Large computer running a backup of Microsoft Office

Using Third-Party Backup Solutions to Protect Your Organization’s Data

If you lost all of your Office 365 data, how easy would it be to recover?

Would your organization still be able to operate without this data? Or would you need to reconstruct and recover all that information from scratch?

As a cloud-based solution, it’s easy to assume that Office 365 backs up data on your behalf on a regular schedule. Unfortunately, this isn’t true, and overlooking this fact can easily lead to frustration in the event of data loss.

That’s why it’s so important to ensure your data is protected and backed up with some sort of data recovery solution.

To truly protect your Office 365 data, you need your own third-party data backup solution.

Is Your Office 365 Data Backed Up?

If you don’t have your own backup solution, the answer to this question is “no.”

Office 365 carries redundant copies of your information split among many different devices: this is essentially what the cloud is.

But while Office 365 may offer all of the server-side resources your organization needs to operate, it does not separately backup your data for you. This distinction often leads to organizations adopting O365 as an all-in-one solution, only realizing their data hasn’t been backed up well after the fact—and sometimes when it’s too late.

If your data becomes somehow corrupted, Microsoft is not responsible for restoring it. If your data is overwritten or deleted, Microsoft does not have to recover it. While Microsoft provides the infrastructure of Office 365’s system, it does not validate or guarantee the data contained within.

What’s more, if you intentionally delete your data to clean up your system and make space, you aren’t going to be able to recover that data from Microsoft later on.

Thankfully, there are many ways to back up your data.

Solutions Through IT Infrastructure

Third-party data backup solutions provide fast, easy, and complete data recovery in the event of data loss or disaster. Many third-party solutions will automatically sync Office 365’s data with a backup, so it remains available and accessible even if the core Office 365 system becomes lost or corrupt.

This allows for reliable business continuity in the event of any hiccups with your software solutions. Expanding on your organization’s IT infrastructure to include data storage allows you to maintain operations when problems arise.

Why Data Backups Are So Important

Regularly backing up your data can mean the difference between losing a day of operations and a year.

There are any number of emergencies that could lead to data loss in your organization. Interruptions in operations or any sort of unforeseen disaster can lead to failures or gaps that result in lost data. Once data has been lost, it may need to be reconstructed from scratch to resume business operations, assuming you can’t recover it.

Data backups may be necessary if:

  • Data is accidentally deleted.

    Employee error is, by far, the most common cause of data loss and corruption — and any employee can make mistakes. Data can be deleted or can be overwritten, and it may not be noticed until much later on. This is even more likely to occur when multiple employees are collaborating on the same files.

  • Data is not retained.

    A company may have a data retention policy that purges information after a certain amount of time, for better performance of the system. Unfortunately, this data that was not retained may be needed in the future and would only be accessible through an intentional backup.

  • Data security is breached.

    Both internal and external data security issues could cause data to be deleted, corrupted, or encrypted. Threats such as ransomware can encrypt large volumes of data and may not release this data until a ransom is paid.

  • Data is not compliant.

    Many businesses are required to keep data for purposes of regulatory compliance. If a company has purged this data, it will need to recover it in order to remain compliant. Having consistent backups can help.

  • Data must be migrated.

    If you need to prepare a data migration from solution to solution — or if a hybrid solution is desired — the data will first need to be made available in the form of backups. Backups are used in an Office 365 migration to transition information from one system to another.

These are only some of the reasons why a backup may be needed. There are dozens of ways Office 365 data could be adversely impacted, prematurely purged, or otherwise corrupted. Regular backups can resolve all of these issues.

Office 365 Backup and Restoration Gaps

Office 365 isn’t designed to provide its own comprehensive data backup or data restoration tools. Consequently, businesses can experience backup and restoration gaps. If companies aren’t specifically and conscientiously backing up the data they need, then even restoring the data later could lead to significant gaps in their Office 365 information.

Of particular importance is the company’s own business processes, as some companies may be automatically purging data based on the amount of time it has spent on the system or whether it is part of now defunct projects. While this type of “cleaning” can create a more efficient system, it can also lead to data being permanently lost. If this data becomes necessary in the future, it can never be recovered — unless a third-party backup solution has been used.

Final Thoughts

A third-party backup solution is able to take complete snapshots of a company’s Office 365 data, protecting even the information that the company itself may no longer think it needs. By using a backup solution, your organization can protect itself from data loss and data corruption, whether the data is damaged by internal employees or external threats. When combined with backup policies, backup technology can protect data from virtually any threat, making it easier for an organization to restore its data as needed, protect itself from cyber security threats, and avoid serious issues regarding regulatory compliance.