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“Insert Company Here” is Not Responsible for Your Data: 

While Microsoft, Google, or AWS might be responsible for keeping the cloud infrastructure services available (which makes sense), you are accountable for protecting your data which is hosted by those services. With Microsoft, this is commonly known as the Office 365 Shared Responsibility Model , which reminds us that maintaining service and data availability is a joint effort. The wording below from the current Microsoft Services Agreement page explains their position on data protection for their cloud services:

Service Availability: We strive to keep the Services up and running; however, all online services suffer occasional disruptions and outages, and 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.

No Point-in-Time Recovery

To make it easier, let’s focus on Microsoft. O365 does not provide a way for Exchange Online customers to take backups. This means that if an employee accidentally provides a malicious user with access to their account, ransomware can infect their O365 email. Only a recent backup would be able to restore the content to safe state.

This is a major challenge for organizations. While Office 365 makes it possible to recover individual messages that have been deleted from a mailbox for a length of time, or restore an accidentally deleted mailbox back at the time of deletion, offering recovery via a backup to a given point in time is not possible. Here is Microsoft’s official position:

Point in time restoration of mailbox items is out of scope for the Exchange Online service. However, Exchange Online offers great retention and recovery support for your organization’s email infrastructure, and your mailbox data is available when you need it, no matter what happens.

Retention policy gaps and confusion

Office 365 retention policies are hard to keep up with, let alone manage. A backup provides longer, more accessible retention all protected and stored in one place for easy recovery.

Internal security Threats

Many businesses are experiencing threats from the inside, and they are happening more often than you think. Having a high-grade recovery solution mitigates the risk of critical data being lost or destroyed.

Many businesses are experiencing threats from the inside, and they are happening more often than you think. Having a high-grade recovery solution mitigates the risk of critical data being lost or destroyed.

External security Threats

Malware and viruses have done serious damage to organizations globally in just the past year alone. A backup can easily restore mailboxes to an instance before the attack.

More Recovery Options

Most of the data protection features in Office 365 do not provide the ability to recover that data outside of the original location. If that user account no longer exists or you want to send that data to a different mailbox, you are out of luck. A solution like the cloud backup plans Lionsoft Media Group has, provides these additional options and gives your data recovery plan a little extra flexibility by allowing you to restore the data to different locations.

Since backups are automatically taken more than once a day and retained indefinitely through your subscription, there will be many different recovery points to choose from. You can restore an entire mailbox or just search and restore an individual message using item-level recovery (ILR). If you want to restore files or a mailbox to a local computer, you can even download the files as a ZIP or compressed PST file.

Legal and compliance requirements

Ensure you can retrieve mailbox data during legal action and to meet any regulatory compliance needs.

Don’t Pay for Extra O365 Licenses

The built-in Office 365 data retention features will only support active users. If an employee leaves your organization, you need to keep paying for their O365 subscription to retain access to that data.

Using a 3rd party backup solution, you keep the users’ data accessible and recoverable from the backup solution. If you want a copy to be automatically saved in the backup provider’s cloud you will still need a backup license, but this is much less than the cost of a M365 license. 

Additional Fail Safes in Case of Catastrophic O365 Infrastructure Failure

If you are using M365, you have embraced the cloud-first technology world. Although we haven’t seen a major data-loss event from any of the large cloud providers, the reality is that it can happen. When this eventually happens, you want to make sure you can recover your mailboxes and documents. By using a third-party backup provider for your M365 data, your data gets stored in an isolated cloud storage account, so it is extremely unlikely to be affected by other cloud failures.