Why you need a Sharepoint backup

SharePoint, a part of Microsoft Office 365 package, is nowadays used by many different companies and organizations all over the globe to make their office work smooth and easy. A platform for easy sharing of documents and remote work, SharePoint can be used for many kinds of projects. Because of this, SharePoint often stores essential data, which can be exposed to many potential dangers. Threats from inside and outside of your organization can cause you to lose significant parts of SharePoint’s data and related workloads. You and your organization should have a SharePoint backup to avoid these dangers.

What about SharePoint native protection?

Like many other applications in Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint also has built-in data protection tools. Features such as versioning or the ability to set up retention policies for deleted data can help restore deleted information. Microsoft does not offer a method of restoring data that was deleted for a longer time or data which was accidentally (or intentionally) removed by one of the users. The only way to fully restore data in a disaster like this is to have a functional SharePoint backup.

This is because SharePoint, much like other applications in Microsoft Office 365, functions on a SaaS model — Software as a Service. This model of distribution includes shared responsibility of the data stored within. In other words, Microsoft ensures that you and your organization can access the service smoothly and without issues. Security of the data stored within, as well as its compliance with various data retention policies and other regulations, is the responsibility of the users.

Microsoft is not responsible for any data loss caused by malware, insider attacks, or service outage. And although the native tools will allow you to protect the data lost to a small degree, if you are looking to secure the data, your organization will need a SharePoint backup.

What are the main threats to SharePoint data?

A SharePoint backup can help your organization avoid serious damage if a potential disaster occurs. As a platform for sharing documents and other crucial work-related material, data stored within this collaborative environment can be vital to the organization’s functioning, but also, at the same time, exposed to several different dangers. However, no matter how severe these dangers are, all of them can be dealt with by simply having a functional SharePoint backup ready to be rolled back in case a serious data loss occurs. Here are some of the worst dangers, which can easily be prevented with a SharePoint backup:

  • Accidental deletion

Human error remains the leading cause of most data loss. There are many possible ways in which a simple error can lead to severe consequences, one of them is the accidental deletion of an important document or another piece of data from SharePoint. Since it is commonly used for work and utilized by many different employees simultaneously, data stored within SharePoint often shift places and is often deleted if it is redundant or otherwise no longer necessary to store.

While Microsoft offers features in SharePoint to restore recently deleted data, it’s not uncommon for data that was unnecessary at one point to become relevant in the future. However, restoring such data, which was deleted for a longer period, is not possible for SharePoint unless the information has been backed up. Such data is often removed in bulk, which can, in turn, lead to the unintended deletion of an important piece of information.

A SharePoint backup is also useful to restore data that has not been permanently deleted. Although the built-in recycle bin allows you to restore your data intended for deletion, this is only useful when restoring only a couple of files. Retrieving a larger data library from the recycle bin can be very challenging and clunky to use. In situations like these, simply restoring data from your SharePoint backup can be much more convenient and save you a lot of time.

A SharePoint backup can easily help your organization retrieve important data which might have been deleted at some point in the past. A simple backup restoration will allow you to access any data accidentally removed. According to the shared responsibility model, Microsoft is not obliged to help anyone restore their information in such a situation.

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  • Malware/Ransomware

SharePoint is a platform for sharing files and documents. It will naturally be accessed from several different endpoints. This makes it vulnerable to possible malware and ransomware attacks from external sources. If a user accidentally opens an infected link or a file with malware inside, they can infect all of the documents and information stored within SharePoint.

This makes SharePoint particularly vulnerable to ransomware attacks. An infected piece of data stored within SharePoint can further cause the other files to become encrypted. If this happens, very little can be done to retrieve this data. Most encryption locks cannot be opened without the proper key, which can supposedly be obtained by paying a ransom. It is almost impossible to remove such encryption in any other way, which makes dealing with ransomware attacks particularly difficult.

Although ransomware can very quickly infect and prevent access to the information crucial to the functioning of your organization, there is a simple method of dealing with it. Simply restore a backup from a moment before your data gets encrypted. Having a SharePoint backup ready to be restored can help you and your organization mitigates any dangers related to malware or ransomware.

  • Retrieving older data

Although SharePoint offers a feature allowing users to set up their retention policy, it is not always possible to retain important data this way. While this useful tool can help your organization by creating a copy of any item which gets modified, the total space taken by files generated this way counts towards your total SharePoint online storage quota, effectively decreasing the total amount of data your IT structures can store.

When a user’s account is deleted, it also removes all of the data stored by that user in different applications. This means e-mails, OneDrive files, and the documents they shared via SharePoint can become permanently deleted. Using the retention setting not only eats up precious data space but is also incapable of retrieving data stored past a certain time period.

If any piece of data is hard-deleted from SharePoint, there is no way to retrieve it. The only surefire way to prevent possible loss of important data in situations like these is to have a SharePoint backup. If a piece of data from long ago must be retrieved, this can be done by simply restoring backup files and the information needed.

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