A majority of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have been migrating to Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) for obvious business advantages. Automatic software updates and security fixes assure users of ongoing product quality. Anytime access from anywhere and on any device enables remote productivity and collaboration. With these features and the Microsoft name, many assume that backup comes automatically built in. Unfortunately, it doesn’t.
According to the Microsoft Services Agreement:
- Microsoft is not liable for any disruptions, outages, or data loss.
- Microsoft only retains deleted data for 14-days or 30-days with special configuration.
- Microsoft recommends that you regularly backup your Microsoft 365 data using third-party apps and services.
Per Microsoft, one of the most common security support requests is for assistance remediating account compromise. What typically happens is a well-intentioned employee falls victim to a phishing scam. Once the corrupt link is clicked, the attacker gains access to the employee account via their password. With that information, the attacker can delete data, hold it ransom, penetrate systems for further access, and so on.
Outside of malware like phishing and ransomware attacks, Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace data is often deleted by accident. Human error remains the number one cause of data loss, and within collaboration platforms like these, it’s a common occurrence. Attempts to reorganize or clean out folders can innocently result in deleted data that employees still need. When an employee leaves an organization, their license may be canceled without saving the data stored in their account. Additionally, and unfortunately, there’s also the risk of malicious deletion by disgruntled employees. Don’t allow these internal threats to go unaddressed before the data is gone and there is no way to get it back.
Without backup, deleted data can only be restored within Microsoft’s limited retention period of 14 to 30 days. A recent report from IBM found that, on average, it takes 212 days for businesses to detect that an incident has occurred. Breaches resulting from compromised credentials – which Microsoft says is the most common scenario – take the longest to detect, with an average of 250 days. Based on these findings, most businesses who forego Microsoft 365 backup, and experience a cyber incident resulting in data loss, will not be able to recover their data.
These risks are especially consequential in highly regulated industries like healthcare, finance, government, and law. Data retention requirements demand that Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace data be backed up and retained for a certain period of time. Without additional Microsoft 365 cloud backup solutions, businesses in these regulated industries face steep fines, penalties, and potentially being removed from their professional altogether.
Microsoft does offer various types of backup tools, but the reason they recommend third-party backup is to avoid the catastrophic combination of both your backups and your infrastructure being unavailable. In the event of a Microsoft incident, outage, or cyberattack, it’s possible that both Microsoft 365 and their backups will be compromised. It’s a big risk to back up to the same cloud where your data is stored, and the same goes for Google Workspace. When both infrastructure and backups go down, business comes to a halt. Recovery is impossible until Microsoft or Google can restore everything on their end – which can take hours. Third-party solutions separate business-critical backups from the cloud to enable data recovery and business availability, regardless of a Microsoft or Google outage.
In order to overcome the limitations of Microsoft 365, while continuing to take advantage of the functionality, SMBs need to follow Microsoft’s own recommendation: “We recommend that you regularly backup your Content and Data that you store on the Services or store using Third-Party Apps and Services.” Thankfully, Microsoft 365 business continuity solutions exist, but they are not all created equal.
Axcient’s backup solution, x360Cloud, gives Managed Service Providers (MSPs) comprehensive Microsoft 365 and G Suite data protection and security. Effortlessly backup and restore Exchange Mail, Calendar, Contacts, OneDrive, SharePoint – including all files folders and document libraries – as well as Google Workspace Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, Drive, Sites, and Shared Drives.
Critical capabilities include:
- SmartSearch instant full-text search and filtering across users and services
- Multiple backups each day with detailed monitoring and activity verification
- Pooled* storage and retention for Microsoft or Google data
- x360Cloud helps meet requirements for HIPAA, FISMA, FINRA, and GDRP compliance, and Axcient is SOC 2 certified.
- Quick and easy setup – start backing up in under 10 minutes
“x360Cloud is much easier to use and much easier to navigate. It was really easy to set up and we haven’t had to raise any issues support has been great…really proactive in talking to me about how we set up our accounts. We like Axcient and would rather work with them than anyone else.”
“It’s a win-win for everybody. The customer is protected and we can restore their data. We’re doing a good job of fixing problems they didn’t necessarily know they had, and we’re getting revenue from it [x360Cloud], with not a lot of work.”
Search more than 100 million objects in less than 5 seconds – including email attachments – with Axcient SmartSearch. SmartSearch is a unique feature to x360Cloud that allows administrators to complete full-text searches across multiple users and data sources. Rich filtering capabilities enable both granular and macro-level restores on selected emails, files, folders, document libraries, and throughout communications. Non-destructive restores can be completed in a single click and do not overwrite existing data.
Axcient x360Cloud comes with robust worry-free storage and secure retention in the Axcient Cloud, subject to our Fair Use Policy. There are no surprise overage fees, incomplete backups, or juggling data across systems. With pooled storage, businesses can maintain the data stored by departing employees and deactivated accounts for uninterrupted business availability. Ongoing storage constraints and retention requirements by compliance regulations are no longer an issue with x360Cloud.
Axcient Cloud is ideal for Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace backups. Through independent third-party assessments and regular penetration testing on key features, Axcient proves the security of our solutions. With multiple redundant Axcient Cloud storage and best-in-class encryption, MSPs and their clients can rely on 99.999% durability and 99.999% availability. SecurityScorecard rated the Axcient ecosystem of BCDR solutions with an ‘A’ rating for the past three years running. Ten security factors were assessed, including Network Security, DNS Health, Patching Cadence, Endpoint Security, IP Reputation, Application Security, Cubit Scare, Hacker Chatter, Information Leakage, and Social Engineering.