How Can You Recover Deleted OneDrive Files?

Recover Deleted OneDrive Files

OneDrive for Business is at the heart of Office 365. It is one of the most popular file-sharing apps, providing organizations with a secure SaaS collaboration platform to store, share, and work on various document types. With so much business-critical information on OneDrive, an accidental/malicious deletion or corruption would be disastrous, to put it mildly. So here’s a step-by-step process to: recover deleted OneDrive files, along with best practices to protect your valuable OneDrive data.

This article includes:

Steps to recover deleted OneDrive files

Option 1: Recover deleted OneDrive files from Recycle Bin within 30 days

If a user deletes a file, it is stored for 30 days in the OneDrive for Business Recycle Bin. While still in this Recycle Bin, simply go into the bin and restore the file. 

Recovery from Recycle Bin within 30 days

Option 2: Recover deleted OneDrive files from Second-Stage Recycle Bin after 30 days

After 30 days, or if the user empties the recycle bin, files are stored for an additional 30 days in the “Second-Stage Recycle Bin.” From the Recycle Bin click on the “Second-Stage Recycle Bin.” Then click on the file, files, or folder you want to be restored.

Recovery from Second-Stage Recycle Bin after 30 days

Option 3: Recover deleted OneDrive files after 60 days via OneDrive Restore

Microsoft rolled out its OneDrive restore capability in 2018. Using it you can revert OneDrive data to a specific date and time in the last 30 days before that file was compromised. 

  • In OneDrive, under Settings, select Restore OneDrive
  • Select the point-in-time for OneDrive Restore
  • OneDrive will bring up a timeline with the changes a user has made within 30 days. Using the slider, pick the data before which the OneDrive files were corrupted or deleted.  All other activities that occurred after that are selected automatically. 
  • Deselect the activities that you do not want to be restored. Click Restore to complete the restoration of OneDrive to the chosen date. 

Recover Deleted OneDrive Files

Limitations of OneDrive’s native recovery options

Though the files restore feature seems simple enough to use, there are significant limitations: 

  • Recovery is time-bound: 30 days after a file is deleted it goes to the Recycle Bin, 30 days after that it goes to the secondary Recycle Bin, and finally, 30 days post that it can be recovered using the steps OneDrive Restore option. After 93 days, it is permanently deleted. Consider that you are asked to recover an important file or email from three months ago. Unfortunately, you cannot. As Microsoft says, “items  are automatically deleted after 93 days”.
  • Erroneous, cumbersome recovery: As recovery is based on batch restores, an error recovering an artifact from the batch will jeopardize the entire batch recovery. If malware has struck and bulk deletions or corruptions have occurred, imagine the added stress of recovering files bit by bit. Moreover, all changes a user has made to the file(s) are completely overwritten.
  • Limited Recovery capabilities: With Recycle Bins, no point-in-time recovery is possible and with Restore Your OneDrive, no granular restore is supported. Restoring OneDrive does not recover folder structures or sharing permissions. 
  • Poor notifications: Consider that a disgruntled employee deleted a few critical documents – it would escape the native notification system. As per OneDrive Restore, “Notifications are sent to users when a higher than usual number of files are deleted per hour”.

Best practices for OneDrive data protection

Here are some pointers to optimally protect your OneDrive data:

  • Ensure that as the admin, you have subscribed for OneDrive mass delete notifications.
  • Use OneDrive’s folder protection feature to sync offline folders with those on the cloud.
  • Guarantee recovery with third-party cloud backup and recovery. Native OneDrive recovery options have multiple limitations. Limitations that an organization reeling under the consequences of a security breach, malware attack or sync error, can do without. The best way to facilitate speedy disaster recovery and ensure business continuity is with quick and easy data recovery. 

New call-to-action

CloudAlly’s OneDrive/SharePoint backup solution comprehensively backs up OneDrive along with SharePoint Online Team Site (and all sub-sites), Public Site (and all sub-sites), and private Site Collections. The backup is reliably stored on Amazon S3 secure storage. Both point-in-time and granular restores are supported with unlimited data retention. Further, when you need to restore a file or folder, CloudAlly performs a non-destructive restore, so any further changes a user made after the loss date won’t be overwritten. 

