Seven Critical Reasons You Need to Backup Microsoft 365

For the last two years, the digitalization of the office workplace has been proceeding at an incremental pace. The COVID pandemic has shown that it is possible to manage your employees remotely while simultaneously maintaining productivity (or, in some cases, improving it). One of the leading players in the remote work field is Microsoft Office 365.

Offering a large number of different features and accessible workloads, Microsoft Office 365 is an excellent choice for organizations looking to move to the remote work system. Because of this, it remains one of the most popular choices. Despite this, however, if you use Microsoft Office 365, you might need to embrace some outside solutions to secure the stored information and improve data recovery. Here are seven crucial reasons you need to back up Microsoft Office 356 data.

Why do you need to back up Office 365?

Although Microsoft offers several native security options to Office 365 users, your organization will need to employ additional backup measures if you want to truly secure your data in case of an emergency or a disaster. This is because of the Office 365 distribution model of this SaaS application. In this distribution model, Microsoft offers its users access to all the applications, protecting the privacy of data stored within their servers and making sure that it is up to any data regulations that might affect it.

This is the limit of Microsoft’s commitment to data recovery. Since the SaaS model involves shared responsibility, it is up to users to ensure that information backups are secure and comply with any legal standards for data retention. Microsoft provides the bare minimum. Therefore, it is also up to users to ensure data security in case of possible threats such as phishing or malware attacks. In other words, Microsoft provides access to the infrastructure, but it is your responsibility to protect your organization’s data stored and processed in the cloud.

Seven reasons to backup Office 365

Because of the shared responsibility between users and Microsoft, your organization must carry out its own Microsoft Office 365 backup to improve data recovery and ensure business continuity in case of a disaster. Here are seven reasons why your organization should always backup M365 data:

  1. Accidental deletion

Human mistake is generally the leading cause of many disasters leading to data loss. Accidental data deletion is one of the reasons why this is the case. This can be related to small pieces of information like single files or emails; in worst-case scenarios, it can be an accidental deletion of the entire user’s data. And although Office 365 has a retention period where that data can be retrieved, once it’s gone from that, accessing the deleted information might be very difficult, if not impossible. Data recovery for permanently deleted information can pose a challenge. However, this can be remedied by performing regular Office 365 backups. If any more crucial information gets deleted, your organization can simply roll back the data and avoid further problems by restoring the backup.

  1. Malware/Ransomware

Ransomware increasingly poses more danger to organizations, with new and more sophisticated attack methods being invented daily. Attacks with malware and ransomware are among the leading causes of data loss for different companies. In case of a ransomware attack, all of the infected data stored becomes encrypted, and the only way to access it is by typing in a key, which supposedly becomes accessible only when the attackers receive their random via cryptocurrency.

Due to the encryption method’s design and the fact that the ransom must often be paid in a short amount of time, data recovery of encrypted files can be grueling. Not only does the solution often not arrive, but there’s also no guarantee that ransomware victims will receive the key at all, and even if they do, a database that was once compromised will most likely become a target for a future attack. To make matters worse, it is nearly impossible to decrypt the infected data, even with professional tools.

As dangerous as ransomware attacks are, they can be dealt with relatively quickly if you possess an Office 365 backup. If you want to retrieve access to your organization’s encrypted data, a regular backup and a robust backup policy will ensure your safety against malware and ransomware.

  1. Retention policy gaps

Different legal regulations might apply depending on what type of service your organization offers or what kind of data is stored within its IT structures. These rules dictate details such as how long each type of data must be stored and your organization must always be ready to retrieve and procure this information if asked to do so. Failing to meet these requirements can lead to severe legal issues.

Office 365 only has limited data retention features, and relying on the native security tool for data recovery of important information is not always possible, especially for data that has been stored for a prolonged time. Because of this, if you are looking to secure all of your data and make sure your organization complies with all of the necessary industry regulations, you will need an Office 365 backup.

