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Security and Continuity Planning
1st June 2020
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9th June 2020

Microsoft 365 Backup – Are you backed up?

Microsoft 365 is a popular platform on the market today, with the recent lockdown Teams itself has grown by 44 million users.

According to Microsoft’s FY20 Q1 results, Microsoft 365 now has 200 million monthly active users. The interesting thing is that the growth has remained constant at about 3 million users per month since November 2015.

The Microsoft 365 platform is a powerful tool that allows organisations to leverage Exchange Online as an efficient cloud-based email platform with added components such as Teams, OneDrive, SharePoint etc.

Microsoft manages to take away much of the work for businesses by managing their Microsoft 365 infrastructure and maintaining uptime for their users.

But, it does not back up their data  As a platform, Microsoft 365 is secure, however, your data is not backed up in a way that most organisations expect and require.

There is a 30-day retention period inbuilt into Microsoft 365, and Microsoft SharePoint Online is only backed up every 12 hours, with just a 14-day retention period. Furthermore, you cannot rely on the recycle bins, either – there are no true backups here, meaning that once data is gone, it’s gone.

Ultimately, it’s the companies responsibility to safeguard their data.

The issue is companies don’t realise that Microsoft is not responsible for the protection and retention of user’s data – this in turn is where the major issue lies.

Just imagine if you lost access to all the information in your Office 365 environment. With so much data distributed amongst Microsoft 365 programmes – whether that’s spreadsheets, Word documents, emails and even calendar details – backing everything up is vital!

The backup and recoverability that Microsoft provides and what users assume that they are getting are often very different. Microsoft 365 offers geo redundancy, which protects user’s availability, not their data.

Geo redundancy offers users protection against site or hardware failure—so if one of these issues occurs, they will not experience an interruption in their service. But it will not protect users from data loss.

That means that even in the cloud, data protection is necessary.

Accidental deletion, retention policy gaps and confusion, internal & external security threats, and legal compliance requirements all can cause significant and irreversible data loss on a Microsoft 365 platform.

These threats are common occurrences— meaning that Microsoft 365 backup should be a critical part of every company’s disaster recovery plan.

People do delete data, often accidentally but sometimes intentionally. Then there is the ever-present threat of ransomware and other malware.

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