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Avoid the downsides of downtime: three steps to ensure your Office 365 data stays safe

Posted by Philip Bindley

It has become the default cloud platform for the day-to-day work of most businesses. Losing data from Office 365 would no doubt put a dent in the operations of many organisations, as well as causing significant compliance issues, but despite this, many still assume that data is automatically backed up by the platform.

This simply isn’t the case – and Microsoft is very clear that, although it provides the infrastructure, the tech giant doesn’t take any responsibility for the data stored by Office 365 users.

It’s therefore crucial to build on the basic security measures provided by Office 365 in order to avoid the disruption that data loss or outages can cause. Below are some helpful tips for businesses to protect themselves from data loss:

1. Consider all bases – big and small

With such a broad suite of products, it’s important to ensure that all Office 365 platforms and data are protected – from SharePoint online to OneDrive, and from contact information to presentation notes.

Although ensuring that all data is covered might seem excessive, even the seemingly least significant file or piece of information might need to be retrieved at some point. For example, not backing emails up can make finding information for compliance reasons an expensive and time-consuming task.

2. Ensure organisational processes are in place

It’s crucial for businesses to constantly ask themselves whether they could be handling data in a safer way. Since Office 365 users are still responsible for their data held in the cloud, individual organisations need to ensure that processes are in place to keep data safe.

This can range from small measures that individuals can take – such as not to relying on the recycle bin for data recovery, as data can easily be lost – to introducing company-wide strategies to change the way that documents are shared and accessed, so that staff all work from the same version.

3. Use reliable software

Streamlining organisational processes and achieving visibility over business-critical data can protect Office 365 information up to an extent, but it’s also important for businesses to consider implementing third-party software in order to keep data safe from external threats, malicious insiders and unexpected outages.

When choosing a third-party provider, it’s worth thinking about whether the solution offered bolsters your organisation’s ability to meet compliance standards, as well as ensuring that it is scalable in line with storage requirements.

For example, solutions offered by organisations such as Veeam can back up all company data in just 15 minutes, and offer advanced search capabilities to help with compliance by enabling the fast recovery of data.

To find out more about Veeam Backup-as-a-Service, download our factsheet