6 Key Reasons To Have a Microsoft Office 365 Backup

Why You Should Backup Microsoft Office 365

The Top 6 Reasons to Have a Microsoft Office 365 Backup


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As a robust and highly capable Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, Microsoft Office 365 fits the needs of many organizations perfectly. Office 365 provides application availability and uptime to ensure your users never skip a beat, but a Microsoft Office 365 backup can protect you against many other security threats. You or your boss might be thinking, “the recycle bin is probably good enough.” However, this is where many people get it wrong. The average length of time from data compromise to discovery is over 140 days. Needless to say, this is a shockingly large gap. There is a high probability that you won’t notice something is missing or gone until it’s too late. After talking to hundreds of IT professionals across the globe who have migrated to Office 365, six vulnerabilities in data protection rise to the top. As a result, the 6 key reasons to have a backup of your Microsoft Office 365 environment are: 


#1- Accidental deletion

If you delete a user, whether accidentally or not, that deletion is replicated across the network, along with the deletion of their personal SharePoint site and their OneDrive data. Native recycle bins and version histories included in Office 365 can only protect you from data loss in a limited way. Therefore, this can turn a simple recovery from a proper backup into a big problem after Office 365 has geo-redundantly deleted the data forever, or it has fallen out of the retention period. There are two types of deletions in the Office 365 platform: soft delete and hard delete. An example of soft delete is emptying the “Deleted Items” folder. It is also referred to as “Permanently Deleted.” In this case, permanent is not completely permanent, as the item can still be found in the Recoverable Items mailbox. A hard delete is when an item is tagged to be purged from the mailbox database completely. Once this happens, it is unrecoverable, period.


#2- Retention policy gaps and confusion

The fast pace of business in the digital age lends itself to continuously evolving policies, including retention policies that are difficult to keep up with, let alone manage. Just like hard and soft delete, Microsoft Office 365 has limited backup and retention policies that can only fend off situational data loss and is not intended to be an all-encompassing backup solution. Another type of recovery, a point-in-time restoration of mailbox items, is not in scope with Microsoft. In the case of a catastrophic issue, a backup solution can provide the ability to roll back to a previous point-in-time prior to this issue and save the day. With an Office 365 backup solution, there are no retention policy gaps or restore inflexibility. Short term backups or long-term archives, granular or point-in-time restores, everything is at your fingertips making data recovery fast, easy and reliable.


 #3- Internal security threats

The idea of a security threat brings to mind hackers, viruses, and ransomware. However, businesses experience threats from the inside, and they are happening more often than you think. Organizations fall victim to threats posed by their very own employees, both intentionally and unintentionally. Also, access to files and contacts changes so quickly so it can be hard to keep an eye on those in which you’ve installed the most trust. Microsoft has no way of knowing the difference between a regular user and a terminated employee attempting to delete critical company data before they depart. Additionally, some users unknowingly create serious threats by downloading infected files or accidentally leaking usernames and passwords to sites they thought they could trust. Another example is evidence tampering. Imagine an employee strategically deleting incriminating emails or files — keeping these objects out of the reach of the legal, compliance, or HR departments.


#4- External security threats

Malware and viruses, like ransomware, have done serious damage to organizations across the globe. Not only is company reputation at risk, but the privacy and security of internal and customer data as well. External threats can sneak in through emails and attachments, and it isn’t always enough to educate users on what to look out for — especially when the infected messages seem so compelling. Exchange Online’s limited backup and recovery functions are inadequate to handle serious attacks. Therefore, regular backups will help ensure a separate copy of your data is uninfected and that you can recover quickly.


#5- Legal and compliance requirements

Sometimes you need to unexpectedly retrieve emails, files, or other types of data amid legal action. This is something you never think it is going to happen to you until it actually occurs. Microsoft has built in a couple safety nets (Litigation Hold), but again, these are not a robust backup solution capable of keeping your company out of legal trouble. For example, if you accidentally delete a user, their on-hold mailbox, personal SharePoint site, and OneDrive account is also deleted. Legal requirements, compliance requirements and access regulations vary between industries and countries. However, fines, penalties, and legal disputes are three things you don’t have room for on your to-do list. So, it is important to have a comprehensive Microsoft Office 365 backup to ensure legal and compliance requirements are met. 


#6- Managing hybrid email deployments and Office 365 migrations

Organizations that adopt Office 365 typically need a window of time to serve as a transition window between on-premises Exchange and Office 365 Exchange Online. Some even leave a small portion of their legacy system in place to have added flexibility and additional control. These hybrid email deployments are common yet pose additional management challenges. The right Office 365 backup solution should be able to handle hybrid email deployments, and treat exchange data the same, making the source location irrelevant. Furthermore, you should be able to store the data anywhere you choose, whether on premises, in cloud object storage such as Amazon Web Service S3 or Microsoft Azure Blob, or with a managed service provider like Storcom.


How often do these reasons occur?

By now, you understand why it’s critically important to back up your Office 365 data. However, you’re probably wondering to what extent these six data protection vulnerabilities actually happen. Unfortunately, the answer is far too often… Over 1,000 IT professionals were asked what forms of data loss they had experienced in the cloud. User error, accidental deletion, security threats, and retention gaps all made the list from 18% to as high as 37%.


The scary reality is that even though sensitive cloud data is stored in Office documents, an estimated 76% is not being backed up.

In fact, IDC states that 6 out of every 10 organizations still don’t have any form of Office 365 data protection! 

Do you work in one of these unprotected organizations? If so, then hopefully you now have the insights available through this report to encourage your organization to protect its Office 365 data.



In conclusion, we suggest you go ahead and take a closer look. These are security gaps you might not have been aware of before. You already made a smart business decision by deploying Microsoft Office 365, now engage with an O365 backup solution provider like Storcom that offers you both complete access and complete control of your Office 365 data and avoid the unnecessary risks of data loss.


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