Office 365: Backing Up Your Cloud Data

We love the cloud, that mystery in the sky (well, on the internet) that is being rapidly adopted by companies as their email server and file storage solutions. Specifically, we love Office 365, and its Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint Online services. As I interact with users of Office 365 daily, I see a common misconception about what the cloud is providing their data: comprehensive backups.

Yes, data on Office 365 is protected in a basic sense. It is protected from things that could damage your data like a disaster striking an area where one of Microsoft’s data centers is located. However, there are things it does not protect you from, or there are pitfalls to some of the features providing direct protection.

What the Cloud Does Not Protect Against

Let’s start with highlighting some of the things you may not be protected from, malware or intended actions taken by malicious actors. What if your PC gets malware that causes files you infrequently use to be deleted? Office 365 offers the ability to restore items that were deleted from your mailbox or OneDrive, but only for an allotted amount of time. You might not notice the missing files until its too late. Another possibility is a malicious actor who gained access to your account and intentionally deleted data, and then cleared the places that Office 365 offers for you to restore deleted data from.

In situations like these, you cannot call Microsoft and ask them to restore the deleted (and then permanently deleted) data from one of the backups they must have available. This is not in your service agreement with them.

Now let’s talk about some pitfalls of the built-in recovery features that are available to you. Imagine a situation, which I’ve seen before, where someone is syncing a large library from SharePoint Online that is shared across an organization. One day this person goes to delete a file, but instead accidentally deletes all the files in the folder, which amounts to several hundred in total. The deletion is synced across the cloud and other clients, leaving the files no where but within the SharePoint Online recycle bin. This would result in a tedious amount of work to restore, as these unintentionally deleted files would merge with intentionally deleted ones. You could restore everything, but then the work is on the other end, cleaning up what is and is not needed.

Real Office 365 Cloud Backup and Recovery Solutions

The intent of this post is not to be negative toward Office 365, as it is truly an amazing service. However, like all great things, it has it caveats. Luckily, there are additional service offerings from companies that recognize these caveats and provide improvements. Making what is great, even greater. In the case of backing up Office 365, SkyKick Cloud Backup provides features that that add additional layers of protection against all the worst-case scenarios I have described.

SkyKick Cloud Backup offers comprehensive Office 365 data protection for Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, Groups, and Teams. It gives you access to features that will allow you to get your data restored quickly, like bulk restores and point in time recovery. The backups are secure, with 256-bit encryption at rest, and 128-bit in transit. You can also take multiple backups up a day, up to six times, giving you regular intervals to use for restores throughout the day.

In short, you should treat your cloud data just like your on-premise data, and ensure it is properly protected with the right solution.

Have any questions about backing up your cloud data or anything else about Office 365? Feel free to contact us at any time!

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