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The Office 365 backup gaps you didn’t know about

The Office 365 backup gaps you didn’t know about

If you’re relying on the native Microsoft backup in Office 365, you’ll really want to read on!

Businesses across the globe are now “seeing the light in the cloud” and moving their onsite exchange environments over to Microsoft Office 365.

But many of these businesses are then relying on the native backup within MS Office 365, unaware that this doesn’t provide a comprehensive backup solution and could lead to major data losses.

In this blog post we explore what these gaps are and how you can protect against them.

Office 365 currently has 145 million users with 50 million more deploying now, or planning to, in the next 12 months. That’s a whole lot of data!

Leading research and advisory company Gartner had concerns about its backup and recovery gaps, reporting that “Microsoft Office 365 offers robust disaster recovery but limited native backup and recovery.”

Gartner went on to advise that “I&O leaders using and evaluating MS Office 365 should consider investing in third-party backup and recovery tools for faster and more-flexible recovery options, as well as reputation damage control after a malicious attack.”

Here is a summary of the main concerns:

1) The shared responsibility model

There’s a common misconception that Microsoft automatically backs up Microsoft Office 365 data, but the truth is that Microsoft only offers limited protection, as part of a shared responsibility model.

Microsoft protects against software or hardware failures at their end, operating system errors, natural disasters or power outages affecting their data centres, where they also have physical security. They provide data storage replication and redundancy (covered in more detail later) and they guarantee uptime and privacy controls (detailed in their Trust Center).

Therefore in reality, Microsoft takes care of the infrastructure, but protecting the data itself remains the customer’s responsibility.

2) Restoring deleted files

Recent industry reports tell us that 70% of data lost from Software as a Service applications is due to accidental deletion, or through the malicious deletion of files by end users.

It is your responsibility to proactively back up your data and users from any kind of human error (whether that’s accidental or malicious), hackers, viruses and misconfigured workflows.

The recycle bins and version histories in Microsoft Office 365 only provide limited protection from data loss. This can turn a simple recovery into a big problem after Office 365 has geo-redundantly deleted the data forever.

So if you don’t implement a full backup solution yourself, you will leave your business wide open to data and user loss.

3) Retention policy

Microsoft Office 365 has limited backup and retention policies and is not intended to be an all-encompassing backup solution. All it provides is a recycle bin and mailbox preserver feature.

See the diagram below for the retention periods of each function:


The average length of time from data compromise to discovery is over 140 days, yet default settings only protect for 30-90 days.

While Microsoft does allow business administrator’s limited customisation to extend the retention period of their recycle bin, this feature takes up a lot of disk space at considerable additional expense.

A Microsoft Office 365 hybrid backup solution offers a much longer accessible retention policy to protect and store all data in a single location. Look how the Veeam solution compares with the native Office 365 offer:


4) Ransomware

Malware, Phishing attacks and viruses, such as ransomware are on the rise, doing serious damage to businesses of all shapes and sizes.

It’s not just your data at risk, but also your reputation. Regular backups can help prevent the damage from these attacks.

The bottom line is, it is your responsibility to protect your organisation’s information directly and the only way to do this is with a hybrid solution.

Here are six compelling reasons to backup Microsoft Office 365:

Why Veeam Backup for Office 365?

When it comes to hybrid solutions, Veeam is the market leader for disaster recovery and backup, and lends itself very well to customers who have virtual platforms already.

We’re happy to recommend Veeam Cloud Connect backup solution to Microsoft Office 365 customers as we’ve seen first-hand how powerful it is.

The solution allows you to protect against data loss scenarios that Microsoft’s preserve mailbox and recycle bin functions don’t cover. You can migrate email data between MS Office 365 and your onsite exchange, and reduce the effort and time normally involved in restoring emails.

Choosing an Office 365 backup partner

When you’re choosing a Veeam / Microsoft Office 365 backup partner, be sure to dig deep into what’s on offer. Not all Veeam partners offer the same level of knowledge and breadth of service.

Look at how long they have been around, see if you can find out what platforms they are using, and what certifications they have.

For example, instant recovery is hard to do – but we have always done it. As a partner with Azure, we have a direct faster route to Microsoft for issues, and our staff members are getting lots of additional training and support. We are high-level partners of these big companies; a lot of providers are not.

virtualDCS has been a Veeam partner since the very beginning. We work hard to maintain our position as the “go to” partner – running regular internal training and knowledge sessions for the whole team. Our solution has been specifically developed to enhance and augment protection in areas that are not Microsoft’s focus.

If you’d like us to talk this through in more detail, contact us today by calling 0345 3888 327, emailing enquiries@virtualDCS.co.uk or by filling in an online contact form. Or join us for our new portal launch event (details below).

Launch of CloudCover 365 – our new Microsoft Office 365 & Veeam portal

To provide the best user experience, we’ve also developed a custom portal for our Office 365 backup as a service clients, (through CloudCover™). Registered users can simply login and select which information to protect offsite, how long for (retention period) and how frequently the backup should be run.

This portal is the first of its kind. It gives administrators the power to manage Office 365 backups without having to depend on a service provider. The portal can also be completely white labelled for resellers.

We love helping clients solve their tricky lost data situations and our team is happy to talk through your requirements informally with no obligation.

But don’t just take our word for it….

“If you use Veeam software then virtualDCS should be your default offsite partner. Just talk to virtualDCS first.” – Lambert, Roper and Horsefield

Contact the team