Is your data really protected in Office 365?

Is your data really protected in Office 365? by James Forbes-May, Vice President of APAC Sales, Barracuda Networks

Moving to Office 365 is what can be referred to as a “no brainer”. It will streamline and collaborate office workflow easily since the whole MS office suite is available online. Real-time edits, improvements and comments can be made quickly without having to check out and download documents, providing for flexibility in terms of mobility while adding value with quick correspondence on customer complaints.

The anywhere, anytime access to email, documents, contacts and calendar on almost any device gives you mobility and control of your time and location. Communication and collaboration between colleagues and partners will be made much more convenient.
The decision to migrate, based on these kind of advantages is an easy one. However, when we look into how you do the migration, we find that the process involved is not. In fact, the level of thought, planning and consideration for the transition and implementation is significant. In addition, just because Office 365 is delivered “as a Service” it does not mean you will be vanquished of ongoing management and security responsibilities.

The Office 365 transition involves the entire organisation, it is a major project undertaking. Every legacy email needs to be located and accounted for and a strategy needs to be created and implemented to decide what is made available and what is archived. Quite simply it doesn’t make sense from a cost or time perspective to attempt to migrate all legacy data to be immediately available to online users. Legacy information can and should be handled differently.
Numerous issues exist which must be considered in the migration process – these include:

  • Migration of each individual user’s profile and settings to their new online mailbox (client configuration)
  • Setting up Single Sign-on Client downloads
  • Configuring Windows Mobile Devices for Office 365 users with mobile devices
  • Configuring specific Mac (Apple) clients
  • Configure the new environment to work with existing applications such as e-faxing and anti-spam

A key area that has to be given specific attention is backup. It is easy to be lulled into thinking that Office 365 in built backup is the answer to ongoing data protection requirements. However, Cloud is no different to the old days of in built OS backup applications. Microsoft were great at building an OS but their attempts to include a business grade data protection engine free with the OS always came up short. Anyone needing business grade data protection needed to buy a complementary specialist product. The same is true with cloud, Microsoft have created a great online platform to serve and run Office applications, but their inbuilt Data Protection still comes up short.

The “backup” capability is a highly manual process, in the case of human errors that lead to inadvertent deletions the duration you remain protected is extremely short. It does not enable “wholesale” recovery. As an example it is not possible to return large sets of data to an earlier state.

Barracuda understand Office 365, more importantly we understand security and protection of your Office 365 data. Once you have bought into the business benefits for making the transition, the next step must be to build a robust security and protection plan. Barracuda can help you build that plan and provide the tools to execute on it.

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