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Remember to Back Up Your Office 365 Data

Office 365 is one of the most popular enterprise cloud programs on the market. There’s 60 million commercial customers that currently use the productivity package and that number is only growing. Considering it only came onto the scene in 2011, that’s hefty growth. But it makes sense – it provides all the main and popular enterprise tools, like Word and PowerPoint, alongside continued updates with the power of cloud storage through OneDrive.

The package also includes some great enterprise facilities, including Skype for Business, SharePoint and Exchange for Outlook. Some businesses probably create and store the majority of their data with Microsoft products.

However, just because Office 365 is a cloud-based solution, that doesn’t mean you can overlook it when it comes to your data backup plan. Microsoft does provide protection as part of its service level agreement, with a guarantee of 99.9 percent uptime. While their protection is valuable, it isn’t a full replacement for your own data security.

While you probably already have a data backup plan in place – and if not, why not? – that doesn’t mean you’re capturing every bit of data that is being created within your business. Files created from Office 365 aren’t necessarily sitting on a local server. A user could upload it straight to OneDrive, for example, and manage it there.

There’s a lot of potential for that data to go missing. A common occurrence is through user error, where an employee accidentally permanently removes a file. Other scenarios include a network breach through a hack or perhaps a ransomware attack, where your data is held for a sum of money.

These are all scenarios that can and have happened to enterprises in the past. They can happen to you, even with the best security in the world. The only true way you can protect yourself is by having a data backup plan that handles every bit of data being created and modified – then if the source data goes astray, you’ve got a backup to use.

As such, don’t overlook Office 365 data in your plan. There are a number of providers out there who provide specific backup packages to target data created in the cloud. This includes calendars and contacts, Exchange files, OneDrive files and SharePoint or publically shared folders. If you’re already using a third-party backup solution, it might be that they offer this service already – contact your representative to discuss the options. Solutions include, but are not limited to, Spanning, Veeam and SkyKick.

Sure, Microsoft’s track record when it comes to Office 365 reliability is extremely good. They promise that they can restore Exchange services within an hour and with no data loss, and can restore SharePoint services in 6 hours with a maximum of 1 hour of data loss. It’s up to you how much trust you want to put into Microsoft and their reliability – they’ve definitely proven themselves, but it usually makes sense to have your own backups too, just so that your data’s security doesn’t rest in the hands of a third-party.


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