Pagoda Blog

Why You Need an Office 365 Enhanced Backup

October 15, 2020

Microsoft's Office 365 is a great way to store and access company data and files in the cloud. It allows you and your team to effectively work remotely, providing both ease of access and virtual collaboration. It can also save money and eliminate the need to manage multiple application servers. 


Storing your data in the cloud has countless benefits and can help prevent data loss in the face of device failure or theft, but it is not on its own a backup solution. It’s important to understand that the data you store in Office 365 is your data—you own it, you control it, and it’s your responsibility to protect it. Microsoft, of course, has systems in place to prevent app outages and to mitigate cybersecurity threats, but it is the customer’s responsibility to take additional steps to ensure all data (including archived, past versions, and deleted data) can be recovered in the face of a data loss event.


To underscore this point, below is an excerpt from the Office 365 Services Agreement:


“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 Services or store using Third-Party Apps and Services.”


Data can be lost not only due to outages but also accidental deletion, retention policy confusion, hardware failure, a natural disaster, and internal or external security threats. For all these reasons, it’s imperative to have an Office 365 enhanced backup in place. 


What does an enhanced backup provide? 

An enhanced Office 365 backup, such as SolarWinds Backup, provides access and control to all Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business Data in one location. This means that when a data loss event occurs, recovery is fast, easy, and reliable. Far too many businesses assume that Microsoft’s retention policies save archived or deleted data for at least several months, when in reality, it’s typically only 30-90 days. This is especially problematic considering that when data is compromised, the average length of discovery is 140 days. 


It’s not hard to imagine a scenario where an employee accidentally deletes an important email, OneDrive, or SharePoint file. An enhanced backup like SolarWinds allows you to quickly search for the email or file and recover it without filing a support ticket with Microsoft. In addition, Exchange mailboxes, OneDrive, and SharePoint accounts are all backed up multiple times per day, and you have the ability to quickly select and restore data from any of these points in time.    


Both internal and external cybersecurity threats also pose a risk to your data. An employee may intentionally, or more often, accidentally delete critical files. They can also expose data to a cybercriminal by falling prey to a phishing scam. External threats include both the physical theft of a company device as well as ransomware and rogue mobile apps. While it’s always important that you employ a multi-layered security strategy to proactively prevent these threats in the first place, an enhanced Office 365 backup is a critical safety net when a cybersecurity breach or other data loss event does occur. 


Another point to consider is meeting legal and compliance standards established by HIPAA, the IRS, FSLA, ERISA, and OSHA, as well as your specific industry’s data retention requirements. HIPAA, for example, requires health documents to be saved anywhere from 5 to 11 years, depending on your state of residence. If your business is audited by the IRS, you may need to show records as far back as 6 years.   


Related read: Does Your Business Need a HIPAA Seal of Compliance?  


Learn more about SolarWinds Backup for your business

For our clients, we use SolarWinds Backup primarily because of its reliability, but also for its ease of use. SolarWinds protects both physical and virtual servers, providing a unified dashboard for easy backup status checks. Its compression feature means that it works well even with large machines, backing up your data at lightning speeds and ensuring speedy recovery. Backups are stored throughout 15 highly encrypted private data centers around the world that meet data governance and privacy requirements. Check out their website for more information and don’t hesitate to reach out to our team to find out how to implement this enhanced backup service for your business. 


Related reading: 

Office 365 Features and Benefits for Your Small Business

8 Cybersecurity Myths That Put Small Businesses at Risk 

Are You Doing All You Can to Protect Your Customer Data?


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