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You Migrated to Office 365: Now What?

Preparing for and executing a migration to Office 365 is no small feat; it requires a lot of planning and preparation, and it can come with a bit of a learning curve as well. And, once you finally finish your migration, chances are you’ll breathe a big sigh of relief and be glad it’s over.

But wait! There’s more!

After your successful migration, you still need to think about one particularly significant task: How you’re going to back up your Office 365 data.

Any time you migrate to the cloud, you will go through the process of analyzing your information, getting rid of old and outdated data and creating a detailed plan to make your migration run smoothly. But how do you effectively protect that clean data after the migration is complete? You need to look at how your data is going to be backed up so you can be confident you won’t have any problems with data loss.

Why Do I Need to Back Up Office 365?

Since Office 365 has so many great features, it’s a common misconception to think that once you’ve finished your migration, you have all your bases covered — including your data backup. While it’s true that there are an incredible array of tools available through Office 365, data backup is not one of the features included.

A 2019 report from Gartner, Prevent Data Loss by Assessing Your Office Backup and Recovery Needs, points out that while Office 365 offers a robust service, it does not have the data protection capabilities needed for the current business environment. Therefore, business leaders need to conduct a thorough assessment of their needs and make sure they are using a third-party provider for their backup and recovery strategy.

As a business owner, you are still entirely responsible for your data, just like you were before your migration. You own your data and you control it, so even though Office 365 is equipped with geo-redundancy, which protects against site or hardware failure, your data isn’t getting backed up unless you have specifically contracted with another provider to do so.

A true backup means that a copy of your data is made and stored in another location. And, as part of that backup, you need to have direct access to it so that if data is lost, you’ll be able to recover it quickly.

Microsoft takes care of your security at the infrastructure level, providing physical and logical security, app-level security and the user and admin controls. But you are responsible for security at the data level, and threats can come from both internal and external sources.The most common sources of data loss internally are:

  • Accidental deletion
  • Malicious acts by insiders
  • Retaliation by employees
  • Tampering with evidence

When it comes to data loss, about 30% of all incidents are caused by human error. Data can be lost through deletion in a number of different ways, and depending on whether it is a soft or hard deletion, that information may or may not be lost for good.

Soft deletions can happen when a folder or file is moved to the “Deleted Items” folder, but if it is found in time, it can be recovered. A hard delete, on the other hand, means the item is completely purged from the mailbox database. Once it’s gone, it cannot be recovered. Making sure that your data is being backed up consistently is the only way to ensure that you aren’t at risk for accidental deletion or for more intentional and malicious forms of loss.

Protecting from External Sources of Data Loss

While internal threats are often accidental, threats from outside sources are not. Your data is constantly at risk from outside threats including:

  • Ransomware
  • Malware
  • Hackers
  • Rogue apps

There are many different ways these external threats can infiltrate your system, and when they do, they can cause serious, sometimes lasting damage. Infected emails and attachments can lead to data loss that, without proper backup, you may not be able to recover from. With regular backups, you will ensure that you always have access to an uninfected version of your data.

Improving Operations With an Office 365 Backup

When you make sure that your Office 365 email and other data is being backed up, you’re also making sure that you’re meeting Office 365 security and compliance requirements.

Even if you didn’t realize it, it’s possible to have security gaps after deploying Microsoft Office 365. In order to protect your data and make the most of your investment, make sure that you are using a third-party provider who can provide the backup solution you need to ensure that you will retain complete access and control of your data.

Choosing the right third-party backup solutions provider is something that can be done at any time during the Office 365 migration or planning; making it part of your migration will allow you to continue operations seamlessly and without concerns for data loss, either from internal or external threats.

At Aventis Systems, we provide a couple of options when it comes to backup solutions for Office 365. We offer backup solutions from both Acronis and Veeam that can provide the security and peace of mind your company needs. And, if you’re not sure which one is right for you, we can talk you through it and make certain that you get the best system for your individual needs.

Protecting your company’s data and making sure that it is accessible when needed is the No. 1 concern of IT leaders today, according to a survey from Adobe. Knowing that you’ve selected the best backup option for your business environment can help ease that concern and give you the confidence in knowing your data is protected.

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