your accountant is leaving the company and is no longer using their Office 365 account. As a result, it’s cancelled or left to expire when the license runs out.

Unfortunately, no one retrieved his important items which were directly tied to the entire department. Now that the license expired, all his data has been deleted.

No option in Office 365 will allow you to retrieve his items once they’ve been permanently removed.

To avoid this, stronger rules for license management, alongside transferring critical data to other systems, reduces your risk of this occurring. Knowing about each employee’s ongoing license, while preparing data backups for every eventuality, can make a huge difference.

Backup Office 365 with EverSafe!

EverSafe! from Clients First Business Solutions provides you with the best backup tool to restore your Office 365 data. This option offers automatic backups three times a day for your information including:

  • OneDrive: Every file and folder, including every folder structure.
  • Contacts: Your contact information for clients and other business partners.
  • Calendars: Every possible event, including meeting attendance, Attachments, Notes, whatever you have.
  • Mail: Your emails, attachments, folders, etc.
  • SharePoint Data.

EverSafe! is supported by strong search abilities that make it easy to retrieve lost files and folders without any heavy hoops to jump through.

At the same time, this offers unlimited retention, with no barrier to storage or for how long it’s available on EverSafe’s servers.

While it’s impossible to stop every threat we’ve discussed, a backup option can make sure your important data is retrievable when a crisis occurs. Learn more about EverSafe O365 Backup from Clients First Business Solutions. For more info, call us at (732)-970-1450 or online at

Ransomware Shut Down a Whole North Carolina County


According to Gizmodo, and entire county government was slammed by Ransomware.  You can read the article HERE.

If you read the article, you’ll see they refuse to pay the $23,000 in bitcoin being demanded.  They claim to have backups but they say “It will take time, but with patience and hard work, all of our systems will be back up and running as soon as possible.”

In other words, they have backup data files, but clearly don’t have a real Disaster Recovery solution.  If they had EverSafe they would have been back up and running in minutes instead of days or weeks.  They even state “It was going to take almost as long to fix the system after paying the ransom as it does to fix it ourselves,” Diorio said. “And there was no guarantee that paying the criminals was a sure fix.”

This is a sobering reminder that the vast majority of companies do not have backup systems designed to get them back up and running quickly.  Even if your system reliably backs up your data, it’s not a solution for business continuity.  Click the chat bubble below to learn how EverSafe can virtually eliminate the sting of a ransomware attack.

A Cure for RansomWare…Finally


No matter how hard you try, someone in your organization will eventually get an email that convinces them to open a file, click on a convincing web page, click a link on a social networking site and infect their PC with RansomWare. The compromised machine will then encrypt user files and demand a ransom for the key to unlock the system. Worse, the threat will often spread across the network and infect other machines and your servers, seriously impacting the business.  In many cases, line of business applications like ERP or CRM will also become encrypted.

Of course, paying the ransom may not solve the problem.  In many cases, the decrypting mechanism provided after payment doesn’t work and it isn’t like the criminals that created this threat have a customer service department to call.

The only sure way to resolve a ransomware attack is to roll back the affected systems to make it as if it never happened. EverSafe, with point in time rollback, is designed to recover from just these scenarios. With the click of a few buttons, it can be as if the ransomware never happened. Say goodbye to ransomware, and hello to simple preventative measures provided by EverSafe.

Even better, EverSafe now monitors all of your backups, typically hourly, and when it detects a RansomWare infection, it notifies both you and us immediately so we can halt operations, stop the infection, and quickly do the restoration.  The longer it takes to find out about an infection, the more work your companies loses in the rollback.

Let EverSafe become the UNDO button for RansomWare.

Disaster Recovery Plans–Common Similarities and Differences


There are many common elements between customers’ Disaster Recovery Plans.  Some things are universal such as developing a communication plan that includes phone numbers, physical addresses, cell phones, emails, IM’s, twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.  As many ways as possible to potentially contact key disaster recovery team members as possible as you don’t know what services will be up and running during and after a disaster.

Other things that are common are designating alternative IT resources if the expected internal personnel aren’t available, alternative work locations, key team members that have generators etc.

[Read more…]

Business Grade Backup Solutions


Online Business Backup & Cloud Storage

EverSafe’s business backup solutions are designed to allow you to fully protect all of your business data in the cloud with no downtime.


