Do I need to back up my Microsoft 365 tenant? (Yes, you do.)

Do I need to back up my Microsoft 365 tenant? (Yes, you do.)

A Microsoft 365 “tenant” refers to a dedicated instance of their service that a subscribing organization receives and owns. A tenant houses all of the organization’s users and digital assets, including profile information, passwords, applications, and access permissions.

With Microsoft’s robust security measures, many have debated the need for third-party backups of their Microsoft 365 data. However, such features may prove lacking against increasingly sophisticated cybercrimes and unpredicted disasters. Below, we break down the reasons why a third-party backup plan is still necessary for your tenant, despite the many protective features Microsoft offers.

Why back up your Microsoft 365 tenant?

Backing up your Microsoft 365 tenant is essential for a host of reasons:

Ensure efficient data recovery and restoration

Having a third-party backup of your Microsoft 365 tenant can be a time-saver for recovering and restoring lost or damaged data. Microsoft may offer security measures such as restore points, versioning, and the ability to retrieve deleted items. However, relying solely on these can result in a tedious and, at times, unnecessarily complex recovery process. Additionally, malware may be able to change or corrupt the files that make these backup options possible.

With a third-party backup tool, data restoration is made simple. Copies of your data are stored in multiple locations, reducing the chances of data being permanently lost.

Microsoft’s retention policies may not suffice

Microsoft offers retention settings that prevent data from being permanently deleted. This means that if users edit or remove content under the retention policy, a copy of this information is automatically preserved for future restoration.

While this may seem like a surefire way to keep your data protected, such policies can only do so much. For one thing, these policies vary depending on the Microsoft product, with certain services limited to what it can and can’t restore. Retention policies for SharePoint, for example, are unable to restore deleted list columns, and policies for Exchange Online are unable to provide inbox restore points.

Additionally, the backups saved under these policies are directly stored in your main storage allocation, taking up precious data and often forcing you to pay for more space.

Avoid downtime from Microsoft service disruptions

Unpredicted outages and service disruptions may be uncommon for tech giants like Microsoft, but they aren’t impossible. In fact, 2020 saw a massive outage across Microsoft Teams, Office 365, and Outlook, impacting countries worldwide. Just two days after these services were restored, Outlook went down once again.

According to a survey by Infrascale, over a third of small- and medium-sized businesses face lost revenue and customers due to business downtime. A quarter reported that their per-hour cost of downtime was between $20,001 and $40,000.

Simply relying on Microsoft 365’s safeguards fails to account for potential disruptions to your company’s hardware or software. By having a third-party backup plan in place, you can ensure your data stays safe and accessible, even during unforeseen circumstances.

Microsoft 365’s backup practices are lacking

Finally, the backup procedures performed by Microsoft 365 are simply not substantial for long-term data security. When backing up information, Microsoft 365 tends to store files in the same cloud as your source data, directly violating the classic 3-2-1 backup rule. This concept highlights the need to keep three copies of your data stored in two different locations, one of which should be stored off site.

Third-party backup tools make adhering to this backup strategy easy, keeping copies of your precious data in a separate storage location in case your on-premises files are hacked, corrupted, or deleted.

Regardless of the software, hardware, and service vendors you’ve partnered with, having a third-party backup plan is always recommended. Give yourself peace of mind by exploring the comprehensive backup and business continuity services we offer and inquire with one of our experts today.