Why You Should Backup Office 365

Many people are under the impression that Microsoft and Office 365 provide comprehensive backup solutions and security measures and although we appreciate why they’re under that impression, unfortunately, it’s not the case. While Microsoft hosts the infrastructure to keep you and your business active in the cloud, the data that’s stored is still your data and it’s your responsibility to make sure it’s protected.

Microsoft 365 offers geo-redundancy which is often mistaken for backup. One means the storage location of your data is redundant because there’s protection against site and hardware failure. The other is a historical copy of your data which is stored in another location. True backups and a multi-step backup strategy are imperative to make sure your business’ critical data is protected. With 72.8% of cyber attacks targeting Microsoft Office in particular, simply having an O365 subscription does not mean you’re protected.

One of our partners, Veeam, created this diagram to show where Microsoft’s responsibilities end and yours begin. In essence, it shows that there are six key reasons why your business’ Office 365 should be backed up. These are: the potential for accidental deletion, confusion and gaps in retention policy, the presence of internal security threats such as malicious insiders and departing employees, the presence of external security threats like ransomware and rogue apps, legal and compliance requirements, and the need to manage hybrid deployments and migrations.

Diagram depicting Microsoft's responsibilities and your own. Text is described in blog below

The potential for accidental deletion

One of the most common occurrences of data loss comes about due to the accidental deletion of files, which can sometimes go unnoticed for long periods of time. If it takes your business longer to discover the loss than Microsoft stores your data, then it will be completely lost.

Confusion and gaps in the retention policy

This is related to where your business’s data is stored after it’s removed, like in the ‘recycling bin’ for example. This retention method is incomplete and offers no point-in-time recovery options.

The presence of internal security threats

While the number of occurrences of malicious insiders, employee retaliation and evidence tampering may be low, the threats they pose to your business can be extreme.

The presence of external security threats

Microsft is responsible for the infrastructure which your data is stored on and the security needed to physically protect it, however it’s your responsibility to protect from threats like ransomware, rogue apps, and hackers.

Legal and compliance requirements

Different industries and regions have varying legal and compliance requirements which may not be catered to by Microsoft which could leave you open to legal action.

The need to manage hybrid deployments and migrations

Many organisations haven’t fully migrated to the cloud and choose to adopt a hybrid model, however this can mean that they’re on-premise data and their cloud data are secured separately which can open up gaps in their protection.

What should I look for in a backup solution?

  1. Your business should have the flexibility and freedom to use your existing on-premise capabilities or a cloud for cloud backup system, depending on your unique needs.
  2. The solution should provide incremental backups, granular recovery, automation, and policy-based retention capabilities.
  3. It must be capable of protecting hybrid deployment methods as well as full SaaS adoption.
  4. It should compliment Office 365 and integrate with their existing protection measures.
  5. There should be flexibility with user access controls, access to SaaS usage metrics, and the option for multifactor authentication.
  6. It should be able to grow or shrink without capex as your business’ needs change.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365

Deployus frequently recommends Veeam to customers who require a backup solution as it can be integrated with both on-premise and cloud data storage systems. Veeam helps protect your Office 365 data from accidental deletion, security threats and retention policy gaps and it allows your business to quickly restore individual Office 365 items and files with industry-leading recovery flexibility. It can also help you meet legal and compliance requirements with efficient eDiscovery or Office 365 backup items.

According to an IDC report, almost half (49%) of organizations have suffered from an unrecoverable data event in the past three years, so it’s imperative to make sure your data is protected. If you’d like more information about why you still need to back up your Office 365 or if you’re interested in a backup strategy, please get in touch with our team via our contact form.

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