  1. Secure your data in case of a service outage

One of the parts of a shared responsibility model is that Microsoft is not responsible for any data loss incurred due to a service outage. While Microsoft makes sure that users can access Office 365 without a problem and work smoothly, there were situations where downtime from Microsoft had cost companies a significant amount of money in potential losses.

The easiest way to avoid damage from a service outage is to have all your essential data in an Office 365 backup. This way, if the users cannot retrieve the data stored within their Office 365 via the Internet, they can continue their work uninterrupted with the information they have stored within the backup.

  1. Issues with third-party apps

One of the features for which different organizations select Office 365 is its ease of integration of additional third-party applications available. With a wide selection of other apps, both native and third-party, Office 365 offers very high customizability and, with proper tweaking, can be useful to different organizations, offering additional services and storing various data.

While third-party apps such as Slack or Salesforce make working and managing others much more accessible, they also pose a significant threat to your data stored within Office 365. Third-party applications don’t carry the same security certificate as native apps, meaning they can be infected with malware or ransomware. Attackers also often use outdated apps as a way of entry and attack.

Removing an infected third-party app or simply causing technical issues can be a grueling process and cause data loss and cost other essential resources. Much like similar issues of malware and ransomware, data recovery from this issue can be made easy with an Office 365 backup.

  1. Internal threats

While external threats cover issues such as malware, ransomware, and other hacker attacks, another cause of data loss that can’t be looked over is all the internal threats that can cause danger to your data. Besides accidental deletion, your organization’s employees can put your data at risk in other ways. In some situations, a disgruntled employee may simply decide to wreak havoc and delete some of the data they still have access to. There are also other methods of foul play which can put your organization at risk. If your IT structures have a proper Office 365 backup, these threads can be mitigated, and data recovery will almost always be possible. To cause real damage to the data, the responsible person would need access to the backup files themselves.

  1. Teams data structure

Microsoft Teams is most likely involved in the process if your organization is using Office 365 for its remote work. However, the data necessary to run Teams are often stored in other applications and contain not only the data generated while using the app but also many different parameters necessary to run Microsoft Teams. This includes crucial settings, membership data, and other important configurations. An office 365 backup can store the projects completed within teams and all the different settings and options, which might also have to be restored in case of a disaster and data loss. In this topic you may also line the article about 5 Reasons to Backup Microsoft Teams.

Watch the latest Microsoft 365 apps security webinar to learn more:


The Microsoft 365 shared responsibility model is a collaboration between Microsoft and the customer to ensure the security and compliance of their data. Under this model, Microsoft is responsible for the security of the cloud infrastructure, while the customer is responsible for the security of their data and applications within the Microsoft 365 environment.

One of the key reasons organizations need to backup their Microsoft 365 data is to protect against data loss. Despite the robust security measures in place by Microsoft, data loss can still occur due to a variety of factors such as human error, malicious attacks, or natural disasters. By backing up their data, organizations can ensure that they have a copy of their important information that can be restored in the event of data loss.

Another reason to backup Microsoft 365 data is to meet compliance requirements. Depending on the industry and location of the organization, there may be specific regulations and standards that require the protection of certain types of data. By backing up their Microsoft 365 data, organizations can demonstrate their compliance with these regulations and avoid potential fines or penalties.

In addition, backing up Microsoft 365 data can also provide organizations with additional flexibility and control over their data. For example, they can choose to retain their data for a specific period of time, or they can selectively restore only certain pieces of data rather than restoring their entire Microsoft 365 environment.

Overall, backing up Microsoft 365 data is a crucial part of the shared responsibility model and can help organizations protect against data loss, meet compliance requirements, and gain additional control over their data.

If you are serious about the security of your data stored and processed as part of Microsoft 365 applications and services (Exchange, SharePoint, One Drive or Microsoft Teams), you should definitely test Storware Backup and Recovery. Use the free Trial or contact us if you are interested in a one-on-one demo.

text written by:

Paweł Piskorz, Presales Engineer at Storware