Is Backup for Office 365 Already Included?

Author: Craig Pollack Date: Nov 07, 2018 Topics: Cloud, Data Protection

When it comes to backing up your business' data, there's no excuse for failing to do so — whether you use on-site servers or cloud solutions. Backups ensure that you have a copy of your data and files available should the unthinkable happen. For example, there could be a fire, power surge, data breach, or another disaster that could strike your office. And let's not forget ransomware or some other cyber attack. In any case, it’s better to have a backup in place and not need it, than need it and not have it.

But, for businesses that use cloud services like Microsoft Office 365, the big question is - whose responsibility is it to back up your data? And to what degree is it really being backed up? And, what can you do to ensure that your data is protected from a total system failure, cyber attack, or natural disaster?  

While Office 365 is Cloud based, Backup for Office 365 is still a Must

There is a false impression that when data is stored in the cloud, it doesn’t need to be backed up elsewhere. However, there are many reasons why businesses should create Office 365 backups that range from simple caution and wanting to have a protective measure in place to having to follow strict industry-related regulatory guidelines.

According to a recent article from Dropsuite, there are five reasons for ensuring you have a backup for Office 365:

    1. Your data is in the cloud, but where is the cloud server? If your information is stored in servers that are all grouped at one geographic location, that means your information may be lost should something happen to that facility.
    2. Email backups in Outlook don’t extend beyond 30 days. Although this may come as a surprise to some Office 365 users, Outlook doesn’t backup emails that have been deleted from the bin for more than 30 days.
    3. Some industries have stricter regulations concerning data backup implementation. Industry regulatory compliance is essential for many types of organizations — particularly those individuals and organizations that work in healthcare, finance, and other heavily-regulated industries that handle sensitive information.
    4. Ransomware leaves your data vulnerable. With your data in the cloud, it doesn’t mean the threat goes away. Memories of the WannaCry attack of 2017 are still fresh, and organizations of all types need to be prepared for this potential threat.
    5. A data backup is the ultimate backup plan and protection for your business. Having a backup of your most important data is crucial for ensuring business continuity in a worst-case scenario.

At FPA, we’re a certified Microsoft Cloud Essentials partner and a Microsoft VAR Champ. This means that we’re not only here to help you learn, we’re excited to share with you the benefits of integrating Office 365 into your organization’s IT infrastructure but also want to make sure you're as protected as possible.

Microsoft Isn’t Responsible for Your Data Backup Plan

As a Managed Service Provider (MSP) who's been serving companies in the Los Angeles area for more than 27 years, we’ve often heard from prospective clients who believe that, because they use Microsoft Office 365, their information is automatically backed up and that they don’t have to worry about maintaining backups for this part of their computer system. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Contrary to popular belief, while Microsoft may be responsible for hosting the Office 365 cloud infrastructure, it doesn’t mean that the company is responsible for creating a robust and comprehensive backup for Office 365 to preserve your data. In fact, Microsoft Office 365 offers a variety of services depending on your choice of plan, however, creating a separate data backup isn’t one of them. Many companies opt to use third-party solutions to integrate with their Office 365 systems.

As a business owner or leader, it’s your obligation to develop and execute a backup plan and use backup software to ensure you maintain an up-to-date copy of your data, files, and records. But, how do you go about getting a backup in place for your Office 365 data, documents, and files?

How to Ensure You Have an Up-to-Date Data Backup

When you are figuring out how to backup Office 365, there are several ways to do so. For example, your in-house IT services staff can create a backup plan and use backup software. However, unless you have enough staff to handle the demand while also handling everyday work orders and special IT projects, this can be a challenging ongoing project to stay on top of each day.

Another option is to partner with an MSP who can help you develop a reliable backup and disaster recovery system as well as perform regular backups for Office 365 for your organization. By working with an MSP, you’re freeing up your own IT services team to work on mission-critical tasks for your organization.

To summarize:

  • A backup for Office 365 is essential for businesses across a variety of industries (particularly those highly-regulated industries),
  • Your organization, ultimately, is responsible for ensuring that backups are in place, and
  • Leaders within every organization must explore their options about how to backup Office 365.

Now the question is this: Is your business prepared for any disaster by having backups in place?

Be sure to download our free Technology Report Card to see where your organization stands concerning its technology preparations by clicking on the image below.  

Within your organization, if you’re using a cloud-based computing solution, what are you doing to create a backup for Office 365 or your specific solution? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, or send me an email to continue this conversation more in-depth.

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Craig Pollack

Craig Pollack

Craig is the Founder & CEO of FPA Technology Services, Inc. Craig provides the strategy and direction for FPA, ensuring its clients, business owners, and key decision makers leverage technology as efficiently and effectively as possible. With over 25 years of experience building the preeminent IT Service Provider in the Southern California area, Craig is one of the area’s leading authorities on how small to mid-sized businesses can best secure and leverage their technology to achieve their business objectives.