Microsoft Office 365 provides customers with plenty of useful and interesting benefits, but effective, enterprise-grade data backup is not one of them. If you take a closer look at your SLA, you will find that Microsoft does not actually address data recovery for large scale data loss. Microsoft addresses data recovery with retention periods that can be unlimited, or through legal hold if the customer is licensed for this use. These tools are designed to help individuals manage their accidental data removals and to help legal or HR manage data needed for legal processes, not for providing and enterprise recovery solution. They are both aimed at small data retention and recovery.
This can be a major issue for your organization in the event of large-scale data loss. Without an enterprise-grade recovery solution in place, it would take a long time for these small data retention tools to recover data mailbox by mailbox. As email is a business-critical tier one system, organizations need the recovery capabilities in place to restore data quickly and return operations as usual.
With this in mind, it is important to take a deeper look at your Office 365’s backup infrastructure to identify potential gaps in coverage that can pose a risk to your business. While finding a gap in your Office 365 backup is not ideal, there are ways to fill them. Let’s zero in on what Office 365 offers, the holes to be aware of, and how a third-party solution can step in.
What Does Office 365 Offer for Backup?
Many Office 365 users may be under the impression that Microsoft provides them with full backup and restore capabilities, but the system’s offerings are surprisingly limited. The way Office 365 is currently set up, the core infrastructure is completely protected in terms of backups. When something outside of that core infrastructure is deleted and needs to be recovered, however, the answer on how to retrieve that information is not so cut and dry.
Once items have been deleted from your deleted items folder, where do they go? Well, Office 365 has a primary and secondary recycle bin, each with a 93-day retention period (that can be set to unlimited.) Once these bins have been emptied, any previously held items are likely irretrievable.
Additionally, it can be a headache to even attempt to retrieve any of those items. You would have to contact Microsoft support and wait to hear back on an appropriate solution, but you will not be given a concrete timeframe on when it could be fully resolved. Worse, there is a chance that it may not be able to be resolved at all. Given the corporate reliance on data today, any amount of lag time in which data is inaccessible can have serious consequences on productivity and bottom line.
Other Potential Threats
There are several reasons that your organizations may need access to an enterprise-grade backup and recovery platform at a moment’s notice. For example, say there is a weather event that causes flooding, damaging your data center. Without large-scale restore capabilities operations could halt for weeks.
Or, perhaps your organization experiences a ransomware attack, locking you and your colleagues out of the corporate network. Having an up to date backup is one of the only ways to retrieve this data without paying a costly ransom, and moreover, is one of the only ways to ensure your restored data is clean and untampered by the cybercriminals.
Finally, something as simple as employee error could lead to the deletion of important data or documents which then need to be recovered. These are all threats to be aware of in case you were ever to find your organization at the center of them.
How to Look for an Office 365 Backup Solution
There is no doubt that a third-party backup solution is needed to ensure that all of your data is safely and properly backed up, and easily restored in the event of an issue. There are certain characteristics that you need to look for in order to ensure you’re getting the best solution for your organization.
The Bottom Line of Office 365 Backup
If you are looking to keep the process as uncomplicated as possible, consider a third-party solution such as SoftwareONE’s BackupSimple. Solutions such as these allow you to access your assets through a single web portal so that even the most complex of data is available right at your fingertips. Plus, data is encrypted while in transit and at rest, so no one has access but you. Managing your backup through one pane of glass further simplifies the backup and maintenance process.
Office 365 does not have the most comprehensive data retention capabilities, but there are third-party solutions available to help you fill in those important gaps. Spending the time and resources to find the best solution now will pay off later down the road. By installing a third-party solution, you’re investing in your organization’s future.