Organizations need Data Protection for Microsoft Office 365

Hi, there is a common misconception that SaaS data in the cloud is inherently safe. Public cloud providers like Microsoft have the responsibility to ensure that their customers’ data is protected against infrastructure-related interruptions, but it is your customers’ responsibility to protect that data from accidental deletions and insider threats and to comply with various regulatory and compliance regulations such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Today, Microsoft does not offer robust tools to accomplish these goals…

Office365

In fact, Microsoft explicitly states this in the Microsoft Services Agreement: “Microsoft is not liable for any disruption or loss you may suffer as a result. In the event of an outage, you may not be able to retrieve Your Content or Data that you’ve stored. We recommend that you regularly backup Your Content and Data that you store on the Services or store using Third-Party Apps and Services.

When it comes to applications like Office 365, SaaS providers offer reasonable assurances that they are protecting the underlying infrastructure to meet their contractual SLAs, but that protection doesn’t extend to customer data created on those platforms. It’s critical for customers to find solutions to protect their own data from risk – and based on their own terms rather than on the potential limitations of the SaaS platforms offerings. The challenge for IT organizations is to understand the vulnerabilities associated with data residing on SaaS platforms and ensure they have the proper solutions in place to ensure protection, control, and accessibility. These are some of the key actions to take when considering the protection of Office 365 data.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 version 3 allows you to create backups of Microsoft Office 365 and on-premises Exchange and SharePoint organizations that contain users mailboxes, Microsoft SharePoint data, and OneDrive documents. Much-requested support for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business! Not just user files but also group mail, OneDrive, sites and also other SharePoint sites. To explore the backups, you can use Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange or Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint both of which come as part of the Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 distribution package. Veeam Explorers allow you to quickly recover users mailboxes, folders, messages, tasks, calendar items, and contacts. You can also restore your Microsoft SharePoint items and sites as well as Microsoft OneDrive documents. You can use the in-built send and save abilities to send any items as an attachment or save any items locally. You can even export Microsoft Exchange data using Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange functionality…

To ensure that your customers have control over their data, including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business data, they need a solution dedicated to protecting their data without relying on the built-in capabilities of Office 365. Those built-incapabilities should be enabled as they provide a first line of defense against data loss, but there are limitations:

No protection from accidental or intentional deletion: Microsoft does not create a separate copy of production data, but simply tiers it to a different location within Microsoft Cloud. Veeam creates a copy of production data, and stores It separately from Office 365– either on-premises or in another cloud service for increased resiliency.

Limited search capabilities: Without a robust search mechanism, recovery time objectives (RTOs) suffer. The built-in search capabilities offered by Office 365 offer limited search options. Veeam’s advanced search capabilities for all Office 365 components ensure your customers can find what they need to recover in a timely manner.

Recovery is limited to Office 365: A key requirement of any proper data protection plan is that the backup should always be accessible when the primary data is not. As Microsoft can only recover Office 365 data to Office 365, an outage means that your customers’ data and backups are unavailable for recovery. Veeam can recover your customers’ Office 365 data anywhere: To Office 365, on-premises and more.

Retention policies can lead to confusion and unprotected data: Retention policies are one way that your customers may think they are protecting their Office 365. Retention policies can ensure that data is not deleted from Office 365 right away, even after a user deletes an email or file. However, retention policies are only available in specific Office 365 plans and have limitations: Retention policies are complex hierarchies that are not always implemented correctly, they are still vulnerable to infrastructure failure and insider threats and there are hard limits on the number of policies that can be implemented in an organization and the number of mailboxes to which a retention policy can be applied. Veeam offers your customers all of the benefits of dedicated Office 365 backup without any of the drawbacks of retention policies.

It’s easy to think that all data protection is alike, but there are major differences between protecting the Office 365 infrastructure and protecting customer data created and stored in Office 365. This makes it critical for IT to help establish the relative business importance of Office 365 data in order to assign appropriate data protection and governance. And while the collaborative flexibility offered by shared SaaS storage is a positive, it only makes it more important for IT to help ensure that there is sufficient security to protect against a targeted intrusion. This hole in data protection isn’t lost on cybercriminals who are now actively focusing ransomware attacks and other disruptions that can leverage the vulnerability gaps between the responsibility of the SaaS vendor and the organizations that own the data, nor does it escape the attention of industry regulators who are increasingly focusing on data security.

Hi, I will be speaking at aOS Monaco this September on Microsoft 365 Data Protection with Jeff Angama. Discover modern experiences you can build with Microsoft Azure and Office365 in Monaco at Monaco Digital on Thursday 26, September (register here).

Need to be notified of our next Microsoft Community upcoming events or to propose a session, follow us on Twitter: @MUGMonaco and join our Meetup!


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Christopher GLEMOT

Data Protection & Governance Team Leader | Technical specialist around Data, Security, Backup, Disaster Recovery, Cloud, Virtualization and Storage | Veeam Vanguard 2016-19 & VMCE | Founder of ArmoricanCloud.com | Owner of original-network.com
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