Office 365 Outages Are Out of Your Control - But Your Data Doesn’t Have to Be

Office 365 Outages Are Out of Your Control - But Your Data Doesn’t Have to Be

Microsoft Office 365 has more than 155 million monthly active users, which means Microsoft’s uptime is critical to millions of businesses worldwide. Yet during the last several months, Microsoft has been struggling to ensure that users don’t experience interruption. The latest outage occurred this past Monday, February 18, crippling Microsoft Teams users for several hours.

 

While it’s easy to expect technology to “just work,” the truth is that for myriad reasons it doesn’t always. That’s true whether you’re leveraging cloud solutions like Office 365 or local storage options. The difference in the cloud is that you’re “renting” a solution that operates remotely. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to maintain control of your data.

Let’s consider three common instances when using Office 365 can prove costly for the unaware:

 

1. Deletions Happen

Most businesses don't appreciate that emails, attachments, and shared files stored on the Office 365 platform remain vulnerable to common and serious data loss issues. These threats put your business data – and therefore your business – at risk.

Syncing and sharing across your organization can easily lead to accidental deletions. If one person accidentally deletes the file, Office 365 automatically removes the file across the platform – that functionality can be a blessing and a curse for users.

 

2. Hackers Look for Easy Targets

Because malicious actors know most organizations use Microsoft products, they focus on finding weaknesses in the software where they can point their attacks. Cybercriminals know that most organizations don’t update their software regularly and use that knowledge to take aim at insecure systems.

What does this mean for your business? It means that malicious actors actively target Microsoft Office 365 users so that they can deploy malware and ransomware on those systems. All you need is one user to get infected for your whole organization to experience a data loss event.

 

3. Compliance is at Stake

Most businesses need to maintain data integrity, confidentiality, and availability to comply with the regulations and standards governing their industries. But Microsoft Office 365 does not enable data security, business continuity, and disaster recovery. This limited functionality means that whether the file deletion was accidental, the act of a rogue employee, or you were the victim of a malware or ransomware attack, your compliance stance could be compromised.

You need third-party solutions to help with those essential tasks, otherwise you could be liable in the case of a data loss event.

In addition to compromising your compliance, a malware attack leaves you at risk for continuous data leakage, confidentiality breaches, and ransomware attacks that hinder availability. These threats risk business disruption, financial loss, and reputational damage.

Finally, since Microsoft Office 365 doesn’t ensure file retention, your use of the platform can lead to non-compliance with records-retention requirements.

 

Microsoft Office 365 Isn’t a Superhero

If you experience a data loss, Microsoft makes it clear they won't be there to save you. Office 365 notes explicitly state that they retain files for a limited time based on the application or contract. If you left a project idle, Microsoft won’t have a copy for you later when you realize you still need a document.

Whether a file is accidentally deleted, corrupted by ransomware, or lost another way, you likely will not be able to restore them using Office 365. Even if it is possible, finding and restoring a lost file using O365 will be self-service only, so you’ll need to rely on user groups or articles for guidance.

 

Final Thought

Office 365 may deliver cost-savings and convenience to your business, but you don’t have to sacrifice control of your data to get those benefits. Acronis Backup gives you access to your data even when Office 365 cannot: You can restore any piece of data right from the backup or restore it to your local infrastructure. This means your data is not only safe and secure, but that you can always access it. You’ll ensure business continuity while reducing costly recovery times so your business keeps running and you stay compliant.

With Acronis, a single, easy-to-use data protection solution for your entire Microsoft environment (and beyond) is at your fingertips. The solution protects all data using multi-level backup encryption and multi-factor authentication via a simple, efficient, agentless backup to the highly secure Acronis Cloud. Plus, Acronis Backup’s artificial intelligence-based Acronis Active Protection technology is built-in, allowing you to effortlessly and proactively defend your data against ransomware, unlike any other solution available.

To learn more about Office 365’s vulnerabilities and how you can avoid them, download our whitepaper: Six Costly Data Protection Gaps in Microsoft Office 365 and How to Close Them