Four Reasons Your Office 365 Data Isn’t as Safe as You ThinkMarch 7th, 2017 by Sam Cobley
With Office 365, all of your data, including emails, calendars, and files, live in a Microsoft cloud that is beyond your control. Although Microsoft offers a financially backed guarantee of 99.9% uptime with state-of-the-art redundancy at every layer, there are four good reasons why you need to invest in a cloud-to-cloud backup service.
Many organisations fall under strict email and document retention regulations, where failure to comply can lead to expensive fines or worse. By default, deleted Office 365 data is non-recoverable after a maximum of 30 days. Longer retention times are only possible with more costly or expensive editions of Office 365. And if your Office 365 subscription is ever cancelled, all your data is automatically deleted after 90 days. By having backup copies of your Office 365 data, you can comply with regulations regardless of your Office 365 edition and whether or not the subscription is cancelled.
The Office 365 terms of service currently limit Microsoft’s liability to $5,000 or an organisation’s last 12 months subscription fees should anything happen to your data—assuming you can prove it was Microsoft’s fault. In contrast, the liability your organisation might face if your Office 365 data was lost is potentially unlimited. Given the amount of risk organisations bear, it’s prudent to keep a copy of your Office 365 backup data in a secure, non-Microsoft location.
3. Audit Rights
The Office 365 terms of service give organisations no audit rights. This is problematic if, as part of an audit, your organisation is required to show the physical location where your data is stored. On the other hand, if you maintain a backup copy of your Office 365 data in a secure location that is auditable, then that may be an acceptable way to work around the problem.
4. Vendor Lock-in
Having all Office 365 data in the Microsoft cloud effectively marries your organisation to Microsoft, for better or for worse. So if you want to keep your options open, maintaining a backup copy of your Office 365 data makes it much easier for you to migrate to another vendor’s office productivity service should you want to do so.