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October 06, 2016
Office 365

6 Things You May Not Know About Your SharePoint Data

We recently added SharePoint backup to our Backupify for Office 365 product, and the response has been overwhelming. Many of our customers have adopted Backupify’s Office 365 Sharepoint solution to address one or more of the challenges associated with managing Sharepoint data we’ve outlined below.

1. Data loss due to inactive licenses 

As one would expect, an active Office 365 license is required to access O365 data. Unfortunately, when somebody leaves the organization, you must continue to pay for inactive licenses or lose the data. Inactive or deprovisioned user data is permanently deleted, and there is no rollback option.

2. Data loss due to permanent deletion 

When a SharePoint Online administrator deletes a site collection, all data will be placed in the Recycle Bin where it is kept for 93 days. At that time it is automatically and permanently deleted, and there is no rollback option.

3. Data loss when restoring files 

When restoring older files from a SharePoint backup, the restore is targeted at the same URL. This means a restore overwrites whatever data currently exists in the site collection, and there is no rollback option.

4. Time lost in restoring files 

Office 365 administrators have limited control over backups or restores. If a restore is necessary, it can only be initiated by contacting Office 365 support. You’ll be asked to identify the optimal time for the restore (i.e. a time when the required information was known to exist in the site collection). Determining that time can be challenging. Also, there is no way to automate restores. With help from Office 365 support, users must perform restores manually. This can be a time-consuming process.

5. Data loss due to ransomware attack 

Recently, millions of Microsoft Office 365 users were exposed to a massive zero-day Cerber ransomware attack. The popularity of ransomware among cyber criminals shows that it works, and increasingly businesses are being targeted as well as individuals. Knowing how these threats operate can aid users and enterprises in securing crItical data. Backing up data can help reduce the potential damage caused by a ransomware attack, as paying the ransom only encourages more attacks.

6. Replication is not backup, and Microsoft can’t protect you from data loss 

There is no doubt that Microsoft is doing a lot to ensure files and documents are always accessible and backed up. Microsoft prides itself on its 99.9 percent service uptime with regular backups. The company replicates data between data centers and stores it in completely redundant environments with backup and restore capabilities. Long story short, if something happens to one of Microsoft’s data centers, your data is protected. So, does that mean your data is safe enough from any type of loss? The answer is “No, it might not be.” They are protecting the data on an infrastructure level. However, if your data is deleted or corrupted, you don’t have a way to restore it quickly.

Many IT organizations are moving to the cloud to optimize cost, time, and resources. To ensure the security of your cloud data, it is imperative to have a proper third-party backup solution in addition to what is offered by the cloud provider. As Amazon and other cloud providers often say, security and protection in the cloud is the cloud provider’s responsibility but security and protection of the cloud is something end-users should manage and control. Therefore, end-user data recovery is a crucial part of any data protection strategy. Is it part of yours?

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