Blunt the risk of a malware attack, accidental/malicious data loss or a sync error – all of which are increasingly common causes of data loss. Protect your OneDrive data with CloudAlly’s mature (we pioneered SaaS backup in 2011) and top-rated (voted as a top business tool by Newsweek by over 10,000 IT Pros) OneDrive backup and recovery solution.

Get fail-safe OneDrive recovery. Start your free trial now!

Do you really need to backup office 365?

How to Ensure Business Continuity When Microsoft Backup Fails!

The importance of being earnest with the need for 3rd party backup!

One of Microsoft Windows 10’s most effective built-in backup features used to be its Registry backups. Though the Microsoft backup commands Do you really need to backup office 365?were still running and allegedly being performed successfully, the actual Registry backups had in fact no longer been created – for over a year. So, do you really need to backup office 365?

After numerous complaints, Microsoft explained what was happening, but such a long gap between Registry backups certainly caused problems for companies. This kind of issue demonstrates the importance of creating third-party backups, even if your operating system promises to provide recovery options.  Backup for online business solutions is also required because of the lack of restore possibilities beyond the built-in data retention periods, in solutions such as Office 365, G Suite, etc.


What this article is about: 

  • Microsoft’s Registry Backups
  • History of Problems with Windows 10
  • Registry Backup Work-Around in Windows 10
  • Using CloudAlly’s Backup for Business

New call-to-action
Microsoft’s Registry Backups 

In June of 2019, Ghacks picked up on the fact that Microsoft was no longer creating Registry backups. While it seemed like these backups were being created as usual, only registry hives, not files, were actually appearing in the RegBack folder.

This meant, of course, that users weren’t able to restore their Registries back to an earlier state by using one of these backups.

Microsoft didn’t address this issue for nearly a year, and when they did, Forbes’ Consumer Tech writer Gordon Kelly calls their delayed response “worrying on multiple levels.”

It turns out that Windows 10 hadn’t been creating Registry backups for nearly a year. However, the tech giant didn’t dub this failure to make backups a bug or a glitch but instead called it a change “by design.”

An explanation (belatedly) issued by Microsoft reads:

“Starting in Windows 10, version 1803, Windows no longer automatically backs up the system registry to the RegBack folder… 

This change is by design, and is intended to help reduce the overall disk footprint size of Windows. To recover a system with a corrupt registry hive, Microsoft recommends that you use a system restore point.”

 What’s particularly shocking about this change is that users were led to believe that their Registry backups were still running as usual. After all, in the Registry backup folder, backups were still being added, though the actual file size of these phantom files was only 0 KB.

Kelly explains why Microsoft’s surprisingly-late explanation of this change is so problematic:

“Backing up a registry is a crucial last line of defense for many businesses and everyday users. Should a Windows System Restore point fail, barring the use of third-party software, the registry backup is all you have.” 

History of Problems with Windows 10 

When Windows 10 1803 was released in April 2018, users started complaining about the Registry backup issue in Microsoft’s Feedback Hub. However, nobody responded to their complaints or offered a solution to their problem.

Kelly dubs what Microsoft was doing here a “deception,” though it’s difficult to understand why the company might have wanted to make such a change without letting its user know about it. A backup registry usually takes up 50 to 100 MB on a disk, and if administrators wanted to free up this space, it seems they could have made the choice to turn off registry backups on their own.

While it’s unclear why Microsoft might have made this change – and then left users in the dark about it for more than a year – in April 2019, the company did promise to offer its users more transparency and honesty. However, as the company didn’t issue an explanation about what had been going on with Registry backup until two months after that, it remains to be seen if the company will live up to its promise.

With problems like these, it’s perhaps no surprise that so many users are resisting the move to Windows 10, instead hanging on to Windows 7 as long as they can.

