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Is Office 365 Backup Necessary?

Office 365 Backup

Short answer – Yes!

The damage that data loss can cause is significant. Backing up your Office 365 files is the only way to keep them safe. By implementing a backup, you copy your information and store it on separate servers so that it could be recovered in case of an emergency like accidental deletion or a cyberattack.

However, Office 365 native tools don’t provide full backup functionality. O365 SaaS has some recovery options, but they are quite limited, compared to a full-fledged backup solution. That’s why backing up your data using third-party services is a way to get an additional security layer.

What exactly makes third-party backup software better than built-in O365 recovery tools? Let’s find out.

Native Office 365 Recovery Options

Microsoft provides the Office 365 cloud infrastructure to boost corporate productivity. Yet there are no specialized backup tools to ensure the safety of O365 data. What are the dos and don’ts of O365 built-in recovery?

Deleted Outlook and OneDrive items can be recovered. Recovery, performed within Office 365, returns recently deleted items: emails, files, or folders.

Deleted SharePoint items can be recovered. You can restore SharePoint items. However, there is one significant drawback in the native SharePoint recovery tool called Files restore. You can recover the whole library, but there is no way to recover just one or a few files. To recover one file, you need to restore the library and look for it manually. Third-party Office 365 SharePoint backup solutions have better options for recovering files one-by-one.

Retention is limited. Office 365 retention time is quite limited. By default, the items are kept around for up to 30 days (14 days by default). The strict time limit was set up to optimize the computing power needed to support the O365 public cloud. On the other side of the coin, failing to restore your data within the specified time will lead to data loss.

Litigation Hold can increase the retention time. This native tool is useful for preserving an important file for a long time. However, there are limitations.

Litigation hold allows you to restore from only one data version, which means that in case you need to save recent changes in the files, you have to put them on the Hold again. Moreover, recovery via Litigation Hold leads to the disruption of the folder hierarchy. This results in additional time and effort you’ll need to recover a file where it was deleted from.

Not all items can be recovered. Long-deleted or purged items, ransomware-encrypted files, data lost during the incorrect migration – these are some of the cases when Microsoft native recovery will not help you to get your data back. Specialized backup tools will.

Office 365 doesn’t allow you to recover the version you need. Sometimes, files can stay damaged for a long time without you noticing it. For example, malware can stay hidden within the system for months.

With native tools, there is no way to select and restore the unaffected versions. Third-party backups provide you with the ability to choose the version you wish to restore. This process is called point-in-time restore and it’s not in the scope of Office 365.

Office 365 doesn’t follow user data backup best practices. There is a basic rule of a safe backup. It’s called the 3-2-1 rule. According to this practice, there should be 3 backups stored on 2 media, with at least 1 off-site copy. Microsoft stores backup data in the same Office 365 public cloud, as the source data.

In other words, the data copy in the Microsoft cloud is vulnerable to the same threats as the original data. Of course, it makes the security of your data incomplete. However, Office 365 is not a backup service, so it isn't supposed to follow the best backup practices.

To sum up, there are many security features, that Office 365 doesn’t have. That’s why having your data backed up with specialized tools is a good way to keep it safe from internal and external threats, accidental deletion, or incorrect data migration.

Moreover, additional data security, provided by backups, may be essential to meet the compliance standards like HIPAA, GDPR, or PCI-DSS.

Spinbackup: The Top Office 365 Backup Solution

Third-party backup tools provide features and functionality that Office 365 native tools don’t. SpinBackup, a solution within the SpinOne platform, is one of the best O365 backup tools. Unlike Office 365 native options, it provides full backup and recovery functionality. What features make SpinBackup a great backup tool?

  • Backup of Outlook and Onedrive items.
  • Office 365 SharePoint backup that allows to recover not just the whole libraries, but items as well.
  • Backed up data is stored in a cloud of your choice: Amazon’s AWS, Google’s GCP, or Microsoft Azure.
  • Indefinite data retention.
  • Point-in-time restore: multiple data versions to choose from
  • Advanced options for data monitoring.
  • Folder hierarchy preservation.
  • Reliable protection in case of ransomware attacks.

SpinBackup provides Office 365 users with a reliable backup solution, fit for protecting vital data from human error and targeted cyberattacks.


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