Scary Salesforce Data Loss Stories To Read This Halloween & How Not To Be One of Them

In the current times of cut-throat competition, have you ever thought about the key factor that keeps your business afloat? Yes, you guessed it right! It’s your all-important DATA that acts as the fuel for your business, allowing your enterprise to operate smoothly. Data is the heartbeat of any cloud platform, including Salesforce, and is extremely integral for the longevity of your company. In fact, some experts are of the belief that data is the most valuable asset in the world.

So, what would happen if your business is cut off from this essential fuel? What would happen in the scenario of a data security outage where your business loses its critical data, be it for any reason ranging from malware or virus attack, mismatched metadata, server crash, data corruption, human error, to device theft?

spooky tales salesforce data loss


Halloween is almost upon us. Unlike the more popular urban legends that visit everyone’s thoughts this time of year, data loss is no myth! Though you may find no one huddled around the campfire narrating the ghastly story of ‘The Tale of the Missing Task’ or the spooky tale of ‘The Revenge of the Errant Employee’, these stories are far more frightening for Salesforce customers than any ghost story uttered over All Hallow’s Eve.

Ask anyone who has ever experienced the horror of data loss, and you’ll find they all have one thing in common: They never thought it would happen to them. Unfortunately when a Salesforce data loss event occurs, the question is not why your company experienced it, the real question is how, when, and how much Salesforce data you’ll lose. This is the sole reason why companies invest in proper data protection platforms for their systems. But these companies were among the not-so-lucky ones, whose tales now serve to warn others….

#1 The Infamous Salesforce Permageddon

In May 2019, Salesforce users suffered an incident that later came to be known as ‘Permageddon‘. Salesforce teams that had integrated Pardot, the marketing automation tool, into their Orgs found that their permissions models were corrupted, with all user profiles granted permission to view & modify all data.

Though Salesforce promptly decided to protect its users’ data & deleted all affected permissions, this meant that admins had to rebuild their Org’s profiles & permissions manually. This also meant that enterprises affected by this outage lost their valuable production hours as well as hoards of crucial Salesforce data; all of which could have been prevented if they had a robust data security plan in place.

*source Salesforce outage hits after data leak

#2 The Time When Salesforce NA14 Went Down 

In a similar yet smaller outage in May 2016, Salesforce customers were again exposed to serious data loss. Companies with Orgs operating out of the Salesforce instance, NA14 (North America instance 14) lost nearly four hours worth of CRM data due to a system failure & outage that lasted over two business days.

When a database failure on the NA14 instance caused the services to be disrupted, the entire instance became inaccessible. With no access to their CRM, companies were unable to operate for the duration of the outage (nearly 20 hours). Even the data added to the Orgs in the hours leading up to the outage was also lost.

*source Salesforce Customers Lose CRM Data in 20 Hour Outage

#3 Months of County Data Wiped Out Due To Human Error

In early 2020, several counties in Ohio lost up to six months of their mission-critical data. This data loss happened when an employee of the IT company, serving those counties, omitted to create a secure backup copy of the data (against the company policy) before transferring their data to a more secure system.

The county employees were able to restore some of the lost information to some extent using their personal data recovery methods. But since they only had physical hardcopies of the data & manually re-entered all that data into their system, the data that solely existed in the digital format was permanently lost. Had they been using a data backup & recovery system at their end as well, they could have easily avoided this entire fiasco.

#4 Pixar’s Toy Story 2 Almost Turned To Horror

Everyone must be quite familiar with the almost data loss story of Pixar Animations Studios back in 1998. While Pixar’s hugely popular & incredibly successful children’s film, Toy Story 2, was in production, one of the animators working on the film accidentally used a ‘remove all’ command in the root folder of the film’s assets, causing the team to instantly lose about 90% of the film.

What’s more was that even though Pixar obviously had a BDR backup system in place, they had neglected to routinely check the system to monitor its efficacy. Therefore when they finally attempted to recover the lost data, they realized that the system hadn’t worked in several months & they had no recent copies of the film.

Thankfully for them, their technical director happened to have some personal copies of the data backups stored on her personal computer which finally saved millions of dollars worth of work and the iconic children’s movie.

*source Pixar’s billion-dollar delete button nearly lost Toy Story 2 animation

#5 Dutch Government Loses Crucial Data About Organ Donors

In another recent incident in 2020, the Dutch government reported losing two external hard disk storage devices that contained the personal data of more than 6.9 million organ donors registered between February 1998 & June 2010. This included sensitive details such as first & last names, gender, DOBs, addresses, choice for organ donations, ID numbers, & a copy of the user’s signature.

The department disclosed that the hard disks in question were held in a secure storage vault since the authorities switched to using newer drives. Towards the year’s beginning, while purging old donor registration forms & its corresponding electronic copies, the authorities discovered those hard disks missing. All of this could again have been avoided if the authorities had switched to cloud data backup platforms in the first place.

*source Dutch government loses hard drives with data of 6.9 million registered donors

Put an End to Fright Night

Though these stories about crucial data loss are nothing short of terrifying, each one of them could have been avoided if there was a reliable data backup & recovery system in place. A good Salesforce data backup system increases the chances of data recovery, in case the data is accidentally lost.

In this direction, you can always leverage our robust data backup & recovery platform, DataArchiva Backup, designed especially for the Salesforce system. The application comes with all kinds of data backup options (full, incremental, manual, & automated) and also lets you quickly recover your backed up Salesforce data. What’s more is you can use your own AWS platform’s S3 storage to hold your backup data, giving you 100% control over your data without exposing it to external elements.

Like what you read? Then please get in touch with us to know more about this cost-effective, easy-to-use solution & how it can solve all your data backup & recovery needs in Salesforce. You can also witness the application in action by simply scheduling a free demo. We also have amazing offers for our customers till Halloween, so hurry!

Until then, let’s pray for the safety of your Salesforce data!!!

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DataArchiva offers three powerful applications through AppExchange including Native Data Archiving powered by BigObjects, External Data Archiving using 3rd-party Cloud/On-prem Platforms, and Data & Metadata Backup & Recovery for Salesforce. For more info, please get in touch with us at [email protected]
CEPTES has been a pure-play Salesforce platform-focused company since 2010. We are product magicians as well as Salesforce consulting whizzes with 1000+ customers across the world. DataArchiva is CEPTES’s flagship application listed on AppExchange