Office365 backup: why you need to do it

a top view of a table with a laptop, tablet, phone, notebook , a cup of cofee and (most likely) man's hands

The benefits of moving to Office365 (Microsoft365) are there for every business leader to see: 

There’s the incredibly tough security. The easy access from any device. The huge boost to collaboration. The guaranteed uninterrupted service in the event of hardware failure. 

It’s so useful that somewhere around 80% of IT decision-makers in a recent survey said they either used or were thinking about switching to using Office365. 

But even if – like every single one of our clients so far – you’re happy with the brilliant solutions Office365 offers, there is still one thing you need to bear in mind… 

That is how important it is that you back up your Office365 data. 

Does Office365 back up your data? 

The short answer is no. Microsoft Office365 does not back up your data. 

In fact, Microsoft specifically recommends you use third-party backups in the Service Agreement you sign when you start using the software. 

There are some protections against data loss built in: 

  1. Protection against loss of service – the geo-redundancy which Office365 comes with ensures that if there’s some kind of natural disaster or hardware or infrastructure failure, your service will be protected. 
  2. Protection against user or admin error – these are only things like the recycle bin and soft deletion (where the system marks something as being deleted rather than actually deleting it until told to). It’s short-term, lasting for only 30 or 14 days depending on error type. 

For everything else, it’s down to you. 

What do I need to protect my data from? 

Most people think that the main reason to back up their data is protection against the headline-grabbing type of events. Things like hacking attacks or deliberate acts by other malicious folks. 

But there is actually a huge range of fairly mundane, everyday ways to end up losing your data. These can include: 

  1. Accidental deletion – one of the most common ways businesses lose important data is through accidental deletion. Whether that’s of critical non-backed up files or user accounts, a proper backup ensures you can quickly get back to where you were. 
  2. Retention policy confusion – Office365 lets you set data retention policies regarding when to retain content and when to delete it. Or when to retain it and later delete it. You can do this for specific types of information or when data includes certain keywords. You can have your policy apply to specific users, certain subsets or the entire organisation. In short, retention policies are confusing and easy to leave gaps in. 
  3. Migration and hybrid setups – when you’re migrating to Office365 in the first place or when you use it in combination with other systems, there are always opportunities for data loss. That’s why using services which help you manage Office365 migration with minimal disruption are so popular. 

Of course, internal and external cyber security threats like angry or careless departing ex-employees and malware such as viruses and ransomware remain a very serious threat. 
But these threats are far harder to overlook than the careless mis-click which is so often to blame for data loss. 

Can I not use OneDrive to backup Office365? 

Many people assume that OneDrive is the perfect way to back up their Office365 data. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. 

The very same ease-of-access from any device and fast, automatic syncing which OneDrive allows means that accidental deletions and other errors can spread quickly. 

OneDrive is not a valid backup for Office365. 

Can I rely on data recovery? 

With so much being possible in the field of data recovery, it can be tempting to imagine it as a kind of safety net if all else fails. 

This might be true, up to a point. Dial A Geek has certainly been able to pull some data back from the brink with our data recovery service in the past. 

But let’s not forget that data recovery is a very time and cost-intensive activity. That’s also not taking into account the: 

  1. Data which can never be recovered 
  2. Work which has to be redone 
  3. Deadlines which might be missed in the meantime 
  4. Thoughts and plans which might be lost forever 

Properly backing up your files is always going to be a whole lot cheaper than having to call on data recovery. 

Third-party tools for Office365 backup – which should I use? 

The best solutions for Office365 backup are third-party tools. 

Choosing the most suitable can often be a chore in itself. Some don’t cover all Office365 products. Others only offer blanket backups rather than allowing you to select specific data or permissions to restore. 

That’s why our data backup service finds you the solution which is best for your business’s specific needs. 

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call us for a chat about backing up your Office365 today. 

You can reach us on 0117 369 4335 or fire us a quick enquiry using our form

Dial A Geek already helps 968 businesses in Bristol and the UK protect themselves. Let’s talk about how we’ll do the same for you. 

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