Office 365 Backup Mistakes: 5 Surefire Ways to Lose Data

One of the most common Office 365 backup mistakes is assuming data protection isn’t necessary. There’s a misconception among some IT administrators that Office 365 doesn’t require backup because it runs in the cloud. This confusion stems from the fact that Office 365 is a highly available Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application, but high availability is not the same thing as data protection. Sure, data storage in the cloud offers some redundancy compared to only saving files on a local hard drive. But using the cloud just doesn’t equal backup.

The Aberdeen Group reports that 32% of companies admitted to losing data in the cloud. This data loss is caused by deletion, user error, hackers, closing an account, and integration errors. Deletion, whether intentional or accidental, and other types of user error are the most frequent cause of cloud data loss. Is your company at risk of losing Office 365 data? Read on to see if you are guilty of these 5 common Office 365 backup mistakes.

5 Common Office 365 Backup Mistakes

  1. Relying on the Recycle Bin for recovery

    When users delete email or files in Office 365, that data heads to the Recycle Bin. It is possible to restore files from the Office 365 Recycle Bin. But finding the right file can be difficult to impossible because there’s no easy search tool in Office 365. Imagine trying to comb through deleted files from hundreds or thousands of Office 365 users.

    Additionally, there is a limited retention period on the Office 365 Recycle Bin. Office 365 may permanently purge and delete files before a user realizes data is missing. For Exchange Online E1 versions, the retention period is 14 to 30 days. For SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business, the retention period is 90 to 180 days. Therefore, Microsoft’s Office 365 retention period is not long enough to guarantee your data will be there when you need to recover. Relying on the Recycle Bin for data protection is one of the most easily avoidable Office 365 backup mistakes. Putting backup in place, like Unitrends Cloud Backup for Office 365, guarantees you won’t be desperately searching the Office 365 Recycle Bin for a deleted file.

  2. Relying only on Microsoft’s archiving tools for backup

    E3 and E5 versions of Office 365 offer some archiving tools, like In-Place Archiving and Litigation Hold. While these tools help with archiving outside a user’s personal mailbox in case of an audit or legal action, they don’t and aren’t intended to offer easy recovery for data loss. Since archiving sounds similar to backup, this is one of the trickiest Office 365 backup mistakes. But even Microsoft notes that backup and data protection is not part of any Office 365 license or feature. Additionally, setting up the policies for In-Place Archiving and Litigation Hold is time-consuming.  IT administrators need significant expertise to configure these Microsoft settings. So it’s much more efficient to protect and recover data using a backup service like Unitrends’ solution for Office 365 backup.

  3. Forgetting to protect all Office 365 data types

    Some backup vendors say they protect Exchange Online, but really they only protect email. This is one of the most overlooked Office 365 backup mistakes. Remember that that key user data is stored in other file types. What about calendars, tasks, and contacts? Say an executive accidentally deletes a key contact and needs it back quickly? Unitrends Cloud Backup for Office 365 protects and restores contacts. Or what if an entire mailbox is mistakenly deleted? Unitrends makes it easy to recover the entire mailbox, saving IT administrators a lot of time.

  4. Neglecting to protect all Office 365 applications

    Key data and files are stored outside of Exchange Online, but many backup vendors fail to protect other Office 365 applications. This is one of the costliest Office 365 backup mistakes. As adoption of Office 365 grows and in-application file-sharing becomes the norm, many teams store key data only in SharePoint Online and/or OneDrive for Business rather than on network drives. But if these SharePoint and OneDrive files aren’t backed up, data can easily be deleted by users and administrators and permanently lost. Unitrends protects SharePoint and OneDrive in Office 365 as well as Exchange Online.

  5. Putting up with an Office 365 backup vendor that deletes your data

    Office 365 backup should make your life easier. Don’t put up with a backup vendor that deletes your data or charges extra for long-term retention in the cloud. Unitrends Cloud Backup for Office 365 includes unlimited cloud retention at no extra cost.

Thankfully, backing up your Office 365 Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business doesn’t have to be hard. With the right backup solution, you can easily avoid these 5 common Office 365 backup mistakes. Check out Unitrends Cloud Backup for Office 365 for automatic backup and easy, self-service recovery. Free trials available.


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