Data is a business’s most valuable asset, and protecting it is crucial. Cloud providers who offer SaaS services, like Microsoft 365 (previously Office 365) have a responsibility to backup and protect the data they manage. But businesses should have their own backup and restore processes for SaaS like M365 for these reasons:

1. Protection from ransomware and other malware.

Ransomware and malware can target and corrupt files stored in M365. File sharing and synchronization help spread the damage. Unless the damage is detected quickly, the backups available in M365 may not allow you to recover uncorrupted data.

2. Protection from insider mistakes and insider threats.

Whether through mistakes or deliberately destructive actions, authorized users can delete or damage data. Malicious damage by exiting employees may not be detected until after their account is deleted. As with files damaged through malware, the backups available in M365 may not provide a good copy of data to restore.

3. Keep data available at all times.

Even Microsoft has outages. Having a backup copy of data under your own control means you never lose access to your data no matter how extensive the outage is.

4. Use data in analytics and other projects.

Data transformation means leveraging all of a company’s data in new ways. Data in M365 is locked in M365 and not available for use in analytics projects. With a backup copy that you can load locally, the data can be accessed and mined for value.

5. Meet compliance concerns.

Legal and corporate policies define mandatory data retention terms that may not be able to be satisfied within M365. Storing archival data within M365 can also increase costs.

6. Satisfy eDiscovery requests.

The eDiscovery capabilities available within M365 may not be robust enough to make satisfying discovery requests straightforward and efficient.

7. Reduce vendor lock-in risks.

If the only place your data resides is within a vendor’s site, you can’t break ties with that vendor. Keeping your own copy of data reduces your vulnerability to vendor lock-in.

Keeping your own Microsoft 365 backups reduce these risks. When you control your backups, you can schedule how frequently the backups are made and how long they’re kept. You can also control recovery more easily, restoring specific objects or bulk data as needed. Because the recovery process is under your control, you can more easily meet SLAs.

Use Microsoft 365 strategically by adding services and tools that extend its capabilities. VAST IT Services provides M365 support that includes managing it in the Microsoft 365 cloud and backing it up to make sure the data is always available. We leverage solutions from Veeam and Veritas to ensure comprehensive protection of data in M365. Contact us to learn more about our Microsoft 365 services and why you need to keep your own backups of M365 data.