Why is backing up Office 365 important?

Businesses are relying on Office365

With the rapid adoption of Office 365 in small and medium businesses, data being stored in the cloud is quickly increasing.  From emails, contacts, and files via OneDrive for Business or SharePoint, small and medium businesses are relying on Office 365 more and more.  Many businesses feel if their data is in the cloud, then everything is safe.  In some respects, they are correct, and other respects they are not.

To help better understand the situation we need to break down the problem into two segments; protecting the Application vs. the Data.  Microsoft ensures you have access to the applications within Office 365, but you’re responsible for the data within the applications.

Microsoft protects the infrastructure that your data resides on from things such as:

  • Hardware failure
  • Software failure
  • Natural disaster
  • Power outage

The Human Element

But who is protecting your data from the human element, or what you might want to call the “unexpected loss”?  Sure Office 365 has some native retention policies, but there are scenario’s that can go beyond the basic retention policies that Microsoft provides, such as:

  • Human error
  • Malicious insiders
  • External hackers
  • Virus / Malware

Many businesses have lost business-critical data simply by accidental deletion. Businesses must realize providers like Microsoft are focused on availability, usability, and accessibility of their applications.  You must worry about the human factor. If it’s by mistake, or intentional, business-critical data can be lost.

Ransomware attacks, especially in the cloud, are on the rise, and we all know how prevalent phishing scams have been. To help combat these attacks businesses should implement enhanced spam filtering tools, and perform security awareness training to their employees, but what happens if something slipped through the cracks?

Implementing the proper data backup solution is the most effective solution to respond to a successful attack. Don’t wait until it’s too late, backup your Office 365 from the Human element.

Ways to protect your digital privacy

According to Gartner.com, by 2020, there will be an estimated 24 billion internet-connected devices globally.

Most of the incidents and data breaches confirm that hackers use techniques that exploit vulnerabilities in both applications and users. Technology alone can’t protect your privacy.

NOTE: According to their latest Data Breach Investigations Report, published by Verizon, 43% of breach victims were small businesses which means that any size organization is a potential target. Unfortunately, nothing changed since 2015 when Symantec published a similar report revealing that 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses.

We have put together a list with what we believe to be vital to protect your digital privacy and your organization’s sensitive data.

Create a culture of privacy in your organization.

Educate all employees on the importance and impact of protecting consumer and business data as well as the vital role they play in keeping it safe.

Browse by using private tabs or incognito.

Today’s web browsers offer their own versions of this form of privacy protection. In Chrome, it’s called Incognito Mode. Firefox calls this setting Private Browsing allowing you to open private tabs, and Internet Explorer uses the name InPrivate Browsing for its privacy feature.

When you search with these features turned on, others won’t be able to track your browsing sessions. However, activating those features will not be enough to hide your web sessions completely. When you’re searching in incognito or private mode, your Internet Service Provider can still track your browsing activity and so the websites you access.

Incognito browsing has several benefits, but it is not the only tool available to help you maintain your privacy while online.

Anonymous search engines and virtual private networks will improve your online security.

Use a different search engine.

Google, Yahoo, and Bing are not your only options anymore. Privacy is one good reason people prefer to use anonymous search engines today. This type of search engine doesn’t store or share your search history. Anonymous search engines, such as DuckDuckGo (and its Android, iOS apps and browser extension) will enforce all websites you visit to use their HTTPS versions while blocking their tracking cookies. It can also block advertising, if you choose so, improving websites’ load speed and your browsing experience.

Protect your email.

Most breaches involve spear phishing, use of stolen credentials or persistent malware, usually backdoor, which creates a connection from your device to a hacker leaving you vulnerable to further attacks.

Statistically, the email service is the most common delivery method for malware.

Ensure your whole team has MFA