Microsoft 365, also known as M365, is a subscription offering that provides access to Microsoft Office and other products. It’s widely used by businesses as a cost-effective alternative to supporting software licenses across an organization. Companies that make use of M365 typically store important documents on the platform. An effective backup strategy is imperative to protect this valuable information.

Unfortunately, businesses cannot rely entirely on the native backup capabilities of M365. Multiple vulnerabilities or gaps in coverage could result in a disaster in the wrong circumstances.

Data Protection Vulnerabilities in M365

M365 is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application provided by Microsoft. As with all SaaS products, as the provider, Microsoft is responsible for maintaining the application’s infrastructure to keep it running. Customers are responsible for managing and protecting the data that resides in the application.

Following are data loss and protection vulnerabilities that exist in M365. Without a viable backup solution, these issues can result in the permanent loss or misuse of business-critical information.

  • Accidental user deletion – Accidentally deleting a user is one of the most common data loss scenarios when using M365. When a user is deleted, the deletion is replicated across the network. This can lead to significant data loss. A third-party backup gives companies a reliable method of recovering from accidental deletion.
  • Complex retention policies – M365 provides the ability to set retention policies to address internal and external data protection policies. This includes implementing long-term retention to comply with regulatory standards like HIPAA. Some companies treat these retention policies as if they were a backup, which is not the case. An inadvertent policy change can result in data being permanently deleted.
  • Limited compliance support – M365 includes eDiscovery support that may not be robust enough to address compliance requirements. A third-party backup solution enables data to be restored quickly when necessary and provides extensive search capabilities to identify backups and demonstrate compliance.
  • Internal and external data threats – Data loss perpetrated by malicious insiders or external actors can be devastating to an M365 environment. Without a reliable backup solution, organizations are exposed to external threats like ransomware and deliberate or accidental data deletion by insiders.
  • Distributed data structure – Microsoft Teams stores data in Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive. A comprehensive backup and recovery solution is necessary to protect enterprise data from all Microsoft applications.

Advantages of a Managed Backup Solution for M365

Multiple benefits accompany the use of a managed backup service for a company’s M365 environment. A reliable backup solution addresses the potential data loss vulnerabilities in M365 and enables companies to effectively protect their valuable information.

VAST’s Cloud Backup as a Service (CBaaS) offers a comprehensive solution for backing up an M365 environment. The solution is based on the Druva Cloud File System and provides advanced features that offer the M365 protection an enterprise needs.

The CBaaS solution is designed with advanced features to meet multiple business objectives. These features include:

  • Providing protection and recovery capabilities from accidental data deletion or corruption;
  • Protecting and recovering data from M365, OneDrive, Teams, and SharePoint;
  • Offering ransomware protection and data resilience;
  • Creating immutable cloud data copies to comply with the long-term retention required by regulated security standards;
  • Providing reporting and alerting visibility into backup and recovery operations.

Security is a critical component of cloud backups. VAST’s use of the Druva platform provides multiple advanced security features. These include:

  • A data air gap between the data you are backing up and the location at which it is stored:
  • Information protection and data integrity with 99.999999999% durability;
  • Intrusion detection and prevention to keep unauthorized users away from your valuable data;
  • Anomaly detection and deletion prevention to minimize the potential damage to data resources.

Benefits of VAST’s Managed Cloud Backup as a Service

VAST has packaged advanced technology and its expertise into its CBaaS offering. This provides several benefits to its customers.

  • Companies enjoy access to fully outsourced and managed backup services performed by a trusted partner employing industry-leading technology.
  • Implementation is carried out by VAST’s team of experts who also provide ongoing management of your valuable data.
  • The cost of acquiring and maintaining on-premises backup hardware and software is eliminated.
  • Well-defined services and plans provide predictable data protection outcomes and costs.

The service is customizable with multiple plans that address the needs of any company. Some of the specific features found in the CBaaS offering include:

  • Support for M365, Exchange Online, SharePoint, Microsoft Team, and OneDrive data;
  • Data compression and deduplication to help control demands on storage capacity;
  • The ability to recover mailboxes, emails, chats, files, or sites;
  • SLA reporting to ensure backups align with business commitments;
  • Alerts and notifications to make sure backups are running correctly;
  • Enhanced security with multi-factor authentication, immutable backups, and encryption at rest and in flight;
  • Billing based on active users per month, with an allowance for shared mailboxes.

Customers can choose from three service plans.

  • Basic plan – This plan retains data for up to 120 days and offers a restore point objective (RPO) of 24 hours.
  • Advanced plan – Advanced features in this plan include support for public folders. Retention can be up to a year with an RPO of between 12 and 24 hours.
  • Premium plan – The premium plan adds Federated search and eDiscovery. Retention can be up to 7 years with an RPO of between 8 and 24 hours.

Let VAST Protect Your M365 Environment

VAST understands the importance of backing up cloud and hybrid environments and the specific complications involved in protecting an M365 environment. They offer CBaaS solutions that provide the protection against data loss your company needs. VAST’s CBaaS solutions provide these advanced features:

  • Automated backups that employ an incremental forever backup model;
  • Long-term archiving capabilities;
  • Source-side deduplication;
  • One-click integration with M365, G-Suite, and Salesforce;
  • Ransomware protection;
  • Automated compliance monitoring and eDiscovery enablement;
  • End-to-end encryption with customer-only access to their data;
  • Centralized cloud-based management and role-based access controls.

Get in touch with VAST today and request a data protection consultation. They’ll discuss your current backup solution and recommend ways your company’s data protection can be enhanced. You can trust VAST to protect your critical M365 environment.