There is a misconception that Microsoft 365 fully backs up all your data – they do not. Microsoft provides an excellent service for their customers, but really, their primary focus is to manage the Microsoft 365 infrastructure. This is a common assumption, which can be detrimental to your business. Although Microsoft don’t keep backups, they do provide a certain level of protection if your data is corrupted. Ultimately, you should make sure you have full and secure access and control over your Exchange, SharePoint and One Drive for Business and Microsoft data.
This article will cover and discuss the critical reasons as to why backing up your Microsoft 365 is important and what protection features Microsoft have implemented that fail in some cases.
1. Microsoft aren’t responsible for data loss
Essentially you are partially responsible for protecting your data hosted by Microsoft, this is known as Microsoft 365 Shared Responsibility Model. This informs us that maintaining your data availability shouldn’t only be reliant on Microsoft 365 but actually comes down to you.
Microsoft’s Service Availability states:
“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.” – (such as PCW Solutions 365 backup)
2. Accidental deletion or malicious intention
There might come a time when a notification pops up saying you’re running out of space and the easiest thing to do is remove documents that are old or may appear to be no longer important. The problem with this is that once it’s been deleted and the ‘deleted items’ folder has been wiped clean, the data will be lost forever. So if this is done by accident, Microsoft has no way of recovering that data. Often, if there’s a duplicate the original might be the one that was accidentally deleted, which can be difficult and frustrating to replicate. In the event that a document is overwritten OneDrive keeps previous versions.
Serious threats can arise if a user unknowingly downloads infected files or leaks usernames and passwords by accident to sites that seem trustworthy.
In addition, now more than ever businesses are experiencing threats from within their organisation. It can become difficult to keep up with who has access to what. Microsoft can’t detect between a regular user or a terminated employee who is trying to sabotage or delete important data. By the time it’s detected, it’s too late to recover.
According to infosecurity-magazine human error is one of the major reasons for data loss.
3. No point-in-time recovery for exchange online
Microsoft 365 makes it possible to recover a deleted message from a mailbox for a certain amount of time. It’s even possible to recover a deleted mailbox but only at the time of deletion. But what Microsoft don’t provide is point-in-time recovery. This is when you’re able to recovery or restore a set of data from a specific time in the past. So, although Microsoft allows you to access a single copy of your current data, they do not back up the data itself, which can be disastrous especially if a user’s Exchange Online mailbox is encrypt with ransomware or hacked.
For OneDrive and SharePoint online there is point-in-time recovery, but only limited to 30 days. This can be a problem for businesses that store important data inside of OneDrive and SharePoint and don’t realise until it’s past the 30 days. In this case having a third party backup for Microsoft 365 is beneficial.
4. External security threats
Serious damages have been done to businesses and organisations due to malware and viruses. This can result in the risk of private customer data being exposed, as well as internal data.
Microsoft’s Exchange Online backup and recovery functions are incompetent and limited in handling serious attacks. Regularly backing up guarantees a separate copy of your data is not infected and allows you to recover swiftly.
5. OneDrive is not a replacement for backup
Many people believe because OneDrive stores a copy of their files it’s an alternative to a back up. If you use OneDrive as a way of backing up, it can lead to data loss because if a file is infected on one device it will automatically sync in OneDrive causing the file to be infected on all synchronized devices.
In conclusion third-party Office 365 backup is the best way to protect your organisation and data against user error, accidental or malicious file deletion, ransomware, and data corruption. However, it’s good to note that not all Microsoft 365 backup tools are the same. Many don’t offer complete protection for the entire 365 suite i.e. Microsoft Teams. So it’s a good idea to choose a backup product for Microsoft 365 that meets your data protection needs
PCW Solutions offers a complete Microsoft 365 backup suite that includes Teams, OneDrive, Exchange, SharePoint, Planner, and Skype for Business. This is independent from Microsoft servers and it enables granular restores of Office 365 files, folders, and applications. We ensure that you can restore your data quickly and meet data retention requirements for Microsoft 365 data.
We cover 1 mailbox for £3 per month (OneDrive storage starts at 5 mailboxes). 5 mailboxes for £15 per month which includes 250GB of space. 8 mailboxes for £24 per month including 500GB and 10 mailboxes for £30 per month including 1TB.