Office 365 is one of the top choices among businesses to use for Email, organization, and collaboration due to the global accessibility to data it provides. Workforces are more mobile than ever before and secure data availability is now a requirement. But what does this data accessibility include? One thing Microsoft does not do is backup of any of your Office 365 data for your use in case of an accident, outage or attack.
According to Microsoft's service level agreement for Office 365, Microsoft guarantees the infrastructure they provide you as a service and the availability to your data. However, they have no any obligation to backup your data and they do not guarantee the protection of your data. Microsoft does have disaster recovery copies of your data, but it is only for Microsoft's use if they have a disaster.
What Microsoft provides
Microsoft MVP, Brien Posey, says that “you might not have as many options for restoring your data as you might think. As such, it is critically important to understand your options for disaster recovery in an Office 365 environment.”
Microsoft says they do perform traditional backups of Office 365 servers. However, those backups are used for internal purposes only if they experience a catastrophic event that wiped out large volumes of customer data. There is "no provision for reverting a mailbox server to an earlier point in time," which might be necessary if a virus corrupted mailboxes on a server.
None of Microsoft's data protection features provide backups that will help if a major attack occurs. Microsoft's support will provide assistance for restoring a OneDrive account but only with a "best effort" disclaimer and if the failure is due to issues with the OneDrive service. This is only applicable to a complete restore of your entire OneDrive and will not include any data that changed since they performed the last backup, which you have zero control over. Because documents and files are synced between devices and Office 365 servers, a device deletion would also delete data on the server. With no backups available, a company can easily lose valuable files.
Five critical threats facing Office 365 users include:
- Accidental deletion
- External and internal security threats
- Retention policy confusion and gaps
- Legal and compliance requirements
- Managing hybrid email migrations and deployments to Office 365
Backup Office 365
In case it wasn't already clear, Microsoft is not backing up your data. The only real way to protect your business from data loss caused by an outage, error or attack is by having a backup of your data that is separate from Office 365's replication service. If you don't have these safeguards, your business could be severely impacted by data loss.
There is always the possibility of employee error like accidental deletion of a file that might not be recoverable. A disgruntled employee can wreak havoc on your data by deleting large blocks of information that you will never get back
Even if Office 365 decided to keep complete backups and archives of our past data, which they don't, should we put the safety of our critical data in the hands of a vendor that doesn't specialize in this area? If your business' success is dependent on its data and you are responsible for the safety of its data, you better have a backup tool that can guarantee reliable backups and quick granular recovery.
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