Backing up Microsoft 365 is more important than ever

Sarah Doherty, Director of Product Marketing, SaaS Apps

Today, there are more than 1.2 billion Microsoft Office users. In addition, the more than one million companies using Microsoft 365 (M365) means approximately one in five global employees uses the platform. It is clear that M365 is popular and here to stay. It provides organizations with the ability to get out of managing email servers and put more focus on creating valuable business differentiators. Unfortunately, there is something that Microsoft 365 does not really provide, and that is data protection. In fact, approximately 76% of user data is not being backed up.*

Organizations today are incredibly dependent on cloud services like messaging, collaboration, and productivity. In many cases, we store valuable business data or sensitive customer data within these services. We rely heavily on the availability of this data to ensure the business runs without any interruptions that can lead to lost revenue.

So what happens when the worst-case scenario happens? In this case, we aren’t talking about outages. Yes, outages happen from time to time — but most businesses can quickly recover. Have you thought about data loss? Is your provider ready to recover data if it’s accidentally deleted? Or if it’s corrupted? With a data loss event, the impact on the business can be devastating. Internal and external security breaches, failed systems, accidental deletions, and retention policy errors can (and do) happen, and have been increasing in frequency over the last few years. There is too much at stake, including business revenue and reputation, for today’s businesses not to take preventative measures.

Microsoft 365 is a great example of a cloud service that many customers have chosen for their business needs. Today, M365 is more than just Exchange Online, it includes SharePoint Online and OneDrive for business. These tools are essential for keeping business collaboration productive. What can you do when you have an M365 data loss event? The truth here is that, while Microsoft is responsible for the infrastructure that hosts the data, it isn’t responsible for the data itself.

Microsoft doesn’t back up my data?

When it comes to data backup and resiliency, the difference between what Microsoft provides and what customers think they have can be significant. It is important to realize that availability is not data protection. Microsoft 365 provides geo-redundancy, which protects against site outage, hardware failure, and other disruptions to data availability. If one site goes down, another site is ready to provide data access. But what happens if you lose your data altogether? Microsoft doesn’t protect your data, rather, it follows a shared responsibility model for M365 data. The key in all of this is to remember that the cloud service provider (Microsoft) is responsible for maintaining platform uptime while you are responsible for the protection and long-term retention of your Microsoft 365 data. 

Irreversible data loss can happen in Microsoft 365

So how do you protect against irreversible data loss? Similar to other areas of your business, it requires a well-thought-out plan. Establishing a data protection plan is essential to the resilience of your data and is similar to what you would do for any other mission-critical workload or data. Is your data backed up on a daily basis? What are your retention policies for the backed-up data? What compliance and security requirements are required for your organization or industry?

What does this mean for your data?

Protecting data in M365 is no less important than backing up on-premises data. It is all essential business data that deserves to be fully protected. In fact, many of the same threats to data in customer-owned data centers apply to data in the cloud. These are just a few concerns that you will need to address:

  • Service Unavailability: In most cases, the availability of the Microsoft 365 services goes without question.
  • Accidental Deletion: The most common requirement to restore data is due to accidental data loss.
  • External Threats: External threats are the most obvious danger to your data.
  • Internal Threats: The most overlooked issue is from internal employees and contractors.
  • Legal and Compliance: All organizations have regulations that must be met with potential audits at any time.

 Comprehensive data protection at its best

Druva works with customers to ensure mission-critical data is backed up, recoverable, and secure. When it comes to M365, Druva offers a simple, flexible, and secure 100% SaaS solution for daily, automated backups. Druva delivers comprehensive backup and protection for Microsoft OneDrive, Exchange Online, SharePoint, and Microsoft Teams, as well as endpoints, data centers, SaaS applications, and cloud-native workloads. We complement Microsoft 365 by filling data protection gaps without dedicated hardware, software, or resources. Our secure SaaS platform allows Microsoft 365 data to be open and accessible to unified governance policies and ransomware protection while allowing you to obtain critical insights into your Microsoft 365 data and projects.

Don’t take chances with the data your business relies on. Ultimately, you need to ensure you have access to, and control over, your Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Microsoft Teams data.

For more information, visit the Microsoft 365 page of the Druva website, or read the white paper on filling native gaps in M365 data protection.

  *IDC: U.S. Small and Medium-Sized Business: The State of Cloud Adoption report