Return of the data
March 13, 2017
Office 365

Don’t Leave Your Office 365 Data Stranded in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

It’s widely known that Office 365 is a fantastic service, in particular for small to medium-sized businesses due to its manageability and availability. However, sometimes it’s unclear just how secure your data truly is. Office 365 falls short for larger enterprises due to the lack of ability to manage extensively. When making the decision between an on-premises device and a cloud-based solution, there are some things you should consider. We’re here to help fill you in on everything you might be wondering. 

  1. Single Item Recovery

    • If you’re using Exchange Online, it’s important to keep in mind that the mailboxes have Single Item Recovery activated by default. All deleted items are sent to a place called “Recoverable Items”  until the assigned retention period ends. The default period is 14 days, but admins can choose to increase this period to 30 days using the Exchange Management Shell.

  2. Recovery from Recoverable Items:

    • When content from Deleted Items is deleted, they are moved to the Recoverable Items folder. Once an item is in the Recoverable Items folder can be recovered any time before the retention time expires.

  3. OneDrive for Businesses and SharePoint Online

    • Both OneDrive for Businesses and SharePoint Online models for backup are built differently than Microsoft’s Exchange Online solution. OneDrive for Businesses and SharePoint Online offer very limited ability to restore data within these applications. Both applications use the recycle bin approach.

  4. Data Loss in Office 365

    • Data loss is a very common occurrence in the workforce, here are some of the most common examples:

      • Accidental deletion (human error)

      • Virus or malware

      • Hard disk or storage damage

      • Software corruption

      • Natural disaster

    • When it comes to human error, the most common cause of data loss, Microsoft is limited in what they can do to help. Here’s what’s at stake:

      • Mission critical software applications

      • Losing virtual machines

      • Losing critical files

      • Experiencing multiple days of downtime

  5. Here’s the severity of Data Loss:

    • Data loss can be financially devastating. In fact, in a survey conducted by the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council, 20% of companies surveyed suffered $50,000 to $5 million in downtime losses due to lost productivity, unrecoverable assets, and lost consumer trust. The survey also discovered that over 50% of companies that suffer devastating data loss due to natural disasters often go out of business entirely. This is because they are unable to recover lost assets which can include onsite financial documents and application files. If you cannot bring your business back to normal operations in a little over a week, the chances of your business’ survival plummet. However, it’s also important to note that Office 365 has the ability to restore anything that lives in the core environment.

  6. Exchange Online- Things you should know:

    • Offers end users the ability to restore files that are not permanently deleted, which is a good way to recover single or multiple items

    • If an item is deleted and isn’t located in either the ‘Deleted Items’ folder or the ‘Recover Deleted’ Items folder, it is much more difficult to recover.

    • If the main mailbox has the archive feature enabled, deleted items can be archived and restored as needed.

  7. I’ve restored my file – where can I find it?

    • Once you’ve restored a file, it can be found in its original location pre-deletion in OneDrive. This makes a recovery easy and avoids jumping through any hoops searching through endless file folders to find your data.

  8. Microsoft Exchange vs Exchange Online – what’s the difference?

    • Exchange allows the user to be hands on, to both backup and restore when needed, and make changes to the underlying infrastructure. Exchange Online on the other hand, does not offer that level of control.

    • Exchange Online supports backup of the core infrastructure so Microsoft meets its Service Level Agreement (SLA) with clients. However, unlike Microsoft Exchange, it does not support the “as needed” control for backup and restore unless you use the the supported approaches.

  9. Exchange Online Contacts

    • Although Exchange Online contacts are stored within the Global Address List and backed by Microsoft as part of the tenant admin, it is not possible to restore one of them if they are deleted intentionally (or not).

    • You can utilize an Outlook client constructed for an offline mailbox. This downloads the Global Address List which creates an offline version ensuring you always have access to your contacts whether online or off.

    • The best way to ensure that you always have copies of your contacts is to routinely export a list of contacts.

  10. OneDrive for Business Protection

    • Files that are stored in OneDrive for Business are surfaced through SharePoint Online and through Sync Client. These files are subject to the same controls used in SharePoint Online for backup and restore.

    • Site Collection backups within Sharepoint Online and OneDrive for Business are completed every twelve hours and are stored by Microsoft for fourteen days. As an admin, you do not have control over backups or restores and if a restore is found to be necessary, it can only be created by contacting Microsoft’s Office 365 support.

    • Admins also do not have the power to restore a single item, document, list, or library unless they reside within the 1st or 2nd Stage Recycle Bins.  

No matter what service of Office 365 your business decides to utilize, it is imperative that your data is properly protected. It can be easy to forget to routinely back up your business’ data, which is why it’s in your best interest to acquire a service that does all the work for you. Backupify for Office 365 not only backs up your mail, contacts, and calendar, but it also backs up OneDrive for Business files and folders as well as SharePoint. Backupify automatically backs up record-level incremental changes 3 times a day. However, using Backupify doesn’t limit you to just those three automatic daily backups. Admins can force a backup at anytime which means you have control over your data all the time.

When it comes to protecting your data, Yoda said it best, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”


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