Tick-tock, tick-tock. The scene opens on a drop of sweat crossing your temple, the view zooms out from your desk to a sea of desks in your company’s open-office plan. Sounds fade out except a low buzz in your ears. A critical organizational file is gone and you’ve got 10 minutes before your meeting with the executive team.

How do you retrace your digital steps in time? How do you recover deleted files in Office 365?

Why It Happens

As outlined in Data Loss in Office 365, these are some common reasons files are deleted:

  • Employees leave

  • Employees delete a file

  • Malware / ransomware compromises file security

There are many reasons that a file can be deleted, and too few built-in solutions for Office 365 users to recover them. To learn more about file security in Office 365 watch this webinar on The State of Ransomware & Office 365.

Damage Control

Let’s say the damage is done and your company’s files are lost forever. Now what?

Possible business costs:

  • Loss of mission critical software applications

  • Loss of virtual machines

  • Missing critical files

  • Multiple days of downtime

Immediately after a file (or files) goes missing in Office 365 or Sharepoint, Microsoft has some advice for you and your employees:

  1. Make sure the sync is complete because your file may simply be in transit

  2. Check the recycle bin--even if it sounds obvious--because users in your organization might freak out for nothing if they miss this step

  3. Sign into the correct OneDrive account

...And about 8 more ways to troubleshoot a “misplaced” file. But for the truly gone data?

If you've lost files in OneDrive for Business, you can ask your question in the OneDrive for Business community forum. For more help, contact your IT department or administrator.

If you don’t find your answer in the forums or you are the IT department, Microsoft doesn’t have much more you. The unfortunate news is that it can be extremely difficult to recover a lost file due to human error, even a critical file, once deleted from Office 365.

The good news is that there are ways to prevent data loss with solid a long-term data retention strategy.

Have a Backup Plan

Having contingency plans in place is crucial for business continuity, so don’t skimp when it comes to the data on which your company runs.

Train Your Personnel

  1. Start out on the right foot: Advocate for the IT team to partner with HR in new employee training about cyber security and best practices

  2. Retrain and Retain knowledge

    • Create office lunch and learns and encourage attendance at cyber security conferences

    • Embrace the new and better iterations of technology - and encourage employees to think like hackers

Preventative Data Retention

When your organization uses Office 365, you should back up your data with a solution that is focused on preventative data retention and searchability. With Backupify, Office 365 users can:

  • Prevent data loss within previous file drafts

  • Non-destructive restores of SharePoint data

  • Get rid of unused licenses by archiving inactive O365 user data across all plans

Create a better future for your data. Learn more about Backupify’s solutions for Office 365.