Backing up your Office 365 data

If your business is one of the many which has migrated to Office 365 in the cloud, you will no doubt be enjoying the benefits that it brings, such as the switch from a CapEx to an OpEx pricing model and being able to access your data from any location with an internet connection.

However, with these benefits comes a reminder that it remains just as important as ever to backup your data. This is because, even though your Office 365 data resides in the cloud, Microsoft provides no guarantees that it will always be available to you.  In fact, in section 6b of its Services Agreement – to do with Service Availability – Microsoft goes as far as to say:

“We strive to keep the Services up and running; however, all online services suffer occasional disruptions and outages, and Microsoft is not liable for any disruption or loss you may suffer as a result.  In the event of an outage, you may not be able to retrieve Your Content or Data that you’ve stored.  We recommend that you regularly backup Your Content and Data that you store on the Services or store using Third-Party Apps and Services.”

What could possibly go wrong?

The truth is that your Office 365 data can be deleted (either maliciously or by mistake) just as easily as data residing on an on-premise server. If you are not backing up the data anywhere else, the risk of loss gets higher the longer the deletion goes unnoticed. This is because Microsoft only retains access to files for a period of 14 days after they are deleted.

Also, external security threats pose a persistent risk to your data integrity and data can be lost through password appropriation after successful phishing attacks or when systems are infected with malware.

All of this has important implications for GDPR, as well as for any other specific information governance standards which may apply. This means urgent action to comply with data retention policies may be necessary.

You’re working at home, but where is your data?

With the monumental switch to home working during the COVID-19 pandemic, use of video conferencing and collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams has grown considerably.

One thing we are asking businesses to consider is how your people use MS Teams to share and save data files. We suggest that you introduce new information governance protocols to control the flow of data and best protect it against loss. In any case, you should make sure that your MS Teams environment is backed up along with the rest of your Office 365 applications.

Talk to us about your backup requirements

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