How to back up your company Microsoft 365 data

By now, you’ll likely be using Microsoft 365 across your business and benefiting from your email and data being held within the “cloud”, allowing you to access your files etc from any device anywhere. This technology has revolutionised day-to-day operations for many of our clients and businesses.

There is, however, one factor that is commonly overlooked or mis-understood – back up.

Working safe in the knowledge that, if your PC or laptop were to malfunction, your files would be safely stored in the cloud, while correct, does provide a false sense of security around guaranteed access should other errors occur.

Although data is held within data centres with the high availability and security businesses could not realistically deliver on premise and Microsoft 365 offers basic levels of data protection there are scenarios where protection requires a third-party backup tool. Indeed, Microsoft recommends that additional backup is undertaken, please see below from the Microsoft service level agreement for Microsoft 365:

“We strive to keep the Services up and running; however, all online services suffer occasional disruptions and outages, and Microsoft is not liable for any disruption or loss you may suffer as a result. In the event of an outage, you may not be able to retrieve Your Content or Data that you’ve stored. We recommend that you regularly backup Your Content and Data that you store on the Service or store using Third-Party Apps and Services.”

Our partner Acronis, a leading provider of cloud back-up services, has identified key data loss scenarios that can occur without the use of a third-party backup.

  • Accidental deletion
    In the course of their daily work, IT administrators and ordinary employees routinely delete Microsoft 365 user profiles, Exchange Online emails, attachments & files, OneDrive for Business files, Teams, and SharePoint Online content. These deletions may be accidental in nature, or intentional but later regretted – most of us have suddenly needed to refer to an email that we deleted only yesterday. Although recently deleted data can be recovered with the basic protection offered by Microsoft 365 older data may well have been hard-deleted and not recoverable.
  • Internal security threats
    In addition to routine, non-malicious deletions, Microsoft 365 resources need to be protected against malicious alteration or destruction of data by disgruntled or terminated employees, contractors or partners. As with accidental deletion recent data may well be recoverable, however older data may not be recoverable.
  • External security threats
    Data anywhere is vulnerable to destruction or alteration by a variety of malware threats, most notably ransomware, which encrypts user data and holds it hostage until an online ransom is paid. These attacks may be mounted by hackers, cybercriminals or hostile state actors.
  • Legal and Compliance
    Your business may have a legal obligation to maintain data for a certain period such as with financial services. The basic protection offered by Microsoft 365 may well not meet the obligation stipulated.

In summary, as it was once important to back up data stored on your machine to an external hard drive, the same applies to data held in the cloud. While Microsoft 365 may offer restore functionality for deleted files, this will only be a short amount of time after which they’ll be automatically deleted.

In many cases, you won’t realise the data have been removed until you next need it.

To ensure everything held in Microsoft 365 is protected, you will need to back up your company data on a regular basis. The cloud-based solution provided by Acronis, allows this process to take place, while you work with no disruption.

Acronis backs up Microsoft 365 data directly from Microsoft data centres to the Acronis cloud, a global network protected by stringent security policies and processes.

To learn more about data back up solutions for your business please speak to your Grapevine Account Manager or contact us.