Office 365’s Backup Misconception

April 30, 2021

Your Office 365 data may be at risk.

Here’s the problem.

Microsoft has incredible Data Centers with loads of horsepower and built-in redundancies to protect your real-time information. With features like redundant storage arrays, highly available connectivity, backup generators, and exceptional security, your data is stored in one of the safest locations on the planet. That said, you should be aware that Microsoft does not guarantee data retrieval.

Here’s why that matters.

Your information is critical. Losing it would likely be detrimental to your business. While Microsoft has taken exceptional lengths to protect your information, their services do not include a formal incremental backup service and they do not guarantee retrieval of stored content or data- as stated in their Service Agreement, Section 6B.

Did you know that Microsoft’s default retention policies are 30-90 days? After the retention period:

  • Deleted e-mail items are permanently destroyed
  • OneDrive and SharePoint recycling bin items are permanently destroyed
  • A user’s data (all services) are permanently destroyed if their Office 365 license is removed

Consider the following real-world scenarios:

  • A user inadvertently deletes a critical document or e-mail
  • A 3rd party malicious actor breaches a mailbox and deletes critical legal correspondence
  • A user’s Office 365 license is removed when she leaves for maternity leave

Under each of these scenarios, if the default retention period passes, the data is gone. Permanently. It’s a common misconception that Microsoft has you covered against everything, but it’s simply not a practical expectation and it is your responsibility to implement additional measures.

The other common misconception is that a Microsoft Data Center is bulletproof. While that may be true in the practical sense, their locations are certainly susceptible to certain natural events. If you haven’t read about the recent fire at OVHCloud, we encourage you to do so. These things really do happen!

The final scenario is when a 3rd party malicious actor breaches your Office 365 instance, encrypts your team’s documents, empties the recycling bin, and holds you for ransom.

Here’s the solution.

Every business that uses Office 365 should implement a proper incremental backup solution and send their data offsite (away from Microsoft to a secondary cloud or server). An incremental backup is ideal because it takes a copy each time and retains the different versions day-to-day. This allows you to recover a previous version of a document or e-mail, including those that were deleted or modified. Backup systems that are limited to the most recent copy offer insufficient protection.

To back up your Office 365 data, we recommend a cloud backup solution such as Dropsuite. This is a cloud-to-cloud backup service that integrates directly with Office 365, it is effective, efficient, and easy to use.

What are the benefits of Dropsuite?

There are several benefits to using Dropsuite. First and foremost, Dropsuite backs up your data every day, up to 12x per day.

Having humans manually activate backups for each user as they come and go is dangerous, as it’s easy for someone to forget to do so. To mitigate the risk, Dropsuite employs an ‘autodiscover’ policy which automatically backs up all new accounts. There is no need to manually activate protection when an employee arrives- it is done for you.

You’ll also be able to recover items on a granular level, such as a specific email, document, and even chat in Microsoft teams.

Another great benefit of Dropsuite is the ability to browse historical copies of e-mail or documents- which means you have historical visibility. You can restore a previous version of a document or e-mail in seconds.

Other features include:

  • The service is SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) and requires no software (accessed via a web browser)
  • Easy to setup – you will be ready to go in a matter of minutes
  • One-click restore or download
  • Retain data long-term, even after a user has left
  • Transfer a user’s data to another account
  • Search a user’s content from the backup interface
  • Receiving notifications when issues exist

Dropsuite protects:

  • Email
  • Contacts
  • Calendars
  • Tasks
  • OneDrive
  • SharePoint
  • Teams

Technical Information:

  • Unlimited storage
  • Unlimited retention
  • Per seat pricing
  • No minimum purchases
  • No ingestion fees
  • Advanced search
  • Insights BI email analytics

Security Information:

Dropsuite enhances data security for our customers’ data by enabling Transport Layer Security (TLS 1.2) cipher for data in transit. All ingress or egress data to and from Dropsuite’s cloud service will be encrypted using TLS 1.2 to prevent third party snooping. Data at rest in Dropsuite’s storage is encrypted with Advanced Encryption Standard 256bit (AES256) cipher that ensures data is safe and secure. Our IT infrastructure is designed and managed in alignment with security best practices and a variety of IT security
standards, including:
  • SOC 1, 2 and 3
  • DOD CSM Levels 1-5
  • PCI DSS Level 1
  • SO9001 / ISO27001
  • ITAR
  • 256-bit advanced encryption
  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA)

Without a doubt, Dropsuite is the answer to Office 365’s backup problem. It is a comprehensive platform that covers the gaps. Dropsuite is one of the best backup platforms currently available.

Ready to get it set up? SIRKit is a Dropsuite partner and implementer. Reach out to us today and we’ll be happy to assist you.