Office 365 Backup & Restore
Where Microsoft itself doesn’t offer perfect coverage, we give you the ability to protect and restore all critical content. So you are not only protected in case of hardware failure. But also with errors by users, hacks and much more.
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Why do I need a backup of Office 365?
As an Office 365 user, you probably automatically assume that by default you’ll be backing up all the data you store in the cloud. And it is true that there are a number of options that Microsoft offers, but these only ensure a temporary preservation. This is the case, for example, with your trash settings, your retention periods, and version management. However, if you want an automatic Office 365 backup, you should do so yourself.
While enabling retention and versioning can help preserve critical files and email, you’re still responsible for additional data protection scenarios. Without the right backup schedule, data recovery can be very expensive or even impossible!
Microsoft's native backup security:
Standard not covered
The differences between retention periods and making a backup
You would think that a retention period is in fact the same as making a backup, yet this is not so. You can make a backup, while you can set the storage periods yourself within Office 365. There is an important difference between these two, which we will explain below.
A backup ensures that all your data can be retrieved when it is lost. This can be done by, for example, a malfunction or because you have accidentally deleted the data, but also because of an attack or a hack. All files within Office 365 cannot be retrieved by the resources Office provides when they are completely deleted.
Office 365 has retention periods because it is required by certain legal retention periods. This is necessary, for example, when you process personal data that needs to be retained for longer. It is, as it were, a safety net that ensures that all your data is preserved over multiple phases, but can also be preserved for longer. All this so that data is less likely to be lost.
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ISO certified software
We use ISO certified backup software. We use 256-bit encryption, giving you the option to use your own encryption key and storage space. We take data security and privacy very seriously!
Microsoft's default methods
Within Microsoft, there are four methods to help you secure your data:
- Microsoft’s default backup
- Recycle Bin Process
Microsoft's default backup
This option is actually there for Microsoft itself. When there is a calamity, Microsoft offers a data recovery. This can be done by this automatic backup that runs every 12 hours. It is possible for Microsoft to retrieve data up to 14 days ago. When you use this, the backup will restore your PC environment for 12 hours. It is therefore not possible to retrieve only individual mailboxes or data from a SharePoint.
A data recovery request, also known as Restores, must be requested from Microsoft’s support department. This takes quite a bit of time and moreover it can cause a lot of ambiguity. This way you won’t know when the recovery will take place, because there are many other requests. In the event of a calamity, you should therefore join in the back and wait. If you work with sensitive data or just want to get on with your work quickly, you definitely want to avoid this.
Activate your version control, which means that different versions of your data are stored. This can be done with both email and SharePoint. We will explain the differences here.
Email Version Control
If you have version control enabled with your email, it is linked to retention. Pay attention; version control is only available to people who have an Exchange Online 2, E3, or E5 subscription. If retention is activated, there are certain situations where a version of an email message is automatically saved, namely:
- When the subject of an email message changes
- The text of the email message is changed
- An attachment is added or deleted
- Shippers or recipients are added or removed
- The date an email message was sent or received changes
SharePoint Version Control
When using SharePoint, you can activate version control without using retention. Even if you have a subscription where retention is not possible, you can simply activate version control. This ensures that SharePoint isn’t just there for people with an E3 or E5 subscription. Within SharePoint, there are several options for setting up version control. Below are some good reasons to use version control for SharePoint.
- View history of changed items
- Track changes in content
- Compare different versions
- Track changes in Helpdesk tickets
- Restore previous versions of documents
When you have an Exchange Online, E3, or E5 subscription, you can use the retention capabilities of Office 365. These retention options are definitely recommended if you take into account the GDPR legislation. In addition, it is a good reason to use this when data should be stored for a long term standard but also if the data needs to be deleted after a certain period of time.
Since these rules may conflict with each other, retention principles apply. This means that there is a certain order in which the rules come into force. Here’s what it looks like:
- Retention goes above removal
- Longest retention period is leading
- Conditional containment goes above unconditional containment
- Shortest removal period is leading
When you use the retention policy, it provides for the retention or automatic deletion of one version of your data. If you want to keep multiple versions of a particular file, you can use version control.
Microsoft has distinguished between SharePoint and email, which we will explain below:
Retention at SharePoint
At SharePoint, the retention process depends on the data. If the data exists at the time the retention rules are created, a version of the data will be written down when a first change is made to the document after the retention rules have been created. The version as it was before the change will then be written to the ‘Preservation Hold Library’. But the version can also be written off when the data is deleted.
Retention in email
The following retention process is maintained by email:
- When you want to remove an item, it is removed from the ‘deleted items’ folder and moved to the ‘recoverable items’ folder.
- During periodic checks, it is checked whether the items still comply with all established retention rules. If this is not the case, the items will be permanently deleted. If this is the case, the items will remain in the same folder.
Recycle Bin Process
All data that is deleted is stored in the trash. If you use email or SharePoint, there’s also a second trash can where all the data that’s been removed from the primary trash can is stored. Below are the steps that need to be taken with email and SharePoint.
Recycle Bin Process at email
- An email message is deleted.
- It is then stored in the ‘deleted items’ folder where it can remain standing indefinitely.
- The moment the message is removed from this folder, it is moved to a second trash can. This is the ‘recoverable items’ folder. This will keep messages for up to 30 days.
- All messages that are still in after 30 days will be permanently deleted.
Recycle Bin Process at SharePoint
- Data is deleted from SharePoint
- The data is placed in the ‘First-stage recycle bin’, also called the ‘Site recycle bin’.
- The moment data is removed from this trash can, it is moved to the ‘Second-stage recycle bin’, also known as ‘Site collection recycle bin’.
- After 93 days, the deleted data will be permanently deleted, regardless of which trash can it is placed in.
Get a backup automatically
The default settings make Office 365 ideal for securing, editing, and sharing your data. What is only a disadvantage is the limited possibility for making a backup. In addition, a point-in-time backup is also not possible, so a deleted email from six months ago cannot be retrieved with the default settings.
It is also the case that office 365’s default settings do not provide a backup when contacts, files, and emails are accidentally deleted, but also not in the case of internal threats, a ransomware attack, or a hack. It is therefore advisable to have a backup made with another party. Restoring Office 365 can also be done through another party.