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With applications such as Microsoft Office 365 existing in the cloud, it’s easy to presume that important data is automatically protected and available. Yet Office 365 only provides a basic level of back-up protection. So the next time (and there will be a next time!) an employee accidentally deletes important files, overwrites an important document, or downloads a virus, there’s no guarantee that it'll be easy to get that data back. Even if you do, you might not get the data back quickly, inexpensively, or in a useful format. 

Here’s a rundown of the top 5 causes of data loss in the cloud: 

1. Human error 

We’ve all been there – where you’ve accidentally saved over an important company document and realised you’ve overwritten hours or days’ worth of work. Microsoft will tell you that they cannot go back in time and restore the previous version. 

2. Hackers 

If you have not had an attack or an attempted attack, then it’s likely that it’s only a matter of time. Data from leading security vendors shows that the number of attacks has doubled year on year.  

So what happens when you open that email and click on the link that activates a virus? Suddenly your files are encrypted, and you have a ransom demand. Without a cloud backup solution, there’s no guarantee that Microsoft will be able to recover any or all of the files stored in their cloud. If they can, then it may be several days or weeks before it’s recovered.  

3. Employees leaving 

When an employee leaves the company, you need to deactivate their Office 365 account. However, there may be times in the future that you will need to retrieve an important email in that person’s inbox.   

Microsoft only holds files for 30 days before deleting them.  

4. Rogue employees!  

Whilst this is thankfully a rare occurrence, employees (that are leaving the company, for example) can delete files and emails maliciously. Microsoft will struggle to recover these documents, and even if they do, it may take a considerable amount of time.  

5. Third Party Software 

Apps are now a daily part of working life. However, there are some occurrences where they crash or act in an unpredictable way. That’s why the fifth most likely cause of data loss in the cloud is data being overwritten by third party software.  

So what can you do?  

Microsoft states that backing up of Office 365 Data in Email, OneDrive, Sharepoint, and more recently Teams, is the customer’s responsibility.  They recommend that you regularly backup your content and data that you store on their services.  

A cloud backup solution will allow you to recover the file or email as it was, no matter what the reason is for that data loss. Even better, it can recover the files almost instantly, so you can get back up and running as soon as possible. You can also search backups at a granular level. 

Take a look at our page on business continuity solutions to find out more.  


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