Is Your Organization Properly Backing Up its Email?

Email Backup

“Wait, my Outlook email is hosted in the cloud so it’s automatically backed up, isn’t it?”

In a word: No.

Microsoft is responsible for its platform (on a limited basis), you’re responsible for the data… that’s the nature of your agreement. Same with Google.

The same is true whether you use Microsoft Office 365 or G Suite – some people use a combination, preferring 365 apps but the Gmail platform. Even though the Microsoft terms of use state multiple times that users are responsible for their own data backups, most subscribers assume their emails are backed up and secure since they are hosted in the cloud.

Here are four crucial questions which highlight the way you should understand your own email data responsibilities:

Will I Retain My Data? As technology evolves rapidly, businesses often struggle to keep up with the pace. This can result in policy development falling behind the adoption of new technologies, leading to potential gaps in data retention, including your emails. Microsoft Office 365’s backup and retention policies are limited and primarily designed to handle situational data loss, rather than comprehensive protection.

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Am I Protected Against Cybercrime? Data loss is often caused by inadequate digital security. Without the right defenses, cybercriminals can infiltrate your IT system with ransomware or other malware, compromising company data, including your locally stored emails. While employing proper antimalware solutions can minimize the risk, internal threats such as malicious employees can be just as damaging as external cybercriminals. Proper email backup is a vital threat mitigator.

Am I Protected Against Human Error? Data protection heavily relies on user behavior, making it vital to educate your employees about secure practices. The more your workforce understands the security measures in place, the more confidently they can use technology in a secure manner. A malicious insider is always a threat, but accidental deletions can have detrimental effects on data integrity, too. Without a reliable backup solution, a single accidental click or can lead to permanent data loss.

Am I Compliant? Compliance with modern regulations requires redundant data backups. It is crucial to understand the specific backup requirements outlined by your industry’s compliance regulations and ensure your backup methods align with those standards.

What to Seek in an Email Data Backup Solution

To enhance the data backup capabilities of your email system, consider the following requirements when selecting a backup solution:

Comprehensive Backups: The solution should offer backups that facilitate quick recovery in the event of data loss, with a preference for offsite cloud-based backups to address critical disaster situations effectively.

Regular Testing: As our close friend at a ransomware recovery firm always reminds us, the first rule of backups is that your first attempt to recover them fails. Don’t make a disaster situation the first time you find out whether your backup really works!

Convenient Restoration: Avoid settling for cumbersome, all-or-nothing backup approaches. Your backup solution should allow you to select a specific point in time for restoration in case of deleted or corrupted data or malicious intrusions.

Ultimately, the key lies in finding a reliable third-party backup solution that safeguards your data against hardware failures, ransomware attacks, human errors, and unforeseen circumstances.

Outages at the tech behemoths are rare but trust us: they do happen.

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