Registry Backup Work-Around in Windows 10 

 Though Microsoft automatically disabled Registry backups, the company also gave administrators a workaround that allows them to re-enable this backup using by changing the Registry key’s value. Here’s how to do it:

  1.  First, type regedit.exe into the start menu and open the Registry Editor.
  2. Next, open the Configuration Manager using the key. HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Configuration Manager\
  3. From there, right click on the Configuration Manager and choose New > Dword (32-bit) Value. Call it EnablePeriodicBackup.
  4. After your backup has been created, double-click it to set its value to 1.
  5. Restart the computer.
  6. When Windows reboots, it will start backing up the Registry to the RegBack folder again and will use RegIdleBackup task to start performing regular backups again.

Do you really need to backup office 365?

CAPTION: From Microsoft 

Obviously, though, since Microsoft turned off this functionality, it doesn’t recommend this method for restoring corrupt registry hives. Instead, it suggests using a system restore point for this type of restoration.

Further, setting a Registry backup at this point is too little, too late for many users. Any user that wanted to restore the Registry to before Microsoft’s announcement in June 2019 – backups they believed they had – are out of luck, unless they were backing up their files with a third-party platform in the first place.

Using CloudAlly’s Backup for Business – on cloud solutions.

Business who wish to maintain business continuity, and be able to restore from any point in time with an unlimited retention period, for  solutions such as Microsoft Office 365 online, need to backup with 3rd party providers.

In turn, CloudAlly offers the security to know that your data will be recoverable.  CloudAlly backs up your data daily and allows for unlimited archiving. What’s more, you can use granular restore for single lost files or you can restore a mailbox or calendar, without losing updated information.

Enterprise Online Backup Solutions

Business Enterprise Online Backup Solutions & Strategies for Data and Disaster Recovery

Data loss happens all the time. Since 2012, data loss is up 400%. In fact, there are 140,000 hard drive failures in the U.S. each week, according to Small Business Trends. And if you start looking into malicious attacks, the data loss numbers get even worse.

Futurewave BusinessIT took a look at the trends of data loss and its cost in global business: “Data loss is up by 400% since 2012, while 71% of organisations are still not fully confident in their ability to recover after a disruption.”

According to Cisco, 31% of organizations have experienced cyber attacks on operational technology infrastructure. And, on average, small companies lose over $100,000 per ransomware incident due to downtime (CNN Money).

The worst part of all of this is that while there are many business enterprise backup solutions and strategies available, few companies implement them. In fact, 68% of SMBs don’t have a disaster recovery plan to protect themselves if the worst should happen, and 58% of businesses have no backup plan for data loss.

The Data Loss Problem: Cloud Backup Disaster Recovery 

cloud backup disaster recovery

The problem is that few businesses understand the full consequences of data loss. Either they think that it won’t happen to them or they think that cloud backup disaster recovery is too large of an initial investment with too little reward—it’s just not worth the hassle. But this is not the case.

The Cost of Not Having Cloud Backup Disaster Recovery

Data loss is far more expensive than any enterprise backup solution. According to a Verizon report, “small” data breaches of less than 100 records lost can cost $18,120 to $35,730. In a worst-case scenario, the cost could reach $555,660 or as much as $200 million for large data breaches of 100 million records of more. Data loss is inordinately expensive due to: lost revenue, labor hours required for recovery, inability to release new products, lack of support, and more.

Incorrectly Thinking You Have in place: Cloud Computing Backup and Recovery

Some IT professionals and CIOs may even think they’re already protected from data loss by cloud computing backup solutions that are built into the SaaS products they already use. Unfortunately, this is an erroneous assumption.

While most tools, applications, and software do have some type of built-in backup and recovery system, it is typically extremely limited. Most default cloud computing backup and recovery solutions are not designed to fully protect your business. They’re there to help get back files that may have accidentally been put in the recycle bin or to recover version history, but they do not offer:

  • Unlimited data storage and retention
  • Point-in-time recovery
  • A data archive that can’t be altered or deleted
  • One-click restoration of your system
  • Cross-user data backup and recovery
  • Automated data backups
  • Data export capabilities

This is something that the top SaaS solutions admit. For example, Salesforce boldly concedes that their backup and recovery service is “an expensive and time-consuming process and should only be used as a last resort, when no other copy of the data is available.”

