By Jennifer Blanchette

As the preferred means of communication for businesses, email is becoming increasingly important in the workplace. What’s more, a recent study by Adobe found that an employee spends an average of five hours a day checking their inbox. If we spend so much time in our inboxes, it is because they contain information that is essential and crucial to the smooth running of our business.

Yet very few organizations think of backing up emails and their valuable content. What if tomorrow morning, you no longer had access to any of your emails? What would happen to your business?

When the My Technician team asks their clients this question, the answer is sometimes slow in coming. Usually, the executives in question take a few moments to think and then suddenly, their eyes widen—a sign that never lies. That is when they grasp the disastrous consequences that the loss of this data could have for their business.

Farewell signed contracts, proofs of payment, exchanged quotes or bids, and so on. More and more professionals rely almost exclusively on electronic exchanges to keep track of a particular file or the advancement of a project. Without an effective backup solution, the hard work poured into fulfilling a mandate for a client could be lost forever if the emails vanished.

In some cases, this missing information results in considerable loss of revenue, loss of credibility or a temporary shutdown of operations. Worse still, it can even lead to the permanent closure of some businesses.


To Err Is Human

There are several sources of danger awaiting business inboxes. Deleting emails is sometimes an unfortunate and unintentional act committed by an employee who is distracted or less skilled with computer equipment.

Conversely, a spiteful employee may deliberately delete certain electronic communi­cations in order to harm the company. This type of sabotage is sometimes seen when an employee is fired. Once your data has been permanently deleted from your email interface, you only have a limited time to recover it. Afterwards, these documents or messages will become irrecoverable.

Phishing remains the most likely threat to our inbox. In fact, since the beginning of the pandemic, nearly one third of Canadians have been victims of phishing. Phishing occurs when fraudsters try to obtain personal information in order to impersonate their quarry.

As soon as you notice that hackers have taken control of your inbox, you should immediately change your password and enable two-factor authentication. If they manage to encrypt your inbox for the purpose of obtaining a ransom, for example, you can recover its contents with a backup copy, provided you made one.    


A History that is Worth Gold

If inboxes play a crucial role in the retention and historization of information, why is backing up emails still marginal?

First, because business owners sometimes tend to underestimate the value of the communication history contained in the inbox. Because they have never carried out an analysis of the data contained in emails, managers and employees do not understand the breadth of information that could disappear along with the electronic communications, says Yann Claudio, Vice President at My Technician. 

“Yet, he continues, we are seeing a growing trend towards the orderly sorting of emails in employee inboxes. They are becoming real directories and this information is becoming as important as the company’s primary data.”

While business owners are slow to realize the goldmine of information lying dormant in their inboxes, hackers are not.

“Before the pandemic, we saw very few attacks that directly targeted emails. Hackers would use phishing to infiltrate workstations, but the attacks were aimed at encrypting the servers, not the emails. Now, hackers are attacking servers as much as inboxes, which leads us to reassess the true value of email,” adds Yann Claudio. 

Email backup is also struggling to become a priority among business leaders, who overestimate the backup functionalities offered by email providers.

“People mistakenly believe that because emails are stored in a cloud, they are secure. It is not the case. If our inbox suffers an encryption attack by hackers, emails will become encrypted everywhere, including in the cloud,” Claudio remarks.

Indeed, the vast majority of companies use software-as-a-service (SaaS) for their emails. Among the most popular are Microsoft Office 365 and Google’s G Suite.

Simply put, a SaaS is a cloud-based software solution whose applications are accessible over the Internet, regardless of your geographical location.

To date, nearly one in three users has experienced a loss of data stored in a cloud. While SaaS providers ensure the redundancy of data stored on their servers, they are not responsible for protecting the integrity of that data.

In other words, even if the container (your email) remains accessible at all times, it does not mean that the content (your data) is not at risk of being corrupted by human error or malicious software.


A Cloud-to-Cloud Backup

So how does one protect the information contained in a SaaS? They decide on a cloud-to-cloud data backup.

To this end, we need to make a backup copy of the information stored in our SaaS, i.e., our emails, contacts, calendars, to-do lists, etc., in a highly secure cloud that is independent of that of Google, Microsoft or another SaaS.

This SaaS data protection service offered by the My Technician team is simple and highly effective. Thanks to this service, your data is automatically backed up in encrypted form three times a day. This secure procedure allows you to quickly recover all your digital data if an attack, a loss or an intentional deletion of your emails should occur.

With telecommuting becoming a must in the coming years, the importance of email in the workplace will continue to increase. Since it is better to be safe than sorry, do not hesitate to ask yourself: if I were to lose all my electronic communications tomorrow, what would happen to my business? If the answer leaves you scratching your head, it is high time to start protecting those precious inboxes.