Stop Losing Data in O365. Back it Up with Backupify for Microsoft 365
Microsoft 365 has become an indispensable SaaS tool for organizations around the globe, providing cloud-based email, apps and communication tools. And it has become even more essential during the COVID-19 pandemic as organizations shifted to remote work, allowing teams to collaborate from anywhere.
But when it comes to the threat of data loss in platforms like O365, it’s important to remember that SaaS does not always have your back.
The data you store in Microsoft 365 is still vulnerable to ransomware, accidental deletion and other common data-loss events.
Here’s why backing up your SaaS data is so important and how Backupify for Microsoft 365 provides an essential solution.
1 in 3 companies report losing SaaS data
It’s a common mistake to think that the data we store in SaaS apps like Microsoft 365 is invulnerable to loss. Surely Microsoft’s servers are the most secure in the world, right?
That may very well be true, but it doesn’t mean data loss can’t occur. Roughly a third of companies have reported losing business-critical data within SaaS applications like O365, according to figures from Datto. And no, it’s not because Microsoft’s servers failed or because files suddenly vanished for no reason.
So, what’s causing all this data loss?
For the most part, it’s users.
47% of SaaS data loss is caused by accidental deletion
Nearly half of lost data reported by companies stems from accidental deletion. But don’t let those numbers fool you. “Accidental deletion” doesn’t always mean users deleting files and folders by mistake. As we explain further below, it can also be an administrator accidentally letting a user license expire too early.
Basically any form of human error resulting in data loss is the responsibility of the user, not Microsoft. That covers a wider range of incidents than you might assume.
The costs of data loss in Microsoft 365
Before we dig into what those incidents look like, let’s address why it matters in the first place.
Losing data within Microsoft 365 can be extremely disruptive for a business. Even the loss of a single file can create a costly interruption in several ways:
- The user’s productivity is hindered by being unable to access the file they need to do their job.
- The user wastes time searching for the file, when they could be performing other critical duties. This ultimately translates into a costly waste of company resources.
- When IT gets involved, these costs increase even further. Suddenly, you’ve got multiple people taking time out of their day to recover this single lost file. The incident is extremely expensive, whether the file is ultimately recovered or not.
That’s just one scenario involving a single file. Now, imagine losing numerous folders or an entire user’s account. Widespread data loss in Microsoft 365 can cause a massive operational disruption and result in significant liabilities.
Doesn’t Microsoft back up your SaaS data?
Yes – but only for certain scenarios.
Microsoft is clear in its service-level agreement (SLA) that their responsibility is largely making the service available, i.e. ensuring uptime. When it comes to data protection, their responsibilities are limited to the following incidents as they relate to Microsoft’s infrastructure:
- Hardware & software failure
- Natural disaster
- Power outage
In the event of data loss caused by those events, on Microsoft’s systems, you can assume that they will be able to restore your data from their own backups.
Microsoft does NOT protect you in cases of:
- Human error
- Viruses & malware
- Programmatic errors
- External hackers
- Internal malicious actions
Not even app outages
Microsoft 365 doesn’t go down often, but when it does, you’re stranded without access to your SaaS data. Sure, you can bet on Microsoft to have your data when service is restored, but how long will the outage last? How much of a disruption will it cause for your business?
That’s not Microsoft’s problem, per the SLA:
“We strive to keep the Services up and running; however, all online services suffer occasional disruptions and outages, and Microsoft is not liable for any disruption or loss you may suffer as a result. In the event of an outage, you may not be able to retrieve Your Content or Data that you’ve stored.”
Unless you can access your data via an independent backup, then you’re at Microsoft’s mercy until the service is restored.
The threat of ransomware
Ransomware is not just a threat to your on-site systems. As an infection spreads, it encrypts the data in a user’s local OneDrive folders. In turn, the files in those folders are synced to the cloud, causing the clean versions to be overwritten by the encrypted files.
