5 Reasons You Should Back Up Office 365

Most people understand the need to back up data on their computer. Anything from a hard drive crash to laptop theft can mean that data is gone forever if it hasn’t been properly backed up.

But if that same data is in a cloud service, like Office 365 (now known as Microsoft 365), businesses often have a false sense of security and don’t give a thought to backing it up separately.

Part of the confusion comes with mistaking an online data storage platform (like OneDrive) with a backup and recovery platform that is specifically designed for data backup.

Some of the differences are:

  • Cloud storage syncs with a user device and files can be overwritten
  • Cloud backup copies all files and saves them in a backup by date


  • Files in cloud storage can be accidentally deleted by a user
  • Files in cloud backup aren’t readily accessed by a user and only used when recovery is


  • Cloud storage isn’t designed as a file recovery system
  • Cloud backup’s second component is recovery, designed to easily restore all files if

80% of businesses have lost their data from a cloud SaaS (Software as a Service) platform.

If you’re not currently backing up your Microsoft 365 files, then you’re leaving all that business data at risk of being damaged or lost.

Here’s Why It’s Important to Back Up Your Cloud Data

Organizations have increasingly found the need for a business infrastructure that allows for anywhere operation. Companies have also found that using the cloud helps to lower costs and reduce risk.

Protecting that cloud data in Microsoft Office 365 and other applications is important to ensuring business continuity. Here’s why:

Accidental Deletion/Overwrite

Cloud data in OneDrive is “live” meaning it’s designed to stay up to date. If you edit a file, the file in the cloud reflects that update. This is effective for keeping everyone in sync with the same companywide files, but it’s not helpful if you need a backup of your data from a week ago.

Employees can easily make mistakes and overwrite or delete data. And if that error isn’t caught in time, the data could be gone forever from your cloud account.

Confusion with Retention Policies

When your data is being handled in Microsoft 365, there are various retention policies that impact how long emails will be kept, how long deleted files will be kept, and how long you have to retrieve a deleted user’s files.

For example, if you delete a user account without transferring their data to another user, it will be permanently deleted from the system in 30 days.

When you back up your Microsoft 365 data, you don’t have to worry about not having access to older emails or files that were accidentally deleted past the retention date. You can keep your files however long you like and archive them.

Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks that make files unusable by encrypting them don’t only hit company networks, cloud storage can also be subject to a ransomware infection. If you don’t have a backup of that data to restore, you can end up having to pay a ransom and just hoping the hacker holds up their end of the bargain.

In Q1 of 2020, the average ransomware payment increased 33% to $111,605.

Insider Attacks

Insider attacks fall into two categories. One is disgruntled employees who may delete files or data right before they leave the company. The other is when a hacker gains access to a user account by stealing their credentials.

These types of attacks on cloud accounts are particularly dangerous and difficult to detect because a legitimate user login can bypass security protections put in place to detect intrusions.

An insider attack can wipe out all data in a cloud account pretty quickly and without a backup in place, you’ll be left with a major data loss incident.

Cloud System Outage

Microsoft and other cloud service providers do all that they can to keep your data protected. They put in redundant systems on their side and have large data centers full of engineers just looking after those IT assets.

BUT, with all those protections, Microsoft still warns users that they need to back up their data separately in case of an outage on their side.

According to Microsoft’s Services Agreement, “In the event of an outage, you may not be able to retrieve Your Content or Data that you’ve stored. We recommend that you regularly backup Your Content and Data that you store on the Services or store using Third-Party Apps and Services.”

Need Help Putting Reliable Backup in Place for Microsoft Office 365?

Cleartech Group can help your business put cloud backup and recovery solutions in place that ensure you’re covered in the case of data loss from Microsoft 365 or another cloud platform.

Contact us today to discuss your backup options! Call us to chat at 978-466-1938 or reach out online