By: NAKIVO Team
Office 365 is used by more than a million companies worldwide and holds almost 46% of the global market share for office suite technologies. This huge popularity makes Microsoft 365 a prime target for various types of threats that generally lead to data loss and operational disruptions.
Organizations using Office 365 have to resort to third-party solutions that allow them to protect their environments in order to minimize the risks and ensure business continuity. One of the most common methods to safeguard Microsoft 365 is data backups. This post lists the critical reasons why you need to back up Office 365 data. Read on to discover how a modern data protection tool can help you reduce the chances of data loss and downtime.
Why is Office 365 Backup Important?
According to the Microsoft 365 Shared Responsibility Model, Microsoft is only responsible for the availability of its applications and infrastructure, you are responsible for keeping your data safe.
Note: It is important to understand the risks in the shared responsibility model so you can implement the necessary protection measures.
While Office 365 includes built-in security features, they offer limited data protection and primarily focus on privacy and legal compliance. These native tools do not guarantee the recoverability of your data which is why it is necessary to rely on third-party measures that allow you to minimize the risk of data loss. The best approach to ensure data recovery is to implement a modern data protection solution and develop a robust backup strategy.
Why Should You Back Up Microsoft 365 Data?
There are numerous types of risks that threaten the safety of Office 365 data. Performing regular backups is the optimal method to ensure business continuity in case any of these risks materialize and impact your environment.
Human mistakes in general, and accidental deletion in particular, are one of the most prominent causes of data loss within an organization. Users sometimes delete individual files or folders and in some cases, entire user data is unintentionally removed.
Luckily, Microsoft 365 allows you to retrieve deleted data within a specific retention period. However, once that period expires, it is almost impossible to restore the lost information. The only way to guarantee data recovery is by performing regular Office 365 backups and using them when necessary to reinstate the deleted data.
Aside from accidental deletion, users inside your organization can jeopardize your data in other ways. Intentional and malicious data manipulation is a common threat in the business world. In some cases, a disgruntled employee might try to delete or share sensitive data before leaving the company to try to cause as much damage as possible.
It is necessary to implement adequate access controls and update user permissions as quickly as you can. That said, the best way to mitigate internal threats is by creating regular Office 365 backups and safely storing them in a separate location. That way, in case an employee tries to delete business-critical information, you can simply restore them without impacting your production environment.
Cyberattacks such as ransomware and malware are continuously growing in numbers and sophistication. A successful ransomware attack can infect your entire infrastructure, encrypt your data and put a halt to your operations.
Unfortunately, even the most advanced protection measures can fail thus putting you at the mercy of the cybercriminals who usually demand a ransom in exchange for releasing your data. In addition, there is no guarantee that you will access the encrypted data even after paying the requested ransom.
The most effective method to counter the risks of cyberattacks is having an Office 365 backup that is safely stored offsite, offline or in an immutable repository. In case of a ransomware infection, you can quickly restore your backups and resume normal business operations with little to no downtime.
Retention policy gaps and compliance requirements
The main purpose of the Microsoft 365 retention policies is to indicate how long you should retain certain types of information to comply with your industry’s standards, regulations and laws. You should always be ready to retrieve such data when it is required in order to avoid financial and legal repercussions. In addition, Office 365 includes the eDiscovery capability that enables you to locate and fetch the data you want to meet regulatory compliance requirements.
It is important to keep in mind that retention policies are not a viable substitute for backups. Microsoft 365 retention features are limited since data is stored for a relatively short amount of time and is not well protected.
From a legal and regulatory perspective, the consequences of not backing up your information can be detrimental to your organization. Fortunately, modern data protection solutions allow you to store backups for as long as you need and in different locations. They also provide the required security to ensure that backups are not modified or deleted. Moreover, you can use the advanced search functionalities to find the data you need and perform granular recovery to quickly restore just the files and folders you need.
Integrations with third-party tools
Office 365 is known for being highly customizable and can easily integrate with various third-party tools to improve user experience and make daily activities more efficient. However, the more services you integrate with, the more vulnerabilities you create since these tools might not have the same security standards as native apps.
In case one of these tools is targeted by a cyberattack or infected by ransomware, the damage could easily spread to Microsoft 365 apps and cause data loss or downtime. Instead of trying to remove the infection or the third-party tool, you can simply recover data from backups and ensure business continuity.
It is recommended to integrate with an advanced data protection solution that allows you to automate your backup and recovery workflows. Some of these tools provide flexible scheduling capabilities that help simplify backup administration and management.
Complexity of Microsoft Teams data
In recent years, the number of organizations relying on Microsoft Teams to streamline remote work has skyrocketed. It is important to note that the data in Teams is not self-contained. In other words, some information is stored in other applications like SharePoint Online, OneDrive and Exchange Online.
Such types of data are difficult to manage and, more importantly, to protect. Luckily, some modern backup solutions offer comprehensive protection for your entire Microsoft 365 environment. By implementing such tools, you can back up Microsoft Teams data no matter where it resides and ensure its recoverability in case of a disaster or disruption.
While Microsoft 365 includes native security features, they are generally limited and do not provide the necessary protection. In addition, there are numerous risks that threaten the safety of Office 365 data. The only way to minimize the chance of data loss or downtime is by implementing an advanced data protection solution that allows you to perform backup and recovery.