Do I need to back up Office 365 data?

By Luke Smits - Founder & Operations Manager

As of this moment I can honestly say, that I’m not sure if it is worth the money…

We host approximately 1000 users email through Office 365 and “touch wood, cross my fingers”, we haven't seen a case where data has gone missing from a user’s Office 365 mailbox that wasn’t deliberately deleted.

However, like any good insurance policy, it’s something you need to consider. What happens if you wake up tomorrow and your inbox and subfolders are all gone?

Or worse- what happens if it’s your company's entire inbox, subfolders, calendars and contacts have all disappeared?

To make this scenario even more complicated, more businesses are utlizing other products in the Office 365 suite, which include-SharePoint, OneDrive files, Microsoft Bookings, what if they all disappear as well?

It’s not something that you probably want to think about, and honestly neither do we. Which all adds up to the equation of; is the safety of having another copy of all that critical data worth $5 per month to you or your organisation?

But how could the data just go missing?

Data deletion: Users in your business present a significant risk when it comes to data loss. If an end user accidentally or maliciously deletes data or “loses” a folder, for example, there might not be an easy way to get it back.

Ransomware, hackers, & malware threats: Malware and cyber threats now pose the number one risk to your data.  As seen in recent ransomware and phishing attacks, data stored in the cloud can be as vulnerable as data stored on premises to cybercriminals.

Sync and configuration errors: Even a simple sync error or ‘fat fingers’ while configuring Office 365 can result in unintentional sync errors that can destroy or overwrite your data.

Microsoft Office typically offers a 30 day window where data can be restored, but it is often a slow and cumbersome process and lets face it when we are wanting things done in a hurry, do you think Microsoft will drop everything and provide any real help? Often the restoration processes are destructive in nature, meaning that they can restore all the files back to where they were at a single point in time, but only by overwriting the current data.

The best solution is to have a separate backup of your Office 365 data in a separate location, with a separate provider, who specialize in providing this service. The speed of recovery and the options you will have at the time of loss or outage will be significantly increased. Not to mention the stress you will save yourself by having this in place.

Below is a chart detailing what Microsoft assumes responsibility for and what they expect the end user to have in place.

Like everything that is stored in the cloud, backup is not something that naturally springs to mind. However, just because it’s in the cloud doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be backed up.

Talk to us today to see if an Office 365 backup is suitable for your business. At least this way you can make an informed decision and be fully aware of the risks if you choose not to.

Luke Smits (Operations and Sales Manager)