Five ways you could lose your Office 365 data

Office 365 Cloud Backup from EverSafe!

When using a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) option like Office 365, managing your data is important. In 2018, Office 365 reached over 155 million users worldwide, making it Microsoft’s fastest growing platform.

With many businesses adapting Cloud-based environments, having the right backup options has come much slower. Often, owners are unaware of the severity of losing data on their platforms, whether Office 365 or another SaaS option.

Here, we’ll talk about five serious threats and how the proper backup tool can prevent such costly issues.

Is Office 365 data safe?

Some might immediately jump to this conclusion when it comes to their data security in various SaaS options like Office 365.

In truth, there are two possibilities to consider when losing your data.

  • Data being lost on the part of your SaaS provider.
  • User issues resulting in some form of data loss internally.

Reality Check: Microsoft, or another SaaS provider, isn’t going to be the cause of your data loss. Many providers have top-notch security which can prevent data from being damaged or lost. If data loss does occur, backups make it possible to avoid permanently losing your information.

The more common result is that it’s the fault of users that they will incur data loss at one point or another. Similarly, most firms have very few options for full restoration, without a strong Office 365 backup.

Let’s see what are some common user threats facing companies.

  1. Accidental Deletion

Whether we admit it or not, accidents can happen, even within the confines of your data systems.

Half of all SaaS data losses are caused by employees accidentally deleting items. Usually unintentional, these mistakes can impact your firm if the information is irreplaceable.

Specific Office 365 examples, which can occur across the entire set of applications include:

  • Deleted files and folders from OneDrive.
  • Accidentally erasing data from Excel spreadsheet cells.
  • Deleting Outlook emails.
  • Removing slides or other items from PowerPoint.

Why do these things happen?

Because they’re going to. Accidents, whether unintentional or not, will occur for the following reasons:

  • Users click the wrong thing and delete something they’re not supposed to.
  • They intend to delete something they don’t expect to use anymore, only realizing, later on, it’s needed.

At present, Office 365 does have some limited support for restoring lost items in different cases. For instance, If an item is deleted in SharePoint Online, it’s then stored in the Recycle Bin for 93 days. After that, it’s permanently deleted.

Your office should implement a “No Deletion” policy within their organization and its various departments. No matter, what’s put into effect, a critical item will be deleted three to four times a year by mistake.

  1. Intentionally Deleting Items

In contrast to accidentally removing something, some people will remove items because they know they’re important.

Why would that even happen?

If an employee is terminated from your company, they might clear out their folders, including all major data.  An Outlook inbox, his OneDrive folders, everything is erased including critical client communications and other primary contacts. All of which is needed by other employees continuing from where they left off.

Even if the employee wasn’t terminated, those with resentment and leaving for a new job may delete critical data as well. According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, 7% of companies that experience data loss claimed it was due to “malicious deletion.”

If any employee is leaving, your Office 365 administrator should be contacted as soon as their departure is public. This can prevent deletions from occurring and avoid any potential damage from rouge actions.

  1. Malware and Cybersecurity Attacks

Despite our best efforts, the risk of cyber attacks always exists within your business.

A Microsoft data center has a low chance of being hacked, but no Cloud infrastructure is perfect. Microsoft has developed data centers, backed by numerous levels of security. Any attack that gets past these defenses would be blocked by their security barriers and supported by Backups.

Yet what happens when the issues happen on the customer end? If you guessed you’re up the creek without a paddle without your own SaaS backup, you’re right.

Some common examples of these attacks include:

  • Ransomware: When you’re hit by one of these, files will be overwritten and corrupted in your Office 365 folder.
  • Phishing Attack: By tricking you to input key information, logins, passwords, email addresses, this can cause data theft and removals throughout your system.
  • Malware: Via a bad email attachment, this infects your computer with spyware and other malware viruses that lead to severely compromised data in your Office 365 system.

Each of these events involves something occurring on the user’s end, which is important for how applications can suffer critical data loss.

If a hacker was able to access to your Office 365 account and began removing data, the application will act as though it’s following user commands. It would not be able to distinguish between what is an actual or false deletion request. As a result, data recovery ends up on users, instead of Microsoft.

Training your staff, stricter rules for potential risk factors can do more for your workplace than imagined. Understanding these elements can come in handy when dealing with unknown email and internal scenarios.

  1. Bad Data Migrations

This is one possibility where you can lose a ton of data in a short time and many users don’t expect it.

Transferring items between different systems can pose their own problems if done incorrectly. During this, there’s always the possibility of deleting or overwriting whole sections of information. When wrongly configured, one mistake can lose large periods of data in an instant.

One example occurs when moving from an On-Premise deployment to the Cloud, for instance, Exchange or SharePoint. It’s easy in these scenarios to miswrite, poorly label or overwrite your items without realizing it.

This can be made far worse if you’re using a third party tool that’s integrated within Office 365. Issues that can come about with these tools include:

  • Misconfigured tool settings.
  • Bugs in the tools itself that sets off migration issues.
  • Security holes that result in compromised data when transferred.

Additionally, any type of migration tool can result in catastrophic data loss if it’s not properly set up. Referring back to the Aberdeen Group study, 17% of businesses said they lost their SaaS data due to overwrites caused by either the user or a poorly integrated third party tool.

  1. User Licenses Cancelled

There’s always a chance of rogue employees deleting data when they’re leaving your organization. However, accidental removals can be caused, without you being aware of it.

Let’s say your accountant is leaving the company and is no longer using their Office 365 account. As a result, it’s cancelled or left to expire when the license runs out.

Unfortunately, no one retrieved his important items which were directly tied to the entire department. Now that the license expired, all his data has been deleted.

No option in Office 365 will allow you to retrieve his items once they’ve been permanently removed.

To avoid this, stronger rules for license management, alongside transferring critical data to other systems, reduces your risk of this occurring. Knowing about each employee’s ongoing license, while preparing data backups for every eventuality, can make a huge difference.

Backup Office 365 with EverSafe!

EverSafe! from Clients First Business Solutions provides you with the best backup tool to restore your Office 365 data. This option offers automatic backups three times a day for your information including:

  • OneDrive: Every file and folder, including every folder structure.
  • Contacts: Your contact information for clients and other business partners.
  • Calendars: Every possible event, including meeting attendance, Attachments, Notes, whatever you have.
  • Mail: Your emails, attachments, folders, etc.
  • SharePoint Data.

EverSafe! is supported by strong search abilities that make it easy to retrieve lost files and folders without any heavy hoops to jump through.

At the same time, this offers unlimited retention, with no barrier to storage or for how long it’s available on EverSafe’s servers.

While it’s impossible to stop every threat we’ve discussed, a backup option can make sure your important data is retrievable when a crisis occurs. Learn more about EverSafe O365 Backup from Clients First Business Solutions. For more info, call us at (732)-970-1450 or online at