Companies all over the world have moved to Microsoft 365 for an endless array of benefits that include workflow mobility; however, the assumption of many companies concerning Microsoft’s responsibility to back up and store their historical data may be faulty. For the most part, Microsoft is concerned with maintaining its infrastructure to provide a seamless productivity experience for you and your employees. It is the individual company’s responsibility to ensure that backups are set up and protected in line with retention regulations, policies, and compliance requirements.
Understanding the Difference Between Backup and Geo Redundancy
One of the things that companies love about Microsoft 365 is the ability it gives them to work from anywhere. If there is a second favorite aspect of Microsoft 365, it would likely be the peace of mind that Microsoft gives them, knowing that if their computer crashes, all their work is still there in the cloud, waiting for them to access it and get back to work.
Where much confusion lies is in the difference between backups and geo-redundancy.
Microsoft 365 gives you geo-redundancy. If a storm, flood, fire, criminal activity, or a hardware breakdown prevents access to your office computer, You can still access your data remotely using any internet-connected device .
Geo redundancy has changed the way we work and do business for the better.
Backups are a different animal altogether.
A backup is when an original historical file is preserved and secured in a secondary location according to retention regulations/policies and compliance mandates.
What many companies think of as “backup” is not backup at all, but instead is geo-redundancy.
What’s So Important About Using Backup as a Service?
Backing up your company’s Microsoft 365 data is critical on both the legal and cybersecurity fronts. This is accomplished by hosting that data in a secured, compliant private data center. Backing up your data regularly and automatically protects you from:
· Accidental Data Deletion
· Retention Policy Non-compliance
· Internal Security Threats
· External Cybersecurity Dangers
· Legal and Compliance Violations
How Does Backup as a Service Work?
In a backup as a service agreement, an IT services firm works closely with a cloud hosting provider (sometimes they are the same entity) to provide you with regular, automated, secure, and compliant backups. The backed up data is stored offsite, and you are billed each month for the data storage and backup service. This agreement works well for most companies because you only end up paying for the service and storage that you use, and the service/storage can easily scale with your growth. Pricing is stable and predictable.
What Gets Backed Up?
There are two primary means of backing up data. There are file-based backup systems and image-based backup systems. In a file-based backup system, just your files – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, etc. – get backed up. This is now an outdated backup system for two main reasons:
· Retention policies and compliance mandates require more information than can be provided by a file-based backup.
· File-based backups aren’t as easy to re-implement as an image backup if a company has to fall back on its historic data copies.
Image-based backups take an image of your entire computing environment, files, applications, operating system, user settings – everything, and back that up. Image-based backups allow an IT specialist to bring a workflow back online on different hardware very quickly.
Image-based backups of your Microsoft 365 environment ensure that your employees can be provisioned with the same online working environment after a hardware crash, fire, flood, or criminal breach as they had before the incident.
BaaS and Ransomware
One of the biggest arguments for the setup of a robust Backup as a Service strategy is the threat of ransomware. Many people have the misguided idea that ransomware is something that you discover the impact of right away. Unfortunately, ransomware can sit on a computer or server for months, quietly encrypting files in the background and only presenting the ransom demand at the criminal’s convenience.
The best defense against ransomware is BaaS. The BaaS regular, automated backup strategy ensures that you have clean files to fall back to if ransomware corrupts your on-site Microsoft 365 files.