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  • Writer's pictureRick Woolsey

What? I need to backup my Office 365?

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

If you are on Office 365 and you don’t have a third party backup system, it may come as a surprise to you that you need to consider putting one in place.

You see… you might think that your Office 365 licensing provides you with the coverage that you need for backing up your data. Office 365 does offer a limited back up for email and SharePoint and one-drive but it is actually in their Service Agreement that Microsoft recommends that you regularly backup your content and data that you store on the services or store using third-party apps and services.

Office 365 backups don’t meet best practises for data and security management. Retention in Office 365 is defaulted to 14 days up to a max of 30 days, with no options for additional time. If a user, or administration purges the recoverable items bin, the data is gone for good. Versioning is another risk where a standard version of a document is overwritten.

Now this might not sound so bad, but think of the following situations:

  • An employee choose to leave the organization and as part of preparing to leave, they clean up their files. Not until after the 14 day period do you realize that the employee accidentally (or maliciously) deleted a document that you required.

  • Another instance relating to an employee who leaves an organization is the data that they had in their files. Obviously as an organization you do not want to be paying for a license that is not in use but you still may want access to their old files or emails - the 14 days does not protect you in terms of cancelled user licenses.

  • It is easy to accidentally overwrite a document, for instance, you have a standard document for expenses that an employee writes over with their actual expense report. By having available versioning, you can easily go back beyond the 14 days and restore the original document quickly.

  • Malware or ransomware is another example where you have more options to go back to where the best available files are available for a user. Microsoft recommends 3rd party backup as the only way to recover from data loss associated with ransomware encryption.

In some of the examples above, the 14 day default back up might provide you with enough coverage but it is risky. On top of this, when your IT Support has to work with Microsoft to restore your data, this is a time-consuming process and you may not get all of your data restored.

As part of any business continuity or disaster recovery plan, it is important to consider the impact of situations like those above to your business. Need guidance on what options are available? We can help.

Ascent3 IT is an Edmonton based IT Support and Consulting company focused on helping small and medium businesses get the most out of their IT budget.

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