CMI Blog

Office 365 Backup – Why is it necessary?

What backup does Office 365 provide natively?

Office 365 does include some native capability to restore data. For example, information deleted from your mailbox goes into your deleted items folder. If information is deleted from there, administrators have the ability to restore from a secondary ‘system wide’ recycling bin. However data is only held in here for a small period of time (typically 14-30 days dependant on what it is and how Office 365 has been configured), and can also be purged entirely at any time, from which there is no ability to recover.


Who do Microsoft say is responsible for data backup?

Microsoft (as are most other cloud based application providers) are clear in their terms of use, that it is the client who is responsible for their data – you own it and you control it. Microsoft are responsible for providing the platform and ensuring service availability. There are also clear exclusions in their terms such as not being responsible for data loss resulting from things like unauthorised action, lack of action when required, failure to adhere to any required configuration etc. And these extend to your employees, agents, contractors, vendors etc.


How the transition from on-premise email servers to Office 365 has changed responsibilities

When we ran our own email servers on premise, the IT function was responsible for everything including keeping email up and running all the time, that there was redundancy in the systems, there were disaster recovery plans in place, and that data could be recovered for whatever reason (natural disaster, hardware failure, software failure, misconfiguration, human error, malicious attacks, external hackers, ransomware etc)


Transitioning to Office 365 means that the responsibility for keeping the email service available with appropriate redundancy and disaster recovery plans to protect against things like natural disaster, hardware failure and software failure is clearly with Microsoft. However, the responsibility to protect your data against loss resulting from things like misconfiguration, human error, malicious attacks, external hackers and ransomware is still the clients responsibility.


How do 3rd Party Office 365 backup & recovery services help?

Office 365 backup and recovery services protect the data held in your Office 365 account including your email, OneDrive and SharePoint data with no limits on storage or retention of the data. The data is held in separate cloud datacentres to those that Microsoft and provide the ability to restore back to a point in time (particular useful if you need to restore prior to a ransomware attack). You effectively have ‘snapshots’ of your Office 365 data held separately to Microsoft so that you can recover individual files or entire data stores should you lose data that can’t be recovered via the native Office 365 recovery tools.


Get on touch with the CMI team today to start taking responsibility for your Microsoft Office 365 business data.


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Graham Stead

Graham Stead is Client Relationship Director at CMI Limited, and has worked in the IT industry for over 30 years. Starting his IT career as an engineer for Hewlett-Packard, Graham later started his own business which he sold to CMI in 2016. As Client Relationship Director, Graham is responsible at CMI for ensuring our clients receive expert commercial IT advice that a modern business demands.