Product, Tech/Engineering

Data Management Essentials: Backing up Office 365

February 22, 2019 W. Curtis Preston, Technical Evangelist

Do you need to backup Office 365? Microsoft might have some native protection capabilities, but it does not provide essential data protection and it is important to realize there are things it doesn’t protect you from, like rouge administrator or hackers doing something bad to your environment.

Ransomware and Rogue Admins

A perfect example of the importance of backing up Office 365 is a ransomware attack. If you delete or corrupt a few files, you are able to go in the Recycle Bin and pull them out, but it’s not designed to restore your entire account to a point in time – you would have to drag out each needed file.

Also, while Office365 does provide a number of tools to protect you against ransomware, they are mainly perimeter tools aimed at stopping the ransomware in the first place. These are essential tools, but they can benefit from some additional monitoring to detect ransomware if it does make it through the perimeter defenses. Another example of how Office 365 protections can be augmented is what happens when a rogue administrator or hacker gains access. They might be able to turn off versioning or reduce the number of versions to a small number so you can overwrite versions quickly without having sufficient backups. There are other actions that an administrator can do accidentally or on purpose that can wreak havoc in an Office 365 environment. Office 365 does have some protections against such things, but most customers do not use them for a variety of reasons, one of which is that they can significantly increase the amount of storage you need to pay for.

A SharePoint-only protection option is that Microsoft does a backup of your environment every 12 hours, and it is possible to use that backup to restore a corrupted SharePoint site – with significant caveats. It is not a self-directed event; you have to contact Microsoft and ask them to perform a complete site restore, which can take a significant amount of time. Additionally, the only supported restore is of the entire site in place. (It is possible to restore subsites, but it is a best-effort event.)

The Druva Difference

This is why you want to use something like Druva inSync, to protect your Office 365 environment because it augments and standardizes the protections that Microsoft provides. Restoring an entire user and its folder to a point in time prior to something bad happening is as simple as a few clicks. Legal hold requires only a single mouse click, versus the many clicks necessary to do that in Office 365. One of the coolest tools inSync provides is ransomware protection – it uses AI to watch all of your backups and if it detects something different than from what it normally sees, it will notify administrators to let you know that a ransomware attack has happened so you can stop it in its tracks, restore the affected data. With this said, it is extremely important to backup Office 365.

To learn more about backing up Office 365 check out this White Paper on the hidden risk when using cloud applications. Interested in learning more about Druva’s solutions? Visit our site.