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O365 data backup


As huge and capable as they are, there’s a limit as to how good people at Microsoft take care of their O365 customers’ data. They go to great lengths to ensure that the data centres are kept cool and that the lights stay on. They maintain the SaaS platform, the servers, storage and connectivity too, but your e-mails are your e-mails. And your data? Well, that’s your responsibility too.

But my e-mails are backed up, right? After all, I can see some very old e-mails in my mailbox.

Wrong – it probably just means you have a large mailbox with some very important content in there and even more reason to insure against loss.

Remember the 3-2-1 rule of data backups?

3 copies of your data on 2 different types of media with 1 copy offsite. This guide should apply to your O365 data too. Using O365 tools or services to hold a copy of your e-mails, Sharepoint files or OneDrive data doesn’t tick the box. It’s like backing up files on your laptop to another folder on the same hard drive. Better to use a 3rd party app to do that task, especially when it’s designed and optimised to perform the task at hand and offer swift and convenient recovery too. That’s not just us saying that Microsoft offers the same guidance. It’s written into their Service Agreement under the Service Availability section.

It’s not uncommon. SaaS providers need to focus on maintaining the application and the underlying infrastructure. It’s the customer’s responsibility to take good care of their data. After all, when you drive to the shops, the car manufacturer probably fitted locks to the door and boot but can’t force you to use them when you’re parked up.

There are a bunch of reasons why we have car insurance and breakdown cover. Sometimes we have accidents, some, not our fault, some due to our carelessness. Things break. People might vandalise our cars or attempt to (& sometimes succeed) in pinching things of value.

It’s pretty much the same for our data.

We need to watch out for things like:

Accidental deletion – yes, good old finger trouble.

Organisation leavers – to keep or not to keep their data? (Is it still available if I remove their account?)

External threats – Malware continues to circulate at a prolific rate and remains a threat to all of us.

Retention policy gaps – Some organisations have a duty to retain data (e-mails and files) for specific compliance reasons. This might apply to some, but not all staff and data, so a sledgehammer approach might not work. Similarly, retention policies, versioning and Legal Hold aren’t always the simplest concepts to grasp.

Internal Threats – thankfully rare, but still a consideration.

There is a genuine need for businesses to consider a backup of their O365 data.

Should you wish to find out more, join us on our live webinar on 6th May at 11am.

The Backbone Connect team with experts from our Cloud partner iLand will discuss these challenges and explain how to bridge the gaps.