Cloud BackupSecurity

The Importance of Protecting Office 365 Data

ByMay 1, 2019
With over 140 million users last year, it is undeniable how popular Microsoft’s Office 365 service has become. It provides companies  the ability to get out of the business of managing email servers and allows them to put more focus on true business differentiators. Unfortunately, one thing Office 365 doesn’t provide, though, is freedom from having to think about data protection. In fact, approximately 76% of users are not being backed up.

Protecting data in Office 365 is no less important than backing up on-premises data. It is valuable business data and deserves to be protected. In fact, many of the same threats to data in customer-owned data centers apply to data in the cloud.

Service Unavailability

Generally, the availability of the Office 365 services goes without question. However, Murphy’s Law is in effect, so we know that if something can go wrong, it will. In fact, there were two significant outages in January 2019. One lasted for about half a day affecting most users in Europe. The other outage was shorter, lasting only a few hours, but had a worldwide effect. While no data was destroyed, users had to contend with the unavailability of their data. We often focus on the cost of losing data, but not having access to data can be costly when businesses are so heavily dependent on data to make proper and timely decisions.

Accidental Deletion

The most common need for IT to restore data is due to accidental data loss. Whether that be from deleting a SharePoint file the user thought was no longer needed, an administrator deleting the wrong mailbox while trying to keep costs under control, or an automation script that modifies hundreds of files due to the wrong inputs, data is always at risk when users have access to it. Since this data is critical to  business today, users are not working at their full potential when they cannot access the proper data.

External Threats

The most obvious threat to data in the cloud is probably from outside the company. Malware and viruses are a constant threat to organizations whether their data is in the cloud or on-premises. Ransomware alone has done some serious damage globally in a very short amount of time. Companies need a solution that can easily restore their deleted or modified data to an instance before the attack.

Internal Threats

One of the least obvious threats to business data is from internal employees and contractors. Many people simply want to deny it could ever happen. However, threats from the inside happen more often than companies think. This threat usually comes from employees trying to destroy evidence of misdeeds, but can also come from disgruntled current employees who choose to cause harm or by ex-employees utilizing accounts that weren’t properly disabled after their exit.

Legal & Compliance

All companies have regulations they need to meet and audits that will eventually occur. Being able to quickly retrieve very specific data, manage legal holds, and document the fact that data is properly protected are critical business functions these days.

With no less importance and no less risk, protection of data in Office 365 is as critical as data on-premises. That’s why iland has extended our partnership with Veeam beyond just protecting on-premises data to the cloud. We’ve created a simple way of protecting Office 365 data, with coverage of Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint Online. With this service, iland creates automatic, daily backups of customer data that is securely transferred directly to iland’s encryption-at-rest storage. With unlimited storage, no charges for bandwidth, and no retention limitation, iland provides multiple restore points and a worry-free setup. IT administrators don’t have to manage any of the infrastructure, but do have full access to perform restores of data to multiple locations, including back to Office 365, attached to an email message, or as a direct download.

With a single all-inclusive, per user license, companies can achieve the easy and automatic data protection that abides by company policies for compliance as part of a comprehensive data protection plan for data on-premises and in the cloud. To learn more about how iland can help protect your Office 365 data, see this recent webinar.
Brian Knudtson

Brian Knudtson

In his 20-year career, Brian has experienced many different perspectives of the IT industry. He has worked as a value-added reseller, vendor and service provider in roles in web development, system administration, post-sales deployment, pre-sales architecting, public cloud design and technical marketing. Currently, Brian is a Cloud Technologist at iland. He enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids. He is also heavily involved with the Destination Imagination program and has been a long-time member of the VMware community, notably starting the Omaha VMUG and putting on VMunderground at VMworld. You can find him online occasionally blogging at and tweeting at @bknudtson.