Did you know that Microsoft has a disclaimer for data loss in their terms of service?
They do ensure data availability through their backup and restore, but it is limited to situations like natural disasters and calamities. They also offer secure data centers with stringent retention policies and eDiscovery options. But, what would happen in cases of accidental deletions, ransomware attacks, or outages?
Can you bear the unavailability or loss of critical data – such as financial spreadsheets, customer emails, marketing plans, and sales contacts – which is the foundation of your business?
Hence, backup of data is a shared responsibility, wherein you should create regular backups of your crucial data for easy recovery and restore.
If the chances of data loss seem thin to you, here are 12 causes and reasons that highlight the necessity for using a third-party tool to backup Office 365 data.
Is Office 365 Backup Necessary?
Yes, Here Are 12 Reasons Why You Need It!
1. User Error (Or) Malicious Intention
Employees in your organization might delete a file on the OneDrive due to different reasons:
- Accidental deletion: If they get a notification for running out of space, they might clear the OneDrive files by removing documents that are old or seem less important to create space. They also might delete old mails that might contain important attachments of data.This kind of data could get lost forever, unless they backup Office 365 data.
- Removing duplication of data: Often times, despite the collaborative feature of OneDrive, employees create duplication of data for various reasons like sharing outside their department or even outside their domain. Sometimes, they might accidentally delete the original version of the file while trying to get rid of duplicates. Wouldn’t it be difficult to replicate the data?
- Malicious intention: Disgruntled employees may sabotage or delete data in critical files. Sometimes, by the time the damage is discovered, it might be too late to revert or recover it. An Office 365 backup solution, on the other hand, would have multiple iterations of the same file, making it easier for you to restore.
2. Phishing and Ransomware Attacks
The word ‘ransomware’ needs no introduction! The Wannacry ransomware attack shook the entire world in May 2017.
Do you know how the attackers gain entry into your organization?
They use a cloned email with a virus attachment and send it to the members of your organization, impersonating an employee or a business contact.
Even if almost all of them recognize it for a spam, a single click by some unsuspecting employee is all that’s needed to infect the entire organization!
After gaining access, the attackers would encrypt your data and give you instructions to pay the ransom. The worst part is if you fail to make the payment by the specified deadline, they would wipe out the entire data. This would lead to loss of the only copy of your data – unless you already have an Office 365 backup.
According to Bleeping Computer, a phishing attack had happened through emails that had claimed to be “undelivered.”
Once the recipients clicked on the “Send Again” button, they were redirected to a phished web page that resembled the Office 365 login page. When the users tried to login, they unknowingly gave away their passwords, leading to account compromise.
5. Limited Storage and Email Retency
When an employee leaves your organization, the IT administrator would ideally back up the Office 365 account data and reuse the license. Even though you can take a manual backup by using the Sync Client to transfer and save it in a different location, you cannot restore it back into an Office 365 account with the same sharing permissions!
Besides restoring an account data with its sharing permissions, a third-party Office 365 backup solution can provide cross-user restore – place data into any user’s account, usually the manager’s account for easy retrieval.
One more fact to consider: if that ex-employee is the sole owner of a file, you might lose it forever!
6. Outage and Shutdown
To run a business effectively, one would often use a Software as a Service (SaaS) application. If you are using one, have you ever thought about what might happen if there is an outage?
According to Bleeping Computer, Azure suffered a massive outage for two days in January 2019 during which people were unable to access their mailboxes.
Imagine being unable to access any data during the downtime?
So, unless you are prepared with an Office 365 backup, you cannot always expect your data to be available all the time just because it is in the cloud. If outages can cause such chaos, what if the service gets shut down forever? Where would all of your data go?
If you have a backup of your Office 365 data, you need not care about outages or get tensed over saving your data before the service provider shuts down for good.
7. 3rd Party Application Illicit Consent Grant Attack
Have you installed any third-party application on your Office 365 account? Are you aware of illicit consent grant attacks?
It is the attack by the third-party applications for stealing your data. Are you wondering how that is possible?
After the application is installed, the attackers either launch a phishing attack or insert illicit code into a website and trick you into granting access to your account.
The worst part about this kind of attack is that the normal account recovery steps such as resetting account passwords or even completing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for accessing the account are no longer effective, as these actions are carried out by third-party applications that are external to the organization.
For information on how to prevent illicit consent grant attacks, click here.
8. Lost or Stolen Devices
Some companies – especially small to medium enterprises – have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy.
This saves office expense as well as provides ease of use to the employees, who can access their data anywhere at any time as they use their own device.
The flip side to this practice is that if the device gets stolen, it could lead to leak of critical business data.
Besides accessing data on the desktop, if the employee had kept the device logged into their online account, it could lead to phishing, or worse, a total wipeout of your complete business data!
Can you imagine the consequences of not having backed up your Office 365 data at that time?
According to PC world, EMC and Hartford hospital had to pay $90,000 for a stolen laptop containing medical data of 8,883 people! Such high is the cost for losing data, which could have been prevented by encryption and recovered by using a backup solution.
9. Employee Overwriting Data
With OneDrive’s collaborative features, it has been easier for multiple users to work on the same file. But, the downside to this feature is that any of the users could accidentally overwrite or erase critical data.
Although OneDrive has options to roll back the data to a previous version, it is still a drawback as the feature has only one option: restore all of the data to the selected date and time.
Backing up your Office 365 data with a third-party tool is simpler and quick, as it has provisions to restore a single file or folder to its previous version.
10. Mergers & Acquisitions
Whether it is a merger of two different companies or an acquisition of a small company by a larger one, data migration is an important factor that could directly affect the success rate.
Collating data, much less making sense of what it means or why it exists is a huge pain for the department in your organization handling the data migration.
Would you want them to waste hours, examining data and sifting through ages of records, sorting them into important and unimportant categories?
According to a Bloor research study, the failure rate for data migration projects is 38%.
Having an Office 365 backup in such cases would have made the process easier to execute and implement.
11. Outlook Native Features
Even though you can use any of these features to back up your emails, you have to go through the tedious task of setting it up – which might include a lot of steps – and even manually enable the backup every single day if you are using the export option.
In addition to being complex, it is also not a reliable option as there are various other issues like outages and data restore complications.
12. Waste of Time and Efforts
Whether it is accidental deletions, malware infection, or any of the reasons given above, recreating the data from scratch and restoring it would be such a waste of both time and resources.
It would not only be complicated, but the reproduced data may not be completely accurate.