The last few years have seen a significant increase in business reliance on Microsoft 365? (formerly known as Office 365), with the product quickly becoming the de facto standard. Five years after its initial launch in 2011, Microsoft 365 emerged as the most widely used enterprise cloud service by user count.

Today, with more people than ever working remotely, the importance of offering data protection and security for Microsoft 365 has never been greater for managed service providers (MSPs) hoping to secure their customers, both large and small.

Under the shared responsibility model, Microsoft is focused on the physical security of its data centers, the availability of active data, as well as authentication and identification within its cloud services. However, just because Microsoft accepts responsibility for the underlying infrastructure, that does not mean they own the data. User organizations, in conjunction with their MSP, are still responsible for the recoverability and retention of their data. Backing up Microsoft 365 data to the cloud is the best way to meet that responsibility.

Benefits of Office 365 Backup:


Despite modern technological advances, any process that involves humans inevitably opens up the possibility for human error. Even when these errors are minor, they can easily result in the accidental deletion of important data. Whether a deletion occurs because an end user accidentally hits ???elite?? instead of ???ave,??or because of a clumsy PowerShell command, MSPs need to be able to keep these accidental data deletions from becoming permanent and eventually affecting their customers.

Unfortunately, Microsoft 365 doesn??? always provide the data retention capabilities that MSPs need. The default recycles bin retention period is set to 14 days. Though an administrator can change that period to 30 days instead of 14, that still does not leave a substantial amount of time to discover that something critical was accidentally deleted. If you don??? have a Microsoft 365 cloud backup process in place, that information will be completely unrecoverable once those 30 days are up.

Accidental deletion accounts for 70% of SaaS data loss. Without cloud backup, the risks are real???nd MSPs responsible for protecting their customers??data need to have a fail-safe in place to mitigate these risks.


Once an employee leaves a company, retaining their email data can be a costly endeavor. Maintaining access to said data in the long term can be important, as you never know when you might realize that a departed employee had the exact information you???e looking for. Unfortunately, Microsoft only retains email data for user accounts for a short period of time after the account is deactivated.

Given that most organizations likely don??? want to keep paying a monthly subscription fee for an employee who has left the company, the best way to make sure that email data is saved and available for use is by using a third-party backup solution. Azure Backup Service can ensure that Microsoft 365 account data is still available, searchable, and recoverable, long after an employee leaves the company and their account is deactivated.

While it is possible to retain the data through Microsoft 365 itself if you share the account information with an active user before it is deleted, relying on this alone can leave a business vulnerable to accidental data loss. Whether it??? due to human error or miscommunication, simply relying on mailbox sharing to save your data could lead to an accidental violation of data retention policies. By using a third-party backup solution like SolarWinds Backup, you can retain Exchange data for seven years. That means no more paying to maintain active accounts for ex-employees or needing to worry about potential retention gaps.


We generally like to think the best of people, especially our employees???ut not everyone is always worthy of that trust. Even if we remove the possibility of human error, there??? always the chance that disgruntled or dishonest employees may intentionally put important data at risk.

Suppose someone secretly deletes sensitive data and quietly waits for the recycle bin to run out the clock. In that case, you might find yourself in serious trouble with no way to recover critical data that has now been permanently deleted. Given that Microsoft 365 has no way of knowing if a deletion was accidental, intentional, or malicious, there is no available recourse once the recycle bin is emptied. The only way to protect your data in the face of malicious internal activity is through a third-party backup solution.

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