Office 365 Backups: How to Avoid Losing Your Data
by Adam Arnold
Oops… Your cloud data is gone.
By now, we all have experience using a Cloud service of some kind. Those Cloud services are fantastic. An advantage of a Cloud solution is your ability to pay a monthly subscription and let someone else deal with making all the magic work. I put my files on my laptop, desktop, or phone where they sync to the Cloud, and they are backed up, too— or are they? Let’s explore. Yes, the data is in two places but here’s some unfortunate news… simply using OneDrive, Dropbox, etc. is not providing a backup.
What is a Backup?
A Backup is a snapshot or a read-only copy of your data/files. Something that can’t be edited or destroyed by you or a 3rd party. It is taking your data and making an exact copy typically, multiple time-stamped copies, somewhere else.
Why isn’t OneDrive or Dropbox a backup?
Yes, these products create redundant copies of live data. That also means they are prone to user error, accidental deletion, malicious user activity, and hackers. What is often overlooked is that these services provide minimal recovery options for your data. Deleted data moved to a Recycle Bin is often available no more than 30 days from the date of deletion and sometimes as few as 14 days. Additionally, the deleted files can be easily be purged by the user at any time. The Recycle Bin does not address file deletion or corruption due to malicious activity or user error.
Here are a few scenarios to consider:
- What if you deleted a folder related to tax documents by accident and didn’t realize it? Maybe it’s been a couple of months since you deleted those files, and you want to restore them. No problem, right? Except guess what, you are past the retention period of Office 365. Yep, it’s gone.
- What about the user that left your Organization 2 months ago? Remember, you said you didn’t need any of their emails, so you deleted their account. It turns out you needed a few emails for an audit. Yep it’s gone
- What about the former employee that left six months ago and deleted an entire folder that you didn’t need notice was missing until now. Yep, it’s gone.
- Or, if you have ever tried to restore a file from OneDrive or SharePoint and found it nearly impossible to figure out which files to restore because you can’t remember the name of any of them? The native restoration features in cloud applications are messy and clunky. You can easily restore a file if you know the name or folder. Often folks do not know the name for the file or folder. Without that information, it can be a terrible time-consuming slog to restore it.
Keystone always recommends a cloud backup solution. A 3rd-party backup solution grabs your data and places it into a separate repository. It is allowing you to restore it from a year or more. Considering the high chance of data loss and the ease of restoring data using one of these systems and the low cost (starting around $30 per month for 10 users), deciding to back up to a 3rd party a no-brainer for small businesses. A 3rd-party backup covers all the above scenarios with ease and lack of complexity.
We use Datto SaaS at Keystone and have found it to be an invaluable tool for our clients. Not only have we restored countless folders, files and emails but it gives our clients peace of mind with their migration to the cloud.
If you haven’t started your Cloud backup yet, reach out and we can help.