Cloud computing Backup Solutions: Not Preparing for the Worst

The other problem that many IT managers and CIOs struggle with is not preparing for the worst to happen. Disaster can strike in a variety of ways. There are natural disasters, ransomware attacks, human error, migration mistakes, malicious data deletion, and more. In most cases, data loss is outside of your control and can happen at any moment. You can’t protect your company from data disaster unless you’re prepared for every type of risk and have a plan for handling it.

Implementing a Cloud Backup Disaster Recovery Plan

Now that you understand why data loss is such a problem and how much it can cost, let’s talk about the benefit of implementing enterprise backup solutions at your company. First, let’s talk about creating a cloud backup disaster recovery plan.

To ensure that your business can balance its data needs and its security risks, you need to develop, adopt, and secure a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery strategy for the cloud. This comprehensive plan should cover everything from planning to threat modeling, DDOS protection, due diligence, and the right tools.

So, what exactly do you need to do to create a comprehensive cloud backup disaster recovery plan?

  1. First, you need to prioritize risk management for your company. No matter how secure you may think your data is, understand that more precautions are always welcome.
  2. As an IT manager or CIO, it’s up to you define the requirements of what your company needs to protect your data in the cloud. This means defining what technologies you will use, what certifications you’ll need to obtain, and how you’ll comply with common standards such as CSA Cloud Control Matrix.
  3. Next, you’ll need to build a threat model for your cloud computing backup and recovery. An effective model identifies all potential threats—technical and business—that your company faces and focuses on scenarios where you can perform a risk assessment and limit potential damage.
  4. You’ll also need to perform due diligence when it comes to understanding the threats to your data and security. The three most important due diligence practices include: implementing document security controls; outlining SLA monitoring and auditing; and undergoing third-party cloud risk assessments.
  5. Lastly, you’ll need to choose which enterprise backup solution you’ll implement at your business to keep you protected.

The Benefit of Enterprise Backup Solutions

Let’s talk about the benefit of implementing enterprise backup solutions at your company. They’re cost-effective, easy to deploy, and offer you the ability to test your data backups regularly. The right cloud-to-cloud solution can also help improve your company’s performance.

A third-party cloud-to-cloud backup and recovery solution protects your business data at all points. Using the cloud, you can store your data securely and strategically at hubs located around the world and in a virtual space that allows you to connect to your data, no matter where you’re located. Using the cloud, you have the ability to leverage seamless data storage for recovery, refresh, and migration scenarios.

With an enterprise backup solution, you’re also investing in something that is scalable with your company. No matter how much your business grows, you won’t have to invest in in-house upgrades to your data storage or consider secondary storage for your less active data. Instead, all of your data will be stored in one place and accessible as needed with instant access to your data at your fingertips.

Cloud backup is part of a full disaster recovery plan. Cloud backup allows you to quickly… recover and restore data no matter what scenario you the IT manager find yourself facing. No matter if you only need to find a single file or you need to plug in your network and download an entire point-in-time backup, cloud backup (disaster recovery plan) can make it happen. It’s a flexible system that streamlines your experience with data.

The Best: Cloud Backup Solution Review 

So, what’s the best enterprise backup solution for your business? In today’s highly complex digital business world, old-school backup systems and disaster recovery solutions are incomplete without cloud to cloud backup of Office 365, G Suite, and other SaaS solutions. You need a cloud backup disaster recovery tool, solution, plan that understands your business systems, and completes your DR plan.

Data is a living system that changes from day-to-day, your business Office 365, SharePoint, G Suite and other SaaS products constantly update with new content and data, so you need a solution that is as robust as your business, is agile and comprehensive, and that’s why CloudAlly exists; to offer backup for Office 365, G Suite, and other leading solutions.

