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Have you ever wondered what will happen if your Microsoft 365 data is suddenly corrupted, stolen or lost? You may think Microsoft has your back, but the truth is, they don’t. It’s up to you to back up Microsoft 365 data promptly and responsibly.

Why should businesses back up Microsoft 365 data?

While Microsoft does provide some limited backup functions that businesses can access to restore data in the event of a disaster, ultimately information and data security for SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and on-premises cloud services is the responsibility of the customer. With that in mind, here are five reasons why you should back up Microsoft 365 data, or, for managed service providers (MSPs), why you should convince clients to add backup to the list of services they buy from you.

1. Microsoft isn’t responsible for it

Contrary to popular belief, Microsoft isn’t responsible for your Microsoft 365 data. While they provide several native data protection features to store your data across servers, it’s your responsibility to protect it.

Microsoft has a shared responsibility model that outlines what they’re responsible for, such as the infrastructure and security of the cloud platform, and what customers and cloud solution providers are responsible for, like protecting their or their clients’ data. This means Microsoft isn’t liable for the loss if anything happens to data, such as corruption or accidental deletion. This opens doors for MSPs to provide value by offering recovery and backup services for Microsoft 365.

2. Lost data might not be able to be recovered

Believe it or not, losing data can cause a cascading list of consequences, including loss of time, reputation, productivity and finances. Although Microsoft 365 has built-in features like data replication and configurable retention policies, they’re not foolproof. If you accidentally delete something and don’t realize it until weeks or months after the expiration of the retention period, chances are you won’t be able to recover it. Even if you discover a breach or accidental deletion quickly, recovering those files without granular restoration can be quite challenging.

3. Ransomware and other cyberattacks can have a serious impact on business continuity and your reputation

Ransomware and other cyberattacks are becoming more and more common, and they can have a serious impact on your business. One study reported that 66% of companies experienced ransomware attacks in 2021. Moreover, ransomware attacks increased 92.7% from 2020 to 2021.

If your data is compromised, it can take days or even weeks to recover, during which time your business may be unable to operate. Additionally, ransomware or other cyberattacks can damage your brand reputation, making it harder to retain or attract new prospects.

With immutable recovery and backup solutions to protect your IT and data infrastructures, you can reduce cyberattacks and get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.

4. Compliance rules and regulations are becoming more prevalent, with greater consequences

Many companies face stringent compliance rules and regulations that require them to keep data for a specific period. If you’re non-compliant, you may experience penalties such as fines or litigation.

Whether your clients deal with HIPAA, CJIS or FINRA, they must store data for longer periods of time, or sometimes indefinitely. They may also need to access data quickly to address compliance audits or other requests. The type of granular recovery and search required for this can’t be performed with Microsoft’s basic capabilities. It is, however, something MSPs can offer as a service for clients.

5. When data can be accessed from an increased number of devices, there’s greater risk of both human error and malicious activity

As more companies move to a remote or hybrid workspace, data can be accessed from numerous devices. This creates more risk through both malicious activities and human error.

For instance, employees may accidentally delete files from their mobile devices, or hackers may gain access to your systems and delete crucial data. Without proper data backup, your company can lose valuable information and suffer irreparable damage. Proper endpoint protection can also go a long way here!

How can MSPs help clients back up Microsoft 365 data?

Although there are several ways MSPs can help customers back up Microsoft 365 data, there are three major ones to keep in mind.

1. Offer BaaS

Known as Backup as a Service (BaaS), BaaS is a cloud-based backup solution that allows customers to back up data to a secure offsite location. MSPs can manage the backup process, ensuring their client’s data is safe and easily restored in case of a data loss event. It’s both reliable and cost-effective.

2. Provide training for cybersecurity best practices

MSPs can also offer training sessions for cybersecurity best practices, such as how to determine and prevent phishing attacks, how to build strong passwords and use multi-factor authentication systems. Such initiatives can be used to demonstrate the value of partnering with your MSP, as well as create an additional revenue stream for your business.

3. Educate clients about the risks of poor backup and disaster recovery

Many customers are unaware of the reputational damage and costs related to data loss events or underestimate the likelihood of these events. Even without offering structured training, MSPs can still help customers understand the risks associated with ineffective backup and disaster recovery. By providing clients with basic education about what’s at stake alongside options for protecting data, service providers can do their part to improve clients’ security posture.

Deliver backup for Microsoft 365 and more with an expert partner

Microsoft 365 is of course a premier suite of tools for business productivity and a lucrative offer of choice for MSPs, but a backup solution that gives you full access and control over your data is crucial to avoid data loss risks.

Looking for a way to add Microsoft 365 backup (or backup in general) to your service offerings? Sherweb can help! Our experts equip MSPs with knowledge and resources to deliver Microsoft and other cloud solutions for clients, positioning their practice for growth.

Contact us today to talk about backup for Microsoft 365, or check out our partner guide for more information about how we can support your MSP business.

Written by The Sherweb Team Collaborators @ Sherweb