Over the last twenty years, cloud-based SaaS systems have become essential components for businesses to operate efficiently. For example, Microsoft 365 is a powerful tool for IT professionals looking to streamline, organize, and manage their business’s cloud-based data and operations.
With over 258 million Microsoft 365 users, the platform’s services only became more appealing as countless businesses switched to remote work in the wake of the 2020 COVID pandemic. To date, there are more than 115 million Microsoft Teams users, with roughly 20 million active users each day.
As much as we love Microsoft Office 365, it does have limitations that business owners need to be aware of, especially if you’re just getting started with Microsoft 365 for your business.
Microsoft 365 and Shared Responsibility
Long story short: Microsoft 365 does back up your data… but only to an extent.
Microsoft 365 relies on a shared responsibility model, which states that the company will deliver applications, hardware, and infrastructure to support its applications and the network connections that give you that access. They will also provide:
- Datacenter security – both physical and network-based
- Data storage, replication, and redundancy
- Guaranteed uptime and privacy controls for their users
But when it comes to user data, Microsoft notes that this responsibility is between both themselves and your business.
Microsoft 365 will protect and back up your data from some hazards like:
- Hardware or software failures
- Natural disasters
- Power outages
- Operating system errors
But, Microsoft 365 will not protect your data from other hazards, like:
- Human error
- Malicious activity
- Misconfigured workflows
- Programmatic errors
- Viruses and hackers
And, these hazards are more common than you might think.
According to a report by PC World, 75% of data loss is caused by human error, which makes it the leading cause of business data loss.
Ransomware, viruses, and hackers are also legitimate threats that can be extremely costly to an unprepared business. According to Infosecurity Magazine, over one-third of cyber incident cases in 2020 have been ransomware attacks, with professional services, healthcare, and technology sectors among the most targeted.
Businesses without data protection and backup are more likely to feel pressure to pay ransoms, despite knowing if the payment will even work, just to maintain business continuity and protect their clients, and bottom line.
What Happens if Your Data Isn’t Protected?
Data loss is a worst-case scenario, but preventative measures should always be taken to avoid these situations. When data isn’t protected, a business can lose access to their data, resulting in:
- Lost productivity
- Weakened business reputations
- Sensitive data becoming compromised
- Putting human lives at risk (for industries like healthcare)
Despite the shared responsibility model, disastrous situations can still isolate you from your data even when it’s outside of your control.
Like the Microsoft outage that happened on September 28, 2020, which left a percentage of Microsoft users unable to access their business-critical data for over five hours.
Although Microsoft concluded the outage wasn’t a result of malicious activity, the explicit cause remains unclear.
In November 2020, Microsoft experienced another outage from a ‘botched network driver update’ which left some users unable to access their Exchange Online mailboxes for roughly 12 hours.
Other well-known companies with cloud-based apps, like Google and Salesforce, have also experienced recent outages. This year, Google experienced a brief outage of its Google Chats application on September 17, 2020. In 2016, a Salesforce power outage caused users to lose over four hours of data.
While outages don’t happen all the time, not being able to access data, or losing data, as a result, can be hard for businesses to recover from. Having a data backup and recovery plan is the only way to truly protect yourself from disaster.
Protect Yourself from Data Disasters
Using Microsoft 365 is an efficient and effective way for businesses to operate and store their data. And with more than two-thirds of businesses going fully or partially remote, cloud-based SaaS systems have become the norm. However, to truly maximize and protect data, businesses must have a fail-safe way to back it up.
Backupify can help with that. Backupify allows you to:
- Quickly recover from accidentally or maliciously deleted data
- Protects Microsoft 365 data from being deleted by former employees or deprovisioned licenses
- Guards against Microsoft 365 outages, failed third-party integrations, and ransomware attacks