The Benefits of backing up with cloud backup solutions like: CloudAlly

There are many benefits from using a full-blown enterprise backup solution such as CloudAlly. It’s quick to set up, thorough in its data protection and recovery, and easy to use.

As Second Star Technologies said about CloudAlly, “The implementation took less than 30 minutes to configure and test, the price was extremely reasonable, and it allowed us to present a very cost-effective solution, very quickly to a customer that had an immediate need, and within a time frame that cemented Second Star Technologies’ ability to rapidly acquire and deploy necessary solutions to our customers”.

With CloudAlly, you can:

  • Activate your daily backups and then forget about them until you need access.
  • Manage all of your backups from one platform. This includes reviewing your daily backup activity and reviewing new and current users.
  • Recover lost or corrupted data from one or all SaaS applications at one time, performing a non-destructive restore for quick and convenient access to all of your data.

CloudAlly Is Dynamic & Changeable

Your organization’s data is constantly changing. If you use Salesforce as your CRM and Google or Outlook to send emails, then you are updating your data thousands of times a day across your company. This means that any data loss, even for an hour, can cause significant financial harm. CloudAlly allows you to set automated backups (daily or more if required), so you can recover from any data loss quickly and accurately. It’s a fundamental part of your complete cloud backup disaster recovery system.

CloudAlly Is Consistent

As an IT manager or CIO, you know that consistency is key to your business’ success. Your company doesn’t use a single software, application, or piece of technology to handle all operations, but that doesn’t mean that your data and security should be spread out all over the place. CloudAlly offers cloud computing backup and recovery for multiples SaaS applications (Office 365, G Suite, Salesforce,, SharePoint, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.) all in one single system. In this way, it replicates your complex business ecosystem, ensuring that your business has a backup with a restore capability from any point in time. 

CloudAlly Offers Point-In-Time Recovery

If business continuity is important to your CEO, then as an IT manager you need to be able to demonstrate that you can get the business back up and running quickly if things should go wrong. With CloudAlly as your enterprise backup solution, you don’t have to deal with a time-consuming archive process to recover missing files or to restore the entire system. Instead, with point-in-time recovery, you can restore your system or file back to its original location within minutes.

CloudAlly Is Secure

CloudAlly adds an extra layer of protection to your data with internationally recognized accreditation for information security management.

  • ISO 27001 and HIPAA Compliant
  • GDPR compliant
  • CloudAlly also participates in the Cloud Security Alliance STAR program using CSA’s Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM).
  • Amazon S3 Storage with AES-256-bit encryption
  • CloudAlly uses industry-standard OAuth for permission
  • Supports two-factor authentication.

“It’s great to have some peace of mind,” said Sara Tucker, the IT Director at the Dia Art Foundation, a CloudAlly customer. “It’s been great to know that something is there if something happens with the Microsoft applications.”

Ultimately, CloudAlly helps you go beyond simple data backup. It allows you to protect all of your data, for the life of your company, with little to no effort. To learn more about how CloudAlly can help your business, contact us today.  

Google Drive Down Worldwide: Averting Problems with Google Drive Backup

G Suite Drive Down

Here’s the scenario: you get to work, ready to pull up the spreadsheet you’ve been working on from Google Drive. But there’s a problem: Google Drive is down. You wait. Check again. Google drive is still down, and it stays down. For over an hour. What are you going to do now? The answer: keep waiting, even as you waste time. While there is certainly nothing wrong with using Google Drive to back up your G Suite apps, recent issues like this one prove that Google Drive alone is not reliable enough to be your only backup. CloudAlly’s G Suite/Google Apps Backup gives you the security that your data will be protected, even if Google Drive fails.

What this article is about:

What happened?

Right now, Google Drive aims to simplify G Suite users’ storage and file sharing in the cloud, but the program regularly has its snafus.

Case in point about Google Drive’s unreliability: on the morning of September 7, Google Drive users started receiving error messages from the file storage service. Users around the world could not load their files.

