The Cloud has changed much of how we do day to day business tasks. When once backing up information was something we did to a server or an external hard drive, these days the Cloud has become the main backup spot, for Office data and other information alike.
When it comes to Microsoft Office 365, there is still a lot of misconceptions about who is responsible for the data backup. And what Microsoft provides and what they are responsible for is completely different to what users assume, and for this reason data is often easily, and unexpectedly lost.
Why you should back-up your data?
Microsoft does not provide its Office 365 clients with the sort of data backup they think they are getting. In reality, Microsoft at best offers clients a partial backup which the clients then assume is a full backup.
The only way to guarantee that your data is correctly backed up would be to getting into the habit of manually doing it yourself. But the fact that Microsoft is not doing a good job of backing up is not the only reason why you should be doing it yourself. There are a couple of other important reasons as well:
- It leads to less downtime
Although Microsoft is a mega software company, it is not immune to sudden power outages, disconnections and software failures, right when you are in the middle of doing something. In fact in 2020, a major outage left much of Microsoft’s European clients without access. The big problem when using anything on the Cloud is that when something like this happens, it results in software being inaccessible and depending on how bad the outage is, any data you were working on could be lost.
Because of this reason, Microsoft actually has a clause in its service level agreement encouraging the regular backup of data on a third party app.
- Backup tools are not that great
Microsoft 365 does come with its own built in backup system but it is quite limited. For instance, you will be able to recover some of the data that you have lost or deleted but if the data has been gone for a while, it can’t be recovered. The recovery process can also be rather complicated, in that it is not a one-click and everything comes back kind of solution.
And finally, with the built in backup, data is not secure. Instead, since it is being backed up to the Cloud, the backup itself is vulnerable to data loss.
- Permanent deletion is permanent
With Office 365, any hard delete is permanent. There is absolutely no backup for this deletion process and so if you were to accidently opt for a hard delete, there would be no way to recover your data.
Usually, this wouldn’t be a massive problem, because unless you are really not paying attention, it is a hard mistake to make. The real problem is that when an item has been soft deleted, and has been left in the bin for more than 30 days, it will be permanently removed.
- Account deletion also results in the full deletion of data
Data is connected to the user’s account, so if the account has been deleted for whatever reason, the data will disappear.
This is also true for accounts that are being migrated and for accounts with an outdated license. To avoid losing data from an account that is lost for whatever reason, it is important to always have that additional backup in place.
- Microsoft 365 can’t protect your data from other threats
Even if Microsoft 365 had the best data protection solutions, it can’t protect you from other threats like hackers and viruses that can affect your computer, and corrupt or delete your data. While Microsoft 365 tries to give its users some protection, you need to make sure that you have additional security measures in place, and that you regularly backup your data.