Six reasons why your business needs Office 365 back up.

And how Covid-19 has exasperated that need.

Viatel will host “Bulletproof Back Up for Office 365” a free online webinar in partnership with Veaam on Thursday 3 December from 10-11am. Please register here.

It may sound like a truncated version of a hit Netflix series but “Six reasons why…” is the well-established rationale behind the critical business requirement for third party back up in Microsoft Office 365. Before sharing the definitive half dozen below, there are some other numbers worth considering.


The need for Office 365 back up in numbers We are collaborating and accessing information through Office 365 in our droves. The numbers: 285 million people worldwide now use Office 365.[i]


Over half of us do without a full back up and recovery plan.

The numbers: 6 in 10 Office 365 users do not have a comprehensive back up solution.[ii]


Which seems incredible when you consider the level of data loss routinely experienced. The numbers: 81% of IT professionals have experienced a data loss in Office 365.[iii]


Think you can rely on Microsoft’s inbuilt safeguards? Think again. Chances are they will have expired by the time you realise something is wrong.

The numbers: Uncovering a data compromise takes an average of 140 days. Microsoft’s default settings back items up for 30-90 days.


Six reasons why you need third party back up

Accidental deletion, retention policy gaps and confusion, internal and external security threats, legal and compliance requirements and managing hybrid email deployments and migrations to Office 365 are the six reasons traditionally cited to explain the need for third party back up[iv]. In our experience, those that resonate most with Irish businesses are confusion over Microsoft’s native capabilities, security threats and compliance.


· There should be no confusion on retention policy

Microsoft makes one thing abundantly clear: “With Office 365, it’s your data. You own it. You control it.[v] This principle underpins another truth: Office 365 only protects against data loss in a limited way. In fact, Microsoft’s Services Agreement specifically recommends that all users employ a third party back up solution. Yet many persist in overestimating Microsoft’s restoration capabilities. The infinitely better option is a third party service like O365 Back Up from Viatel which will provide comprehensive, point in time and granular restores with none of the gaps of Microsoft’s inbuilt capacity.


· Internal and external security threats

A shocking 41% of Irish firms report being affected by at least one cyber security incident[vi]. Given their newsworthiness, ransomware, malware and viruses may be the threats foremost in our minds. Yet, whether deliberate or unwitting, the greatest danger posed to your data probably comes from your own employees. A worker may knowingly delete items that could land them in trouble or unintentionally download an infected file. A disgruntled leaver could intentionally cause headaches by erasing critical files.


· Legal and compliance requirements

The advent of GDPR made Irish businesses hyper aware of the onus not to retain data unnecessarily. However, many instances remain in which records, including relevant emails, must be preserved. For example, tax records must be kept for six years[vii] and it is an offence[viii] for employers to fail to retain records of leave for a three year period [ix].


The COVID-19 effect The effects of Covid-19 are felt in every area of personal and business life. The pandemic’s impact on the need for Office 365 back up can be traced to two primary factors : (i) Growth in remote working and (ii) Increased cybercrime.


i. Growth in remote working The Covid pandemic resulted in a massive spike in remote working. The percentage of Irish people working from home doubled in sectors like Fintech and IT[x]. - Prolonged discovery time In the 2020 Cost of Data Breach report, 76% of respondents were convinced that working for home would prolong the time taken to discover data compromise[xi]. This only increases the likelihood that the realisation will come too late for Microsoft’s native capabilities.

- Internal threats heighten because defences are lowered At home or work, the individual at the keyboard remains the weakest point in any technical system. Placing that person outside of their normal working conditions can lead them to do things they wouldn’t normally do: like clicking on a suspect email.

ii. Increased cyber crime

Back in April, an advisory from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) addressed pandemic-era cyber security challenges that were being experienced “on a significantly larger scale than ever before”. While cyber criminals focusing on topical events was nothing new, the NCSC felt that the speed and scale at which Covid-19 was exploited is a cause of considerable concern[xii].


Learn how to protect your Office 365 data Viatel’s Solution Architects, in partnership with Veaam experts, invite you to learn how to protect your email data. Join us for “Bulletproof Back Up for Office 365” a free online webinar taking place on Thursday 3 December from 10-11am. Please register here.

[i] https://office365itpros.com/2020/04/30/office365-teams-power-growth/ [ii] IDC Perspective: Why a Backup Strategy for Microsoft Office 365 is Essential [iii] https://www.veeam.com/backup-microsoft-office-365.html [iv] https://www.veeam.com/blog/momentum-office-365-backup.html [v] The Office 365 Trust Centre [vi] Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2020 available at: https://www.hiscox.co.uk/cyberreadiness [vii] https://www.revenue.ie/en/vat/vat-records-invoices-and-credit-notes/vat-records-to-be-kept/how-long-do-you-keep-records- for.aspx#:~:text=In%20general%20you%20must%20retain,a%20period%20of%20six%20years. [viii] Under the Holidays (Employees) Acts 1973 and 1991 [ix] http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/1973/act/25/enacted/en/print#sec10 [x] ESRI ‘Who Can Work from Home in Ireland?’ https://www.esri.ie/system/files/publications/SUSTAT87.pdf [xi] https://securityintelligence.com/posts/whats-new-2020-cost-of-a-data-breach-report/ [xii] https://www.ncsc.gov.ie/pdfs/WFH-Advisory.pdf




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