At 10:37am EST on September 7, 2017, Google announced that it was working to resolve the issue:

“We’re investigating reports of an issue with Google Drive.” Google Drive was down for an entire hour. By 11:38am EST, the program had been restored for some users, but it was still down for others.

Google issued another message that users could “expect a resolution for all users in the near future,” but the company could not provide a concrete timeline. Only by 12:24pm EST – nearly two hours after Google started working on the problem – was Google Drive restored for all users. The tech giant apologized for the inconvenience and said that it planned to develop “continuous improvements to make our systems better.”

Sure, Google says they’re working to make Google Drive infallible, but what if they don’t deliver on their promise, like they most likely will? If Google Drive fails when you need important data, you’re stuck, waiting until Google recovers. Without a third-party program, there is nothing you can do about Google Drive’s unreliability.

You might think, Google Drive was down for a few hours. So what? The problem speaks to a common issue of unreliability with the service. Just a few days after the first issue, on September 11, nearly 3,000 people reported issues with Google Drive again.

Sure, Google Drive is helpful. But it is by no means complete.

Google Drive’s Unreliability?

Google Drive does back up your files and data. However, the protection it provides is not enough.

Take malware and ransomware. Does Google Drive protect your files from these malicious viruses?

Nope. Even if your files are stored on the Google Drive cloud, your data could be infected. Only a third-party software like CloudAlly can protect your Google Drive files from corruption or ransom.

But, you might think, at least Google Drive will be around forever, right?

Again, the answer isn’t certain. Google Drive’s future is at risk. In early September 2017, users feared that Google Drive was shutting down altogether. While this turned out to be hype, Google is shutting down its Google Drive app for Windows and Mac, replacing it with a new backup up.

Right now, though, take a breath. Google Drive is still accessible to all users through browsers on all devices, but this replacement demonstrates Google doesn’t love Google Drive enough that they’ll never change or replace it. Google Drive may not be around forever, and while Google Drive will likely not shut down without notice, it still makes sense to have a third-party software like CloudAlly to back up all your data.

CloudAlly’s G Suite/Google Apps Backup

Returning to the interruption of Google Drive on September 7.

Google Drive users without third-party backups just had to wait. And click to see if Google Drive had come back online. And wait. And click.

But if you were using CloudAlly, you could have exported critical documents instantly. You wouldn’t have wasted any time. CloudAlly lets you export your data to any and all of the programs or devices you need using efficient zip downloads. Instead of waiting for Google to repair Google Drive on September 7, you could have kept on working like nothing was wrong.

Besides, CloudAlly’s Google Apps Backup does more than protect your Google Drive files, too. It backs up all your G Suite apps, including Gmail, calendar, contacts, tasks, and chats on an automated, daily basis.

Don’t put your data safely entirely into Google’s control; take matters into your own hands! Want to see for yourself how CloudAlly is more reliable than Google Drive? Try our free backup for 15 days.

Now that you know about Google Drive backup, you might want to have a look at what we created for you…


Office 365: Threat Intelligence and Data Governance Tools

Microsoft Office 365: Threat Intelligence and Data Governance Tools

Threat Intelligence and Data Governance ToolsThere is a lot that’s new about Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud version of its traditional desktop software. Some of the biggest new benefits have to do with two major pillars of an enterprise strategy: first, identifying and mitigating threats in a network, and second, establishing policies and procedures for data governance. Threat Intelligence and Data Governance Tools, are significant to our work process in Microsoft Office 365.


Why do companies need good data governance and threat intelligence systems in place?

Lots of experts are looking at studies by Ponemon, one of which estimates the average cost of a data breach at around $4 million — there is also this article from writer Michael Panciroli in April that sites some troubling statistics, for example, an assertion that 45% of surveyed companies don’t have good enough data governance to protect them from serious legal and security risks.

That kind of gap is what these new cloud features of Office 365 are meant to address — to help client companies to get more effective cybersecurity in place, perform better advanced data governance, and know more about their business data assets.