With full support for Physical & Virtual Servers, Exchange Server, SQL Server, SharePoint and other ‘in use’ files, you can be sure your entire ecosystem is backed up

Access to your Business Data is crucial

Just like a Fortune 500 company, having uninterrupted access to our applications and business data is crucial.  However, unlike them, you don’t have a huge budget and a large pool of technical folks to manage it all.


With EverSafe! Hybrid Cloud Backup for Businesses, you have the same protection as large enterprise grade solutions have but for a fraction of the cost.  We have enterprise features including: complete snapshots as often as every 5 minutes of your entire system, not just documenbts, friendly comprehensive browser based administration for non technical users, free data roundtrips (seeding) for backing up large amounts of data initially,  the ability to backup all in use components such as Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, Sharepoint etc.  All delivered at a price that even small businesses can afford.


Our patented ‘screen shot’ technology boots up copies of all your servers daily and emails a screenshot to give you the peace of mind that EverSafe! is ready to take over should you need it at any time.

[Read more…]

Disaster Recovery Emergency Kit


Emergency Kit

What would you have in your Disaster Recovery Emergency Kit ? Nobody likes thinking about Disaster Recovery, but as we witness yet again, another major disaster, this time in the Philippines, its really time to plan in advance for this unlikely scenario.  However unlikely, the affects of this can be devastating on a business and cripple it’s daily functions.  Although Sandy was horrible, fortunately few lost their lives, but the amount of business IT downtime was in the billions with many companies going under.

A crash kit is a physical lock box containing key items that  such as critical software keys, encryption keys, contact lists of key employees and all of their various phone numbers, twitter handles, personal email addresses etc.  A copy of your Business Recovery Plan, Server Configuration spreadsheets etc.    This box should be kept well off premise and should be fire & waterproof and a copy of the keys should be kept with more than one critical officer.

A full article on this and other Disaster Recovery Blogs that I think are well thought out are over at:

If you read the details, you’ll see that Erik suggests having numerous critical program installation disks, backup media etc.  All of that complexity of recovery from a disaster goes away with EverSafe!  Even with his plan in place, you could be down for days or weeks because you need to purchase and await for new hardware, reinstall operating systems, applications, patches etc, and then restore your data.  With EverSafe!, in a disaster, you simply spin up near instant clones of your servers in the cloud and can continue operating within 30 minutes or so of a disaster taking down your primary data center.

Enhancement to EverSafe!

We don’t stop improving our solution


Eversafe! continues to be a unique backup and disaster recovery solution (BDR) with features such as unlimited server licenses, instant file recovery,  ability to boot our mount the backup on the BDR and literally run your servers from the appliance, cloud storage in bicoastal data centers, Exchange recovery, support for physical and virtual servers and automated screenshot testing.

These new updates just make EverSafe! and even better product:

New user interface (UI)

[Read more…]

Cloud Storage vs. Cloud Backup vs. Business Continuity

Disaster Recovery Page Question

What’s the Difference between Storage, Backup and true Disaster Recovery Solutions?

The media seems to interchange the term Cloud Storage and Cloud Backup with ease. In reality they are actually quite different solutions for different problems. There is no ‘official’ definition, but I’ll try and pull it together based on the most commonly accepted criteria.

According to Wikipedia:

Cloud Storage:

A model of networked online storage where data is stored in virtualized pools of storage which are generally hosted by third parties. Hosting companies operate large data centers, and people who require their data to be hosted buy or lease storage capacity from them.

Cloud Backup

According to Wikipedia, Cloud Backup is a remote, online, or managed backup service, sometimes marketed as cloud backup, is a service that provides users with a system for the backup, storage, and recovery of computer files. Online backup providers are companies that provide this type of service to end users (or clients). Such backup services are considered a form of cloud computing.

Online backup systems are typically built around a client software program that runs on a schedule, typically once a day, and usually at night while computers aren’t in use. This program typically collects, compresses, encrypts, and transfers the data to the remote backup service provider’s servers or off-site hardware.

Do these sound similar?

They might but there are some common differences:

Cloud Storage

Cloud backup

Pay per action pricing Monthly Fee
Commodity low grade infrastructure Enterprise class infrastructure
No replication of data Replication of Data
Typically not stored locally but spread around Typically stored together, locally
Slow cumbersome restores Fast streamlined restores due to being part of a unified solution
No Compliance regulations Often required to adhere to substantial security requirements and have facilities meet SSAE 16 audit requirements
Simple file upload only Optimized to support business servers such as SQL, Exchange, etc.
Intended to only store files Built to backup, store and restore dynamically changing data

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Why Traditional and Cloud Based backup can let you down

Even if some of your business solutions are ‘cloud based’ such as or Hubspot, you still likely have other servers in your office(s) that are used for other business critical functions like email, accounting, manufacturing, collaboration, file storage and the like.Because of this, virtually all (sane) businesses have some type of backup solution.  Whether it be tapes, hard drives, or even with a cloud service like Carbonite or Mozy.  However, what many people don’t realize is that backup solutions are designed to allow you to retrieve you data in the event of a data loss, not to actually minimize your down time in anyway.

