Posted on March 5, 2020 by Louise Howland
Prior to the cloud, organisations have always been diligent about ensuring their servers had a sufficient backup routine to protect their data. As more and more organisations look to Office 365 and SharePoint for document and email storage, there is a perception that if your data is in the cloud, it is safe. Whilst it’s certainly true that the cloud offers many benefits, including the availability of data, it is not a foolproof solution. Many organisations are concerned that all data now resides with just one provider, and in IT terms, we never like single points of failure! And with encryption viruses in the news on a weekly basis, many organisations are rightly concerned that an infection could quickly spread and encrypt all data, including that which resides in cloud storage.
In the traditional server set up, we had an ‘air gap’ between two sets of data – I.e. the live data on the server, and the backed up data on a tape, storage device or other media source. When you rely solely on the inbuilt features of Office365, that ‘air gap’ is lost. This is why we always recommend adding a third party back up solution to overlay the Office365 tenant.
First, let’s start with some facts about data loss in the cloud.
Office 365 replicates data to multiple servers, to protect against hardware failures and catastrophic incidents. However, that is not the same as backing up the data. Replication ensures that your data is always available in whatever state it is in. In other words, if a file is deleted or corrupted, that deletion or corruption is replicated throughout the cloud, and there is no way to quickly and easily get that data back where it was.
It is true that Office 365 has some retention policies, including an ability to restore previous versions of documents, but those expire, and it is possible to permanently delete data before the retention period expires. As standard, the Office 365 email retention policy is if you delete an email from your deleted items you have 14 days to rescue it. After that, it’s gone. 14 days is the default although this can be extended to 30 days. With SharePoint you get 93 days retention from the point a file is deleted, after this time it is not recoverable.
As we increasingly store more and more information in Office365, including the component applications such as Exchange, SharePoint, Teams & OneDrive, it is vital that organisations consider whether the inbuilt retention policy in Office365 is enough. There are many advantages to having a backup solution, including:
ramsac’s Office 365 Backup is a premium data protection service for Office 365. It provides comprehensive backup coverage including the complete set of Office 365 productivity data that organisations rely on to collaborate, communicate and operate efficiently, from Exchange Online information (mail, calendars, contacts, notes, etc.) to SharePoint libraries and data, OneDrive files and folders, and data stored and used by Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams. It is simple to roll out and covers the entire organisation for a simple cost per user, per month fee, which can be added to your existing monthly Microsoft fee.
Download our Office 365 backup factsheet