Using M365 or Google Workspace for Backups? You Risk Losing Data

Today, more companies than ever before embrace multi-cloud and hybrid cloud strategies. In fact, an eye-watering 92% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy, and 80% have a hybrid cloud strategy. And in a world where hybrid IT operations are dominating, organizations are looking to Software-as-a-Service technologies to scale the needs of the business. The two most prominent players in this game are Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, formally G Suite.

It's hardly surprising that M365 and Google Workspace have become an integral part of office operations today. These two office suites provide access to scalable cloud email and data storage services that most on-premises environments can't compete with. As a result, they have become vital to the daily operations of businesses worldwide, whether big or small. Google is currently the market leader here, with a nearly 60% market share compared with M365's 40%, but many companies use both.

However, despite these services' extensive utility, they have a notable drawback - data is often at risk. According to a survey conducted by Rewind, a whopping 40% of SaaS application users have lost data. Put simply, Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace have limited backup and recovery services that are inadequate for business use.

It's critical to remember that while these services do offer some form of data protection, ultimately, the responsibility for protecting your data lies with you. Your company will suffer the consequences for lost or stolen data. With this in mind, let's look at why you should be proactive in backing up your M365 or Google Workspace data.

Misconceptions Around Data Stored in the Public Cloud

Many business leaders mistakenly think that if their data is stored in the public cloud, it's immune to data loss. Unfortunately, this is patently false. So, why is this false belief so prevalent?

It likely comes from the confusion between high availability and disaster recovery. Both M365 and Google Workspace boast resilient data centers that promise world-class up-time. In other words, you benefit from system up-time regardless of network failures - this is high availability. But high availability isn't the same as disaster recovery. For example, what happens if you accidentally delete crucial files? Or your data is encrypted by ransomware?

Why You Should Backup Your Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace Data

Inadequate Default Retention Periods for Deleted Data

Microsoft 365 has various policies for online data deletion and retention. For example, if a user deletes a mailbox item like an email message or calendar appointment, it's transferred to a Recoverable Items folder. However, by default, the Exchange Online mailbox only keeps this item for a mere 14 days. And even if you were to adjust the settings, you can only retain recovered items for a maximum of 30 days. With Google, you have 25 days to recover deleted files before they're gone forever.

Additionally, backups occur every 12 hours in M365, which potentially means you can lose 12 hours' worth of data if something goes wrong.

Rogue Administrators or Hackers Can Cause Irreparable Harm

A rogue administrator or other bad actor could leverage their permissions to delete data stored in Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace. You can't be sure with any confidence that you can recover this lost data.

You Are Vulnerable to Ransomware Attacks

The ransomware cybercrime landscape is quickly evolving and more dangerous than ever. For example, cybercriminals increasingly use Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) malware to carry out large-scale attacks. These services are growing in number and are readily available to any cybercriminals who want to use them. Why? Because the creators of these tools receive a cut for every successful ransom payment.

Additionally, ransom demands are higher than ever. For example, ransom demands in the first half of 2021 were 518% higher than in 2020.

Faced with losing their data, organizations often cave to pressure and pay the ransom. For example, the global average of firms paying ransoms is 58%. Unfortunately, if your data is encrypted by ransomware on your desktop, these changes could be replicated in the Microsoft and Google cloud, leaving you powerless.

But of course, there's no need to pay the ransom if you have an alternative backup of your data.

Data Restoration is Often Slow with Cloud Services

You might be out of luck if you want to quickly restore your data due to a hack, unexpected event, or human error. Unfortunately, Microsoft 365 doesn't provide a process for rapidly restoring all your data. Instead, you must submit a ticket to Microsoft for mass recovery and wait for their response. In the meantime, you're left without your data.

Wrapping Up

Relying solely on M365 or Google Workspace to protect your critical business data leaves you vulnerable to data loss. While these services offer numerous benefits and high availability, they fail to meet industry best practices for data loss prevention. Luckily, there is a solution to this problem. Get in touch today to learn how we can help!

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