The misunderstanding falls between Microsoft’s perceived responsibility and your actual responsibility of protection and long-term retention of your Office 365 data. The backup and recoverability that Microsoft provides and what you may assume are getting are often different.


Microsoft Office 365 offers Geo redundancy, which is often mistaken for backup. Backup takes place when a historical copy of data is made and then stored in another location. However, it is even more important that you have direct access to and control over that backup. So if data is lost, you can quickly recover. Geo redundancy, on the other hand, protects against site or hardware failure, so if there is an infrastructure crash or outage, your users will remain productive and often oblivious to these underlying issues. 

So why is it critical to back up O365 data?  Here’s 5 reasons why: 

Accidental Deletion - It Can Happen... 

When you delete a user for example, whether it is accidental or not, this is replicated across the whole network, including the deletion of their personal SharePoint site and OneDrive data.  Native recycle bins and version histories included in Office 365 can only protect you from data loss in a limited way, which can turn a simple recovery from a proper backup into a big problem after Office 365 has geo-redundantly deleted the data forever, or it has fallen out of the retention period.

Top Tip: A thorough back-up solution will ensure any accidental deletions, are easily recoverable.

Internal Security Threats – A Bigger Threat Than You May Realise... 

Businesses commonly believe the biggest threats are from the outside, but often they can happen from inside. Employee / human error is often a cause for security threats. Whether it is downloading infected files or the leaking of passwords, employees can unknowingly create serious threats. 

Top Tip: Regularly training your team will help them become aware of potential threats and how to ultimately avoid them.

External Security Threats - The Landscape Is Widening... 

The Cyber Attack landscape is continuously growing. Malware, ransomware and viruses are a few of the main attacks that your business could suffer. This puts at risk the reputation, privacy and security of your company and the data of your customers. These threats can sneak in through emails, attachments and downloadable links.   

Top Tip: Implementing security software such as a Firewall will help contain and eliminate threats entering your network.

Retention Policy Gaps & Confusion – Are You Aware of These?

The fast pace of business in the digital age lends itself to continuously evolving policies, including retention policies that are difficult to keep up with, let alone manage. Office 365 has limited backup and retention policies that can only fend off situational data loss, and is not intended to be an all-encompassing backup solution.

In the case of a catastrophic issue, a backup solution can provide the ability to roll back to a previous point-in-time prior to this issue and saving the day. With an Office 365 backup solution, there are no retention policy gaps or restore inflexibility. Short term backups or long-term archives, granular or point-in-time restores, everything is at your fingertips making data recovery fast, easy and reliable.

Top Tip: Stay on top of retention policies. Know what you have in place and what the process is should something happen.

Legal and Compliance Requirements – No One Wants to Face Them…

If you or your company are facing any legal action, you may need to retrieve emails, files or any other form of data. Microsoft offers a litigation hold which provides the ability to preserve the content within a mailbox, including what has been deleted or modified. However, this is not a robust backup solution.

Legal, compliance and access requirements / regulations vary from industry to industry. However, fines, penalties, legal disputes and reputation damage are all things anyone will want to avoid.

Top Tip: A network overview of your current back-up solution will help to highlight any potential areas of weakness.

If you wish to learn more and ensure that your data is being backed up in a safe manner, get in touch with the Sweethaven Team today. We can walk you through your existing backup solution and work with you to implement a secure solution that helps reduce the risk of the above reasons.

Call us on 01737 247 090 and email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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