Microsoft is not backing up your data. 3rd party backups are critical to every organization’s data recovery and security strategy. Here is why you should be using a 3rd party backup service. The golden rule of data protection is to back up at least one copy of your data to a different media and then make sure it is “offsite”. Utilizing the Office 365 tenancy to retain your data and to archive your data would be very similar to backing up your files to the same hard drive on the same server where your applications are installed.

Microsoft also recommends you use a third-party tool to backup your data from their cloud systems which includes Office 365:

Microsoft Service Agreement

Section 6.b. “We strive to keep the Services up and running; however, all online services suffer occasional disruptions and outages, and Microsoft is not liable for any disruption or loss you may suffer as a result. In the event of an outage, you may not be able to retrieve Your Content or Data that you’ve stored. We recommend that you regularly backup Your Content and Data that you store on the Services or store using Third-Party Apps and Services.”

Benefits of using a third-part tool:

• Easy search and recovery of lost data

• Protection against Microsoft corruption

• Protection from hackers and malware

• Peace of Mind

The accidental or intentional destruction of data can occur in many ways. Here are some examples to be aware of:

Restoration SharePoint Site Features and Mailboxes:

Recovery of core SharePoint site features cannot be performed with built in tools provided by Microsoft. Using 3rd party backups, list columns and other core pieces of SharePoint can be restored. Mailboxes and folders can be recovered prior to corruption with ease using 3rd party backups. Retention policies will not allow for such a pinpoint recovery if data.

Malware and Versioning Control:

Attacks against the Office account using phishing or admin access through an Office vulnerability may result in having changes made to the versioning control of the systems. By lowering the version controls an attacker may be able to encrypt or alter files over the number of allowed version and data may be lost or corrupted beyond built in recovery allowances.

Data Recovery from Office 365 Using the Recycle Bin:

Data lost can be found in the SharePoint or OneDrive and recovered using the Recycle Bin. That is if the data has not expired or manually dumped from the bin on purpose. If you notice the loss in time, the process for recovery the data may be time intensive as it is very manual to perform. If you do not find out in time, you may never recover the data.