Yes!   

There you are.  Could have been the shortest blog you ever read.  However, I would imagine you would be rather more interested in the reasons why.  ‘Surely my data is safe in Microsoft’s cloud?’  ‘Don’t Microsoft have a much vaunted file-safety and data-redundancy system in play to protect my data?’

Again the short answer is yes, Microsoft do indeed have a very comprehensive and safe system for protecting your data, but the problem is they do not have any mechanism to protect the data from you.  Actually, I should make that sound a little less personal.  I should put it that your company data is at risk from your employees.  How could that be so?  

There are three key areas where data is lost or corrupted.

1.  End Users delete files on purpose – by mistake.

They don’t mean to.  They thought they were deleting one file but by mistake deleted another.  Maybe they had similar names.  Maybe they weren’t concentrating.  Maybe they though it was a good idea to prune down the amount of files kept.  Whatever the reason, a lot of files that are deleted are done so willingly and usually in good faith.  It seemed like a good idea on the day.  Now of course I hear you saying that the deleted file just goes into the recycle bin.  You can restore it back again.  Yes you can, but only for 93 days after which it’s gone.  You get 30 days in the end user recycle bin and after that you have to go cap in hand to the system administrator to ask them to go foraging.  No wonder we use that old industry aphorism. “Not emptying our recycle bin is not a backup strategy”.

 

Email received from Microsoft.

 

2.  End Users delete files on purpose.

This time they did mean to.  Lots of reasons really.  Maybe they felt a bit self conscious about the terms of a deal offered to a client that were outside the terms of their remit.   Maybe they wanted to leave less of a paper trail for some mistake they didn’t want to ‘come clean’ about.    Maybe they are planning on accepting a job at a competitor.  Or anywhere really, but just not here!  They just don’t want the company trawling over every letter, proposal, agenda etc., just about everything they ever wrote.  Believe me, they won’t wait until they hand in their notice.  This spring cleaning will start well in advance and the recycle bin will be a lost cause by the time you get to review the issue.  I’m not suggesting that every leaver is a malevolent person, intent on doing the company harm.  It’s just that most people like to leave a tidy desk behind and that includes their historical paperwork.  

I also have to say it.  Every now and again there is just one ‘Bad Apple’.  And you really need to protect against them.

3.  Viruses,  Ransomware, Malware  and other things that go bump in the night.

If all the protective company processes, virus protection car and attention actually worked 100% there would be no such thing as a virus.  Once files are infected or corrupted, they are usually done for.  It’s hard to turn the clock back.  “I wish I hadn’t opened that email. “  “I wish I hadn’t clicked on that link”  “I wish I hadn’t uploaded that file to the Teamsite”….  If wishes were horses, so the expression goes.  Well, think of backups as a wish fulfilment strategy.    

But it’s not just data protection against the above that’s the stimulus.  There’s a corporate responsibility to take reasonable steps to protect the company data against ‘all risks’.  Reasonable steps.  Steps against unknown risks.  Sometimes that’s enshrined in law.   You have a legal responsibility to take reasonable steps to safeguard your data and keep copies of records.  Not making any copy at all of your company data would certainly seem to us to be deemed as very ‘unreasonable’.  

Easier Backup takes one copy of your company cloud data.  It then updates that regularly with every updated or new file.  It records if that data was deleted from the cloud but does not delete the backup copy.  One incontrovertible, record.  A copy of what happened in the cloud, safely stored somewhere else.  It’s so inexpensive and totally automatic.  Why take the risk.

And then again….unlikely as it seems…….Microsoft might,  just might, get compromised too.

Let me finish with this.  Smug is not a good look.  It feels just great though, doesn’t it.