When it comes to SaaS business applications, Microsoft 365 is a clear standout. With more than 200 million active monthly users, it has left competitors such as Google Workspace in the dust.

Microsoft 365 is without a doubt the most popular choice for business systems infrastructure. But before you get too comfortable, there are some things you should know about how Microsoft does—and does not—protect your 365 data.

Microsoft’s shared responsibility model means they protect the infrastructure and keep the systems up and available, but it’s up to you to secure your organization’s data. It doesn’t provide long-term retention or point-in-time restore capabilities; the recycle bin is cleared after 90 days with no way to recover data once it’s emptied, and you can only restore a deleted mailbox within 30 days. 

Your Microsoft 365 data isn’t automatically protected. Here’s how you can  bridge critical security gaps. >>

All that to say, if you are one of the 56 percent of companies that rely on Microsoft 365 for business-critical functions, you need to get your data security and disaster recovery strategies in order now, before you need them.

It just takes one successful ransomware attack or a direct hit from a hurricane to demonstrate how vulnerable your 365 data really is. But when everything is going well, it’s easy to take data protection for granted and lose sight of the “whys” behind the need for a data loss prevention initiative.

To help you get laser-focused on the importance of protecting your Microsoft 365 data, we’ve broken down five of the most critical reasons to invest your time and your money in third-party backup and cybersecurity solutions.

Safeguard Business-Critical Services

When a disaster strikes, you lose money, productivity, and even customers every minute your systems are down. Your data protection solution should include cloud backup for Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business, as well as all other physical, virtual, and cloud workloads. 

When you implement a solution with point-in-time backup capabilities, not only can your critical applications be recovered quickly, but if the outage occurred due to a ransomware attack, you can also restore a copy of your files from immediately before the attack occurred and encrypted your files.

Restore Data Quickly

Maintaining business continuity is the top priority when your network is down. A third-party data protection solution is a must to ensure normal-ish operations can be resumed quickly. 

For maximum speed of recovery, look for a product that offers granular recovery capabilities and safeguards email via a unified, web-based UI. Your choice should also enable recovery of entire SharePoint site collections or select lists, libraries, and documents from the point-in-time copy.

Choose the Platform That Fits Your Needs

Today’s IT environments are extremely complex, so be sure your data protection solution is up for the challenge. It’s important to select a Microsoft 365 backup platform that meets your organization’s specific needs, whether it’s software, hardware, cloud-based, or some combination of them all.

Find a solution that ticks all the boxes by copying backups to tape devices, tape libraries, and cloud storage, including Amazon S3 and Azure Blob Storage. Such a solution will ensure that your Exchange, SharePoint, and OneDrive files are completely protected from loss.

Save Time and Money

A robust Microsoft 365 data protection solution will help streamline the backup and recovery process, saving your IT team both time and money. Keep things simple (and more secure) with a unified management interface for fully integrated disaster recovery and backup across your entire IT infrastructure. 

You can also significantly decrease overhead by taking advantage of efficient, built-in deduplication to reduce your storage capacity requirements for OneDrive, Exchange, and SharePoint data.

Maintain Security and Compliance

Personal data is a hot commodity these days, both for businesses and for cybercriminals. Failure to secure your customers’ data can result in expensive compliance penalties and legal fines.

Countries throughout the world are instituting more and more data use regulations, and industries like healthcare and finance are continually juggling new and more stringent compliance requirements. To stay on the right side of these rules, you need a 365 data protection strategy that includes both data loss prevention and cybersecurity capabilities. 

For example, Arcserve solutions secure your Microsoft 365 data from cybersecurity threats such as ransomware with fully integrated Sophos Intercept X Advanced technology. They also provide AES encryption and role-based access control to meet the standards for GDPR and other international regulations.

Microsoft 365 holds a huge share of the SaaS business application market, but don’t let its popularity make you complacent. When it comes to securing your organization’s business-critical data and systems, you always have to read the fine print.

Microsoft’s shared responsibility model protects your data in its highly secure data centers. However, if your data is lost due to a non-Microsoft software failure issue such as a ransomware attack, human error, intentional deletion, or programmatic issues, your only hope for recovery is the data protection strategy you implement yourself. 

Download Don’t Get Caught Assuming: How to Protect Microsoft Office 365 Data for further advice on keeping your Exchange, SharePoint, and OneDrive data secure and easily recoverable after an unplanned outage or cybersecurity event.

Download the Guide: Don’t Get Caught Assuming: How to Protect Microsoft 365 Data