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4 Common Misconceptions About Data Security for Microsoft Office 365

Are you relying on Microsoft services and infrastructure to protect your Microsoft 365 data? Unfortunately, native Microsoft 365 data protection falls short of providing the backup and restore functionality that most businesses require. Today’s businesses require a solution that can provide comprehensive Microsoft 365 backup while also meeting enterprise-level disaster recovery and compliance requirements.

Microsoft 365, like your on-premises applications and data, can be compromised. Data can be damaged or lost for a variety of reasons, including human error, accidental changes and deletions, and malicious activities such as viruses and ransomware. Here are a few examples of how your Microsoft 365 data can be compromised:

  • Malware or ransomware can delete or encrypt files.
  • Phishing for hacking
  • Impersonation of a Microsoft 365 administrator through the use of an Access key, a Secret Access key, and a domain

While Microsoft hosts the infrastructure for its productivity suite, it does not offer comprehensive data protection or disaster recovery services. Here are the top common misconceptions about Microsoft 365 environment security:

  • No Need For Backup

The Azure cloud is essentially a large, distributed physical data center that faces the same challenges as your own. A quick review of recent Azure outages demonstrates that equipment can fail. System downtime and business disruptions have been exacerbated by broken cooling pumps, faulty devices, surges in network traffic, and other factors.

To help protect against accidental file loss or damage, Microsoft provides versioning capabilities for OneDrive and SharePoint. Versioning can aid in the recovery of an older version of a file, but it does not provide data protection for the most recent version. Users may need to spend a significant amount of time restoring an older version of a file to its pre-damage state.

Worse, malware could infiltrate all versions and delete or damage them all. If you lose OneDrive or SharePoint due to a disaster or malicious activity, you will lose all version history.

  • Data Security

Many large organizations are now migrating to the cloud and Office 365, demonstrating Microsoft’s ability to provide enterprise-class security and compliance. A financially backed guarantee of 99.9% uptime demonstrates the service’s dependability.

Many people believe that once your data is in the cloud, Microsoft, governments, and other third parties will have access to it, or that the data no longer belongs to you. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You own and control your data, and Microsoft processes it on your behalf. Microsoft does not use your data for anything other than the operation of your business.
  • Your data is not accessible to Microsoft engineers. They do not include any backdoors in your data, and no third parties have access to it.
  • Your data is encrypted both at rest and in transit, and Microsoft will notify your administrator if they require access to your data (usually to solve a support issue you have logged)
  • Not only does Microsoft ensure that they meet all of the major compliance requirements, but if you have specific industry regulatory requirements to meet, Microsoft can help you with that as well.

At Microsoft’s data centers, your data is protected by the highest levels of data security and physical security. There are very few companies that can compete with Microsoft’s security and data protection levels, which is why more and more businesses are looking to move to the cloud. Learn more about data security by visiting Microsoft’s Office 365 Trust Centre.

  • Not Cost Effective

A common misconception is that Microsoft’s monthly subscription model exists solely to enrich Microsoft and provides poor value for money. This viewpoint is based on the outdated belief that purchasing perpetual licenses provides better value over 5 years than monthly payments.

However, because Microsoft products (and technology in general) move quickly, these products and services quickly become dated, if not obsolete. Companies that pursue the ‘for life’ licensing model risk falling behind in technology and spending more overall by having to buy the same licenses over and over every three years, or potentially large up-front sums to update because there is no longer a logical upgrade path. We won’t even get into the operational advantages of potential downtime when an in-house server decides it no longer wants to work!

Moving to a monthly subscription model almost always represents good value and provides an opportunity to shift business expenses to an OpEx model, avoiding significant investments in software on a CapEx basis.

  • Not Worth The Investment

The events of the past year demonstrate that moving your business to the cloud is essential if you want to compete in today’s virtual marketplace. Businesses must be able to connect seamlessly with their customers and partners to continue doing business and take full advantage of the growth opportunities that digitalization provides. You can ensure that your cloud migration is well-planned and executed with minimal disruption to your daily operations by partnering with an integrated IT support service to handle the heavy lifting.

When all is said and done, it’s easy to see why there are some common misconceptions about Office 365. Office 365 is a dynamic and extremely powerful solution for businesses of all sizes. If you’re curious about what’s to come with Office 365, Microsoft has a dedicated roadmap site that shows all updates that have been launched, are in development or have already been released.

If you already use Office 365 and believe you aren’t getting the most out of it, we can provide support and training to help you get the most out of it. If you are not currently using Office 365 but are interested in what it can offer your company, we would be happy to give you a live demo to show you firsthand how it can benefit your company.