The last year has been an interesting social experiment; trying to keep business rolling and communication lines open when meeting face-to-face with someone was nearly impossible. This need to keep business moving and growing led to the rapid adoption of collaborative platforms like Microsoft 365. But with this sudden demand for commination platforms, many companies adopted the technology without much thought to protecting the underlying intellectual property. Briefs that were once handed out in meetings or around office desks has been communicated VIA SharePoint online and OneDrive for Business. Meeting notes are kept in chats and shared in Word documents. From November 2019 to April 2021, the number of active Microsoft Teams users has jumped from 20 million to over 145 million. Now that business demand has been fulfilled, it is time to take a serious look at protecting company property.
When moving to the cloud for various “as a Service” products, companies shift some of their responsibilities to the cloud providers. In some cases, this relationship is interpreted as a complete relinquishment of responsibility for the data, which is not the case. The lines of responsibility are clarified in what Microsoft calls the Microsoft Shared Responsibility model. None of the offerings from Microsoft relieve the customer’s responsibility for protecting and archiving their data against attacks. To read more on this Shared Responsibility, check out Why backup OneDrive for Business and The Office 365 Shared Responsibility Model.
Next step in protection
Understanding the business role in protecting company assets like intellectual property in Microsoft 365 is the first step in avoiding a calamity, or what I like to call “resume-generating events.” Next is to come up with a plan to protect this data and take back control. Like in any fight against data loss, there is no magic bullet, only layered plans to maximize the likelihood of surviving various types of data loss. Good, layered defenses are made of many rules and recommendations; there is no right choice for everyone, but gathering as much information about the subject as possible can help your company make the right choice. For a list of the top issues, check out this Office 365 Backup for Dummies and 6 Reasons Why Office 365 Backup is Critical.
Taking control of Microsoft 365 data
A key concept in protecting Microsoft 365 data is to take back control of data, and the best way to do this is with backup. Microsoft does replicate Microsoft 365 across servers and regions, but this data is real-time replication with no archiving. So, if data is lost or corrupt, that same corruption is replicated across data centers. A backup needs to have an actual separation of infrastructure and archival points to be useful in the event of data loss. Ideally, there should also be a separation of privileged accounts that protect the backed-up data separate from the product data access so that if one is compromised, not all data is lost. Finally, considerations also need to be made around how long data must be kept, especially for users who leave the organization.
Partner-powered Microsoft 365 backup with Lenovo
The Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 product helps in the management and archival of Microsoft 365 data, offering flexible deployment options to meet business needs. Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 partnered with Lenovo to provide options for backing up Microsoft 365 data with a true separation of infrastructure and control.
Collaborative platforms were widely adopted over the last year, and they are here to stay. As administrators, it is our responsibility to protect the data generated in these platforms. Layered defenses are the only way to minimize the risk of data loss.
Last, check out our new joint e-book entitled “Why organizations need a data management strategy with Microsoft Office 365.” This e-book walks you through seven vulnerabilities that you need to consider for your Office 365 data, and how to protect this increasingly valuable asset.