Worldwide over a million businesses are using Microsoft 365. This data is stored in Microsoft’s ‘cloud’ data centres. Microsoft owns around 200 data centres worldwide, some of which are in the UK. These data centres have many additional servers, power and internet connections, and tight security.
So, What About Backing Up?
Before Microsoft 365 and ‘the cloud,’ data was stored on servers in offices or computer hard drives and backing up data was very important. Since the move from servers to the cloud, many believe they do not need to back up their data. The move to Microsoft 365 has unfortunately formed a misconception that you no longer need to back up your data, as supposedly Microsoft will take care of it. This attitude can cause some severe issues.
To adequately explain, here’s an analogy:
Imagine Microsoft own a block of apartments, and you rent an apartment from them. You have now become Microsoft’s tenant. Within this apartment block, Microsoft will ensure electricity, running water, and the maintenance of common areas.
Within your apartment, you’re allowed to decorate your apartment however you like, buy new furniture, and maybe even have a pet!
So, what happens when your property gets damaged? Or your brand-new sofa catches on fire? Will Microsoft put the fire out? Will Microsoft buy you a brand-new sofa replacement? No. You need to take responsibility, ring the fire brigade, replace the sofa, and figure out how to prevent that from happening again. Yourself.
Hopefully, this analogy has clarified the boundaries that Microsoft has of what is in its control or not. Microsoft owns the servers; this means that they will ensure that their data centres continue to operate, that electricity and internet connections are provided to the data centres, and that the systems are secure. In addition, they do any maintenance on the servers.
However, the data within your tenancy is your responsibility and yours only. Any data lost cannot be retrieved via Microsoft. According to Microsoft’s 365 backup company, Redstore, 80% of businesses that use Microsoft 365 do not have a third-party backup.
Lack of Third Party backup can massively affect your business in a few different ways:
If a business were to use Microsoft SharePoint to store files and information, employees with SharePoint access would be able to access all these files. Therefore, if an employee were to delete anything accidentally, it would delete it from the cloud and everyone’s access.
Microsoft does have a measure in place to try and decrease the risk of files being lost and deleted. The ‘recycle bin’. It has a 30-day period where if a file is deleted, it’s stored until it has been restored or the 30 days is up and permanently deleted.
Here are some scenarios where files may be at risk of being deleted:
An issue with the Recycle bin feature is that the button to ‘restore’ and the button to ’empty recycle bin’ (i.e. delete) is next to each other. This positioning of the buttons poses a risk of human error, accidentally clicking the wrong button than intended and deleting files that need to be restored can be very easy if the person tasked with restoring them is under pressure or particularly tired, as humans can be.
If a member of staff deleted around 50% of the total files, then the staff would very quickly notice this as a significant loss of files; This would then be able to be recovered from the ‘Recycle bin’ and quickly solved.
If one or two files that aren’t used daily were to be accidentally deleted, then there would be much more of a risk of the files going unnoticed and deleted after the 30 days in the recycle bin.
Having a backup of your data and files will mean that these scenarios won’t wholly erase essential files and hard work, as you will always have a copy of the data in your third-party backup.