Why you should backup your data in Microsoft 365

Why you should backup your data in Microsoft 365

If data is stored in Microsoft 365 cloud services, it’s totally secure, right?

Whilst this is largely true, Microsoft’s Shared Responsibility Model clearly states that responsibility for protecting your data lies in your hands, not its.

With the number of cyber security incidents and threats on the rise, coinciding with the large-scale adoption of Microsoft 365, it’s not wise to be wholly reliant on cloud services, even those as resilient as Microsoft’s.

Your data in the cloud isn’t immune to loss. Things can and do go wrong.

Data losses can occur for various reasons, from cyber-attacks to software or human errors. Yet most commonly, fraudulent emails or employees being directed to fraudulent websites make up 80% of security breaches.

Not only is it financially costly (data breaches can cost businesses upwards of £1,100, according to Statistia) but reputationally it can break a business too. Plus, data recovery is time-consuming, disrupting day-to-day operations in the process.

However, with a little forward-planning and regular housekeeping, data loss and data breaches in Mircosoft 365 are preventable.

Here, we’ll reveal the crucial reasons why backing up your Microsoft 365 data should be your top priority and how we can help.

7 reasons to backup your Microsoft 365 data

1. Prevent accidental data loss

One of the most common ways that files are lost is due to simple human error. People accidentally delete or overwrite a file/ folder by mistake. However, it’s not always an easy fix to restore the file. There can be software errors that lead to corrupt or deleted files too. With a regular Microsoft 365 backup, you have a layer of protection – a safety net – enabling quicker data recovery.

2. Protect against cyberthreats

Phishing attacks are increasingly common. Ransomware and malware also pose significant threats to companies. According to UK government statistics, 50% of businesses have experienced a cyber-attack in the past year. But if your Microsoft 365 data has been backed up recently, you have alternative files to reinstate, lessening the impact of the attack.

3. Comply with legal requirements

Legal and compliance regulations require many businesses to retain data. In accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018, your data needs to be archived and preserved, and depending on the industry, for long periods of time. From employee records, customer details, loyalty schemes, transactions or data collecting, this sensitive information needs to be protected from being misused by third parties for fraud or identity theft.

4. Plug Microsoft’s retention policy gaps

Whilst Microsoft 365 has built in protection and security, it is limited. For example, Microsoft retains data for 30 or 90 days (depending on the service and type of data), leaving your data at risk after the retention period expires.

However, many industries or companies, for example those in financial services, need to hold onto data longer term for regulatory and compliance reasons. A Microsoft 365 data backup covers this. In addition, whilst a level of assurance is given by Microsoft 365 file syncing to OneDrive. This isn’t a robust backup, merely a sync of files.

5. Reduce risk of service outages

Whether through power outages or rare Microsoft 365 service outages, downtime can happen. This is where having a local backup version, where you can always access essential documents, even when the full service isn’t available, is essential.

This is one of the top reasons why Microsoft recommends you backup your data to mitigate this risk. Its policy states: “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.”

6. Effective data management

With 300 million active daily users on Microsoft Teams, data integrity and management and storing of data in the platform is a top priority. Yet, its complex backend means it’s not always possible to do in-house.

Working with a managed IT service provider and conducting regular backups means you’ll be able to easily retrieve archived files and control access to all files should the worse happen.

7. Cost effective practice

Losing data can be costly. Not only in terms of fines but also in terms of your reputation and level of service you can provide your internal customers. Which is why regular backups of your Microsoft 365 data is far less time consuming and costly than an entire data recovery process, which can wreck months or years of work.

Microsoft 365 data backup best practice

Microsoft 365 offers a comprehensive set of tools that support collaboration and productivity. However, managing data backup within Microsoft 365, ensuring data security and compliance, is your responsibility. So, here are five things you should do today to make sure your Microsoft 365 house is in order:

Understand the Shared Responsibility Model

Microsoft operates on a shared responsibility model where it manages the infrastructure, but data protection is largely your responsibility. Take time to understand what Microsoft covers and what you need to manage. This involves knowing how your data is handled in services like Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business.

Utilise third-party backup solutions

While Microsoft 365 provides some native tools for data recovery, these often have limitations in retention periods and recovery options. Invest in a third-party backup solution that can provide more comprehensive options including more flexible retention policies, more recovery points, and the capability to restore data to a point in time.

Regularly review and test backup procedures

Regular testing and reviewing of backup processes is vital to ensuring that they are functioning as intended. This includes verifying that backups are completed successfully and testing the restore process to ensure data integrity and availability. This can be done by your in-house team or by working with a managed service provider like Mirus.

Implement retention policies

Define clear data retention policies that align with your business and regulatory requirements. Microsoft 365 allows you to set retention policies that can help manage data lifecycle management. However, it is important to customise these policies based on the specific needs of your organisation, which is something we can help you with.

Educate your people

Educate your people about the importance of data backup and how they can contribute to data safety. This includes training them on how to manage and store files correctly, understanding the risks of data loss, and how to avoid common pitfalls that could lead to data compromise.

How Mirus IT can help

Mirus IT is a dedicated Microsoft 365 partner, delivering award-winning solutions to a wide range of organisations for 20+ years. As a managed IT service provider, we’re helping many businesses to keep their Microsoft 365 data safe and users protected by backing up their important data.

As our Business Director, Dan Sharp explains:

“Clients often believe that the inbuilt tools within Microsoft 365 cover all of their data recovery needs. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case in most circumstances. A third-party solution that fulfils your specific company backup policies is a more comprehensive option.”

Here at Mirus-IT we can design and implement a customised backup solution that meets your specific business needs. We’ll ensure you comply with legal and regulatory requirements, and that your data is protected.

We will:

• Regularly test restoration from offsite backups
• Ensure encryption for data in transit and at rest
• Implement strict access controls for offsite storage

The 3–2–1 Backup Rule:

We’re big fans of the 3–2–1 Backup Rule, which significantly reduces the risk of critical data loss.

Maintain 3 copies of your data: The original and two backup copies for redundancy.
Store data in 2 different media or devices: Store backup copies to protect against specific failures.
Keep 1 copy offsite: Keep at least one backup copy offsite to safeguard against disasters impacting them.

Lost your Microsoft 365 data?

Don’t worry. We’ve got you.

At Mirus, we’re also adept at data recovery.

In the event of such a disaster, we can get you back up and running quickly, ensuring minimal disruption to your business and working environment.

Partnering with Mirus-IT can significantly enhance your Microsoft 365 data protection strategy, providing you with the expertise and support needed to safeguard your business data effectively.

Book an appointment to find out how we can protect your valuable business data