Should you backup Office 365?

Microsoft takes care of a lot and provides a great service for businesses to rely on when it comes to the availability and security of the services provided. However, Microsoft are only responsible for maintaining the infrastructure and the availability of the service. Microsoft are not responsible for the data. You, the customer, are responsible for the data.

Microsoft empower you to be responsible for your data and the misconception that Microsoft fully backs up your data is a dangerous one. It is important to understand the difference between redundancy or availability and backup. A backup takes place when a historical copy (a point in time) of data is created and then stored in a different location. Redundancy or availability on the other hand protects against hardware or connectivity outages by offering the same data from somewhere else. Redundancy or availability are not a protection if data is lost, accidentally deleted or maliciously attacked.

Most Office 365 services come with a recycle bin which will store deleted data for a limited period, this can help protect against accidental deletion of data but does not protect against data loss or maliciously attacked data. Did you know the average length of time between data loss and the discovery of data loss is 140 days? A recycle bin might last 30 days.

If a user is accidentally deleted from Office 365, that deletion will be replicated through the Microsoft cloud and the users OneDrive, Personal SharePoint site and Mailbox will be deleted. Once the item has been tagged to be purged the data is completely gone. Once this happens its unrecoverable, period.

Other threats include viruses and cyber-attacks like ransom attacks which will irreversibly encrypt a user’s files and documents or phishing attacks which steal users’ passwords which could lead to complete data loss.

Other potential vulnerabilities  include administrative errors during IT system migrations where something goes wrong and data is lost for ever if there is no backup.

Naturally, at 4way, we offer fully or partly managed backup services for Office 365 so get in touch with your account manager to learn more.

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