There are two types of backup models.  Files based, and image based.

  • File based backup solutions are designed to backup your important documents.  Typically files like Microsoft Word or Excel.  If your server were to crash or need replacement, you would have to reinstall the operating systems, all of your application programs and then use your backup solution to restore your files.
  • Image based backup solutions are designed to backup and clone your entire server(s).  It backs up your disks in their entirety such that if your server needed replacement or new hard drives, you can restore them to exactly the way the disk looked when it crashed.  This avoids all the time associated with reinstalling all the applications, operating systems, settings, anti-virus etc.  It can easily save you about a day of time per server in terms of how quickly you’ll be back up and running again in the event of a total drive or server failure

As a business, most ‘consumer grade’ desktop and online backup solutions aren’t adequate.  For example, Carbonite is primarily a file based backup solution which is great if you accidentally overwrite an important powerpoint presentation you are working on.  But if your whole server hard drive crashed, you would multiple problems relative to being able to be up and running again.

Problems with Consumer oriented Cloud Backup solutions

Although typically very inexpensive, typical online backup solutions like Carbonite have the following problems for business applications:

  • They claim ‘unlimited storage’ but usually will only allow you to backup one machine per subscription.  In addition, their fine print in their legal contracts actual state that their term ‘unlimited’ is far from unlimited.  In some cases, capped out at 500 gigs or so.
  • They typically require you to make your initial backups over the internet.  A few will offer a hard drive mailing option for a significant fee.  A typical Small or Mid Size Business (SMB) will have somewhere between 1 and 3 Terabytes (TB) of data to backup.  Marketing data tends to be larger because it often contains high resolution photos, drawings and artwork. It could take 4-8 weeks to back up all your initial data and just as long to retrieve all of your data if needed depending on the speed of your internet connection.
  • Consumer solutions usually can’t safely backup in use files like databases, email servers and the like.  Your CRM solution, or your accounting system files would likely be skipped or unusable if restored from the cloud due to this problem
  • Support is usually via email or chat to foreign help desks with slow response times and mixed quality of technical personnel

Problems with Business oriented Cloud Backup solutions

Business grade backup solutions like VaultLogix or Backblaze for Business typically cost significantly more than consumer solutions and rarely include ‘unlimited’ data capacity.

  • Business solutions usually have more sophisticated software for your servers so they can safely backup your line of business applications like CRM, marketing automation or accounting solutions
  • They typically include some type of ‘round trip’ or ‘seeding drive’ service that allows you to backup your data initially to a supplied hard drive and have it shipped to their data center for uploading.  They offer the same ability to retrieve your data in the event of a crash.  This eliminates the multiple weeks of time waiting for data to upload and download through the internet which could be crippling in the event of an emergency
  • Still, it can take two weeks or longer to order and receive a new server in the event of a situation where the server can’t be fixed (fire, out of warranty etc).  Then a day or longer to restore your applications and data assuming you can get a technician on-site when the server arrives.
  • Statistics show an average SMB (Small and Mid-sized Business) loses $15,000/day of down time.  A two week server outage could cost $150,000 or more (assuming a 5 day work week).  That doesn’t take into account the lost customer goodwill or possible complete customer loss due to a lack of service on your part.

Even if you use traditional backup like tapes or hard disks and reliably rotate them off-site,  you still have this days or weeks of downtime waiting for replacement hardware, technicians, re-installation etc in the event of a serious failure.  If you suffer a relatively minor problem like a virus or bad patch and if you have in house IT folks, it can still take hours to restore and test your backups.
In addition, the vast majority of current backup solutions are typically a ‘daily’ backup so if your server crashed at 4pm, you could easily lose a day’s worth of work once the system is restored from the night before.


Most traditional backup solutions rely on you or your IT people to regularly test the restoration of your data to ensure everything is working ok.  The vast majority of backup problems are discovered when you try and restore your data.  Just think about what that means… How often are you doing test restorations to a separate server to make sure that in the event it was needed, you can fully restore everything and that it works ok?