So not only are the local files gone, the cloud storage is encrypted too. Again, Microsoft does not have your back in situations like this. After all, the platform merely did what it was supposed to: sync to the cloud.
This is a prime example of why you need to have a backup of your OneDrive data in a separate, non-synced location.
Oops! You deactivated the O365 license too early?
It’s a common mistake. But unfortunately, you’re out of luck.
Typically, the scenario happens like this …
- An employee leaves the company, but nobody tells the administrators who manage the Microsoft 365 licenses. The employee’s account is simply allowed to expire.
- A few months down the road, the company hires the employee’s replacement. That’s great, because they need someone to pick up where the other person left off on important projects.
- There’s just one problem: all the important files, drafts and emails related to the project are gone – they were wiped out when the license expired.
Microsoft currently gives you about 90 days to restore data from a deactivated license. That’s a nice buffer, but if nobody’s paying attention, those three months will come and go, and the data will be deleted forever.
Internal threats you don’t want to think about
Let’s take the same example of the employee leaving the company, but under less amicable terms. Say they were fired, and the situation was hostile.
In ideal circumstances, IT would be notified prior to the termination, so that access to all files and accounts could be restricted. But when that doesn’t happen, there’s always the risk that the terminated employee will take malicious action before they leave.
For example, if they delete every file they have access to in Microsoft 365, it could be disastrous for the teams that need that data. The 90-day retention period does provide a safeguard, but if some files are deleted without others knowing about it until later, that data may not be retrievable.
By having an independent backup of each user’s data, with a much longer retention period, you can be sure that critical files will never be lost.
SaaS platforms like Microsoft 365 have become commonplace at businesses in every industry. But this has posed a challenge for organizations that need to comply with strict regulations on how data is secured and retained.
Under HIPAA, for example, the required data retention period is 6 years “from either the date of creation, or the last ‘effective date,’ whichever date is later.”
That’s a problem for data being stored in Microsoft 365, especially if users’ accounts are deprovisioned.
Solution: Backupify for Microsoft 365
Backupify for Microsoft 365 provides the added protection that Microsoft doesn’t. It’s a cloud-to-cloud SaaS backup solution that backs up your Microsoft 365 data and stores it independently in Datto’s secure, georedundant cloud.
Backupify protects businesses from data loss caused by human error, deprovisioned licenses and cyberattacks like ransomware. It ensures that no matter what happens to your SaaS data, you’ve got an independent backup that can be quickly restored.
Here’s what makes it a dependable layer of protection:
- Backupify takes automatic backups of user data three times a day.
- Backups are complete, point-in-time snapshots of each users’ Microsoft 365 data, including Microsoft Exchange Online, OneDrive, SharePoint Online, Calendar and Contacts.
- The platform automatically detects new users and archives data of departing employees, resulting in seamless user lifecycle management and licensing cost savings.
- No on-premise hardware is needed. It uses a cloud-managed UI, so it’s easy and affordable to set up within minutes and it can be accessed from anywhere.
- Restoring data is fast and simple. Lost files, folders or an entire user’s account can be restored back to the account or downloaded to the admin’s computer.
- In the event that Microsoft 365 goes down, you can maintain access to your critical data via Backupify’s own cloud storage.
- Robust search capabilities make it easy to find lost emails, files, contacts and folders.
- Options for unlimited storage and infinite retention allow businesses to store as much data as they want and retain it for as long as they need to.
- Backupify is SOC 2 Type II audited, supports HIPAA compliance needs and provides a range of monitoring tools, including audit logs, uptime and availability SLAs and export capabilities.
Protection every business needs
If Microsoft 365 is an integral part of your operations, then it’s critical that your cloud data is routinely backed up. Otherwise, you may already be losing productivity and money due to common data-loss events that happen from week to week.
Backupify ensures that your Microsoft 365 data is backed up around the clock and quickly restorable when data-loss inevitably happens.
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