Major Benefits of Microsoft Office 365 Threat Intelligence

There is a ton of functionality built into Microsoft Office 365 Threat Intelligence that’s related to foiling hackers, conquering malware, and generally keeping a network safe and clean.

One essential element is the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph — this new feature of Microsoft’s cloud security platform does two major things. One is that it’s a comprehensive data aggregation center that takes in diverse input from hundreds of different sources, along with many of the 350 billion authentications that Microsoft manages each month. The other is that it utilizes machine learning components to increase its threat mitigation power even more. (See more detail on the strengths of Microsoft’s Intelligent Security Graph from Microsoft Vice President of Enterprise Client & Mobility Brad Anderson in this testimonial video.)

In other words, part of the strength of Microsoft Office 365 Threat Intelligence tools is the amount of raw data available to a machine learning system that can work with it and make it into actionable results — for instance, offering real-time tools and alerts, isolating and dealing with content that looks suspicious, and integrating with other security information and event management tools.

Aside from the Intelligent Security Graph, the Office 365 platform also now offers a new Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) reporting interface with all sorts of dashboard views related to network activity. The ability to extend this to desktop clients, and to infiltrate areas of an enterprise network, is very useful to business leaders who need to keep an eagle eye out for disturbing warning signs of inappropriate activity. Maybe it’s a logon from a suspicious location, or activity by an employee that hasn’t been on staff for years. Another major red flag is a significant volume of file deletions, which is another real-time indicator that Microsoft Office 365 Threat Intelligence can analyze.

Relating Microsoft Office 365 Threat Intelligence to Advanced Data Governance

Businesses know that data governance is critically important. Many of them also understand how having access to raw data and tools to filter and refine that data adds to the threat intelligence that they benefit from in-house. But not every business understands how new Microsoft Office 365 tools can enhance data governance in concrete ways. For instance, cloud policy recommendations will help to define data that should be kept and stored in an archive, or data that can safely be discarded. That’s just one aspect of having a security and compliance portal that helps businesses to build and classify their data.

Along with having good data governance and threat intelligence software capabilities, CloudAlly’s Office 365 backup and recovery service is another important part of a fundamental cyber security system. By providing automated daily backups and the ability to restore or export data from any point in time, CloudAlly ensures ongoing business continuity in the event of data loss.

Latest Cyber Attack Reminds Users to Backup Their Cloud SaaS Apps

— How To Backup Google Apps & Drive —

How To Backup Google Apps & DriveThe FBI reports that there are 4,000 cyber attacks per day—that’s almost four attacks per minute—and they’re becoming more prevalent. In 2015, there were only 1,000 attacks per day. That’s a 300% increase, and the latest global ransomware attack may have been one of the worst yet.  Is your company considering how To Backup Google Apps & Drive?

While it’s obvious from their regularity that the business world is no stranger to malicious viruses, malware, and more, in many cases even large organizations aren’t fully prepared to prevent an attack. That’s because, when 93% of phishing emails are now ransomware, it can be difficult to keep up with the criminals particularly when your company’s safety is not in the hands of your knowledgeable IT department but in the hands of your everyday employees. If even one employee clicks on a link or downloads an attachment from a hacker, the data of your entire company could be compromised.

The key is understanding exactly what malware is and knowing whether all of your data, including Google Drive, is protected.

What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware virus that takes over a computer and prevents access to data until a ransom is paid. It works by encrypting files and forcing you to pay a fee if you want to decrypt them. Only the ransomware creator knows the encryption key, and if your company isn’t willing to pay up, the data is often deleted and lost forever.

In many cases, the ransom demand is made via new computer wallpaper, which details specific instructions for payment. Some past messages have read:

  • “Your computer was used to visit illegal content. To unlock your computer, you must pay a $100 fine.”
  • “You only have 96 hours to submit the payment. If you do not send money within the provided time, all of your files will be permanently encrypted, and no one will be able to recover them.”

Payment demands can be up to $500 USD with the price doubling if funds are paid within a specified time—usually 24 hours.

The most recent iterations of ransomware have targeted enterprise end users who may not think they are “valuable” or “high-profile” enough to be the victim of an attack. The reality is that anyone can be a victim, which was more than proven in the most recent widespread attack.

Recent Ransomware Attack

Petya” might not sound like a dangerous word, but it’s the name for a vicious ransomware attack that crippled organizations all over Europe and the US in June 2017. It began in the Ukraine and quickly spread around the world, crippling big institutions such as WPP, Mondelez (a food company), DLA Piper (a legal firm), Maers (aDanish shipping and transport company), and Merck a large U.S. pharmaceutical company. The attack locked thousands of employees out of their computers until the ransom was paid.

Large organizations were particularly vulnerable to Petya because it only took one machine becoming infected for the ransomware to spread throughout the entire network. However, that doesn’t mean small companies weren’t at risk, too. Any machine connected to the Internet—nearly everyone—is susceptible.

And “Petya” is only the most recent attack. Just two months previously, the WannaCry or WannaCrypt ransomware attack hit more than 150 countries, 230,000 computers, and hundreds of companies including Telefónica, German State Railways, and the Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).

In both attacks, the ransomware spread rapidly using Microsoft Windows as its venue to move throughout each network.

In the case of WannaCry, the ransomware found a vulnerability in Windows that could have been fixed with a software patch, but many companies were using an outdated version. Worse yet, WannaCry didn’t require humans to spread. Once it was unleashed, it had the ability to move around the network by itself.  WannaCry was able to hunt down vulnerable machines and infect them, too. It spread like a virus, searching out weaknesses and exploiting them.

Petya worked similarly.

The Petya attack began through a software update mechanism built into a regularly used accounting program. Then, a second wave of infections was released using a phishing campaign with malware-laden attachments. However, unlike WannaCry, which tried to spread both internally and externally, Petya focused solely on internal networks, which limited its range of damage.

“I’m willing to say with at least moderate confidence that this was a deliberate, malicious, destructive attack or perhaps a test disguised as ransomware,” Nicholas Weaver, a security researcher at the International Computer Science Institute, told Krebs on Security. “The best way to put it is that Petya’s payment infrastructure is a fecal theater.”

Still, in both cases, the outbreaks were devastating for the companies affected and were difficult to coral once unleashed. And security experts warn that Petya and other ransomware strains will continue to proliferate.

So, how do you protect your company?

Preventing Ransomware Attacks

The best way to prevent a ransomware attack is to be prepared for one. There’s no way to 100% stop ransomware, since it’s up to user error and appropriate training, but there are a few things you can do to negate the affects of a ransomware attack. The first step is to review your company’s security settings along with your software habits to reduce your chance of becoming a victim.

The most important protection: regularly backup Google and all of your SaaS data. The advantage of cloud storage is that it automatically backs up your data in a secure and remote location, so even if your business becomes compromised your data stays protected.

A common misconception when it comes to SaaS data in the cloud is that it’s backed up and protected. This is not the case—Google backup does not exist and Office 365 backup is limited.

Google Drive automatic backup only happens if you use third-party software, like CloudAlly, to protect yourself. This means that if you’re infected with ransomware, all of the files, spreadsheets, and private information that you put in the cloud to keep it “safe” could be at risk of attack.

And an external backup drive is not sufficient. A hard drive backup that is connected to your computer can be compromised during a malware attack.

Using CloudAlly, you can auto backup Google drive every single day including your Mail, Drive, Classic Sites, Calendar, Contacts and Tasks. This simple step can reduce your risk of losing everything if a hacker takes your system hostage. When you have a backup, you can ignore the request for ransom and have your IT department remove the malware without any data loss worries.

Then, once your system is clean again, CloudAlly offers a simple non-destructive restore process, allowing you to recover your data in its entirety with point-in-time recovery.

“If you administer your company’s cloud accounts and need a simple to use but sophisticated backup solution, CloudAlly is all you need.” — Gareth Griffiths, NRH