Many organizations apply for Microsoft Office 365 solutions and don’t really care about data security. Many of them assume that Microsoft is protecting the stored data strong enough to not care about it. Some of them don’t even think about securing their documentation and emails just because it is stored in the cloud. Although. Microsoft takes some part of the responsibility of storing your data properly, it has poor retention policies and limited time for deleted items recovery. Some backup features, such as litigation hold, are presented only in Enterprise license, and it may not be useful for small to medium businesses.
When a business faces such a problem as a need to backup Outlook emails or save some important documentation from OneDrive, third parties kick in. Nowadays, there are plenty of cloud backup solutions from different services, so it is good to know what to care about. In this article, we are going to review some things to know before Office 365 backup.
You may think about how much cloud space for backup you need, what functions will be useful (for example, automated backup or migration features). Such things should be determined by the organization’s size and its business needs. Find out what data should be stored for each department, how often should it be backed up and what else does it need in terms of data access.
Of course, the bigger your company is, the stronger the solution it needs. The enterprises would seek for a complex and multilevel solution while small-to-medium business owners need something smarter service with a simple dashboard and fewer bells and whistles.
Once you investigate all your sensitive data that you would like to save, you will realize that you don’t need to save everything. Keeping every document and file may take a lot of cloud storage space which is quite costly. Also, the time limitation of data storing can be regulated by some compliance or security policy.
A proper backup tool should allow you to configure its retention policies and define what data should be stored, how many versions of it should be and for how long you need to keep it. You can define the employees’ access levels and secure yourself from unwanted data usage, so following mandatory compliance, such as GDPR, should be easier.
Granular search and recovery
Sometimes you need to recover just one thing like an email or document. Searching for such pieces of info among huge data arrays can be exhausting, especially if you don’t know the exact name of the file you look for. A proper backup tool should have detailed search parameters for granular recovery, and you should be able to configure individual items restoring by yourself.
This is a very useful feature when you need to restore a mailbox from a .PST file. Office 365 recovery tool won’t be able to restore email folders and hierarchy, and it makes search less comfortable. Specialized backup tool should be able to sort data by many parameters allowing you to find them in different ways.
Cloud or on-premise backup solutions
The best way to save any sensitive info is to follow a simple 3-2-1 rule. It says that you need to have three copies of your files stored in two different formats and one copy stored locally on-premises. You may even want to split your data for two different formats and choose different cloud storage for different types of documents.
So once you store some data on Microsoft public cloud, you may want to find another solution for sensitive data securing and then configure yourself an on-premise backup system. However, some companies may find on-premises storage superfluous, they definitely need to consider cloud backup services.
This needs to be remembered during an employee offboarding: once an Office 365 account is deleted, data loss is irreversible. It affects the whole network, so some companies keep paying for the Microsoft license of a former employee in order to keep his data and retain access to it. The same applies for migration to another cloud business services like Google Workspace. As far the migration process from Data Migration Tool is limited only by emails and contacts which can be done only one file type at a time (either emails or calendars for one employee).
It is a clever decision to check your potential backup service for migration policies. It will prevent your company from losing any files during termination of old accounts.
Finally, understanding your business needs concerning your data will explain to you how to backup Office 365 data properly. As you can see, Microsoft protects your documentation only until a certain point. However, the modern third party backup solutions offer a robust amount of features and functionality to cover many issues related to data storing.
It protects your business from human mistakes, ransomware, file corruptions and even additional expenses. So once these scenarios happen, you need to be sure that it won’t interrupt any serious business processes, and you’ll be able to recover from damage in a blink. Choosing an appropriate backup solution is an important decision for every company, so take your time and choose carefully.