Protect the Data, Protect the Business

By Sarah Bader

Mar 1, 2022

Data loss is a rising threat to ecommerce businesses. Here’s why a secure data backup is the best way to protect your business - and your bottom line.

It all began with a corrupted hard-drive. While working at Adobe as a Technical Evangelist a few years ago, Mike Potter was giving a presentation at a conference to a few hundred developers (and his boss). In the middle of the presentation, his computer suddenly and unexpectedly froze.
Mike restarted it, but was then greeted with an icon of a hard-drive with a big question mark on top.This was ‘the kiss of death’ for hard drives, and immediately he realized he had just lost everything on his computer. Needless to say, all of the hours’ worth of work on this presentation had gone to waste – and at the worst possible time. Since then, “I became a bit of a backup fanatic. I have backups of my backups – and backups of those backups”, laughs Potter, Rewind CEO & co-founder.
Skip forward to 2015. Shopify was growing exponentially, yet so was another disturbing trend: merchants are losing data, often with disastrous results. This seemed counterintuitive. Weren’t we all moving to the cloud to make data storage easier? So, why were so many people losing critical business data?The issue boils down to a simple misunderstanding of how cloud computing (and SaaS itself) works. 

The Shared Responsibility Model and You

SaaS applications, including Shopify, perform platform-level backups. All of the data created by all of Shopify’s one million merchants is lumped together and backed up by the platform. If a meteorite struck their data centre, Shopify would be able to restore the data of everyone on their platform. 
But what about your specific, account-level data? From product images and descriptions, to customer info and order history, merchants create a lot of data. And they rely on that data to populate their store, display their products, check out their customers, and generally provide an excellent shopping experience. Unfortunately, since Shopify backs up everyone’s data in bulk, it has no way of determining whose data is whose. Trying to find the data associated with your store is worse than one in a million –  it’s like searching for a needle in a field of haystacks. 

Check out Shopify’s Terms of Service.

So yes, SaaS platforms like Shopify do technically back up your data – but that doesn’t mean they can restore it for you. And what good is a backup if you can’t restore it? Under the Shared Responsibility Model, individual users are responsible for protecting account-level data. If you’re an ecommerce store, that includes pretty vital information like product descriptions, SKUs, orders, and more. 

How Does Data Loss Happen in SaaS?

Third-Party App Errors: The apps we install are just more SaaS tools. When they work, they’re wonderful, but when they don’t, they can seriously wreak havoc. If you look closely, the majority of third-party integrations require “read and write” permissions, meaning they can also change, manipulate, or delete your data if connected improperly.
Human Error: No matter how much training we do, or how many times we’ve done the same thing, mistakes happen. It’s simply human nature, especially in a fast-paced environment. It isn’t a matter of if, it’s when.
Malicious Attacks: There are two kinds; attacks from people you don’t know (cybercriminals) and people you do (contractors or ex-employees). While historically cybercriminals have targeted large organizations, that has changed. A 2020 Verizon study found that nearly 1 in 3 (28%) of cybercrime victims were SMBs. 
CSV or JSON Files: Plain text file formats like CSV and JSON are great – if you know how to use them. But just like people, it’s easy for these files to accidentally break things. If an import is set up even slightly wrong, it has the potential to break your entire store
Whether it's due to human error, a buggy third-party app, or malware, the results of data loss are the same: lost revenue. When the data powering your store is unavailable, business as usual comes crashing to a halt. For every second of downtime, you’re losing sales, potential new customers, and your store’s reputation.

The Importance of Backups

Rewind recently found that 40% of SaaS users have lost all or part of their store due to data loss. These slightly-less-than-a-coin-flip odds aren’t exactly comforting for store owners. What can they do to protect their store, their revenue, and their bottom line? Well, a complete data backup and restore solution ensures your critical data is always accessible. 
BaaS (backup-as-a-service) products like Rewind can back up, securely store, and restore (when needed) your data. A true set-it-and-forget-it solution, Rewind automatically backs up your data daily. By removing the need for manual backups, merchants can focus on what they do best. Should anything go wrong, data can be restored with a few clicks. Plus, if you are ever subjected to an audit, all of the data that proves compliance is at your fingertips. 
Rewind puts you in control of your data, allowing you to restore anything from a single image to an entire store.
Try your free trial of Rewind Backups for Shopify today.