Blog: Office 365 Data Protection, Back-up and Restore

Blog: Office 365 Data Protection, Back-up and Restore

Enterprises are increasingly adopting Microsoft Office 365 for email and collaboration. More than half of all businesses rely on it today. Using the cloud-based productivity tool, your organization is creating and interacting with information anywhere, anytime, leading to more business data than ever. Your enterprise must oversee and protect all that data. Therefore you should know the business reasons your company needs to back up Office 365 data.

Why do you need to protect your Office 365 data?

Office 365 is a robust offering and Microsoft has gone to significant lengths to ensure that the platform stays up and running. However, there are some important issues for any current or prospective Office 365 customer to consider.

No point in time restoration of mailboxes

Microsoft states that “point in time restoration of mailbox items is out of scope for the Exchange Online service.” That means that if an organization suffers an account takeover, ransomware attack, or data deletion from a malicious insider, among other potential problems, there is no guarantee of being able to restore lost data. Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/exchange/back-up-email

“Shared responsibility model”

Office 365 uses what it calls the “shared responsibility model”. This model dictates that Microsoft is responsible for its global infrastructure and ensuring that the Office 365 remains up and running. Customers are responsible for access and control of their data that resides in the Office 365 infrastructure.

Localized outages & data loss

While Office 365 is a fairly reliable system on a worldwide basis (it achieved 99.97 percent reliability during the first quarter of 2019), it suffers from somewhat frequent outages on a more localized, regional basis. For example, it suffered from four such outages in April 2019 and five in May 2019. These outages can result in data loss.

What are the limitations of Office 365 built-in protection?

Office 365 has some protection built-in or as additional offering, but it also has its limitations.

The Recycle Bin is not sufficient

Use of the Recycle Bin is essential for accidental deletion protection. Content from the Recycle Bin can, however, be accidentally or maliciously cleared, and so it does not offer a true data protection option in and of itself.

Retention Policies lead to increasing storage use & costs

The use of Retention Policies can result in an increase in storage use within OneDrive and SharePoint, potentially resulting in having to pay for extra storage beyond what is included in a given plan once the storage allocation has been reached. Extra storage is priced per gigabyte per month, meaning that additional used storage can become very costly.

Rogue administrators

Moreover, Retention Policies by themselves do not protect against a rogue administrator unless Retention Lock is added. However, this feature cannot be disabled once it is turned on, and so organizations that experience a major increase in storage will not be able to rectify that problem by disabling Retention Lock. This can also be an issue for organizations that are obligated to delete data, such as from a “right-to-be-forgotten” demand under GDPR.

How to protect your Office 365 data

DMP has created an online cloud backup service tailored for Office 365 Back-up. Using the same principles as Office 365, our Office 365 Back-up services are based on a pay-per-use model without up-front investments. We secure your Office 365 data in tier-3 datacenters across the globe. Retention can be chosen depending on your needs. A self-service portal makes restoring your data easy.

Would you like to know more about Office 365 Backup? Please contact Martijn Moret, the author of this blog. Martijn Moret is a Solution Architect at DMP and has over 20 years of experience with enterprise IT and data center solutions. Get in touch with Martijn via our main telephone number +31 85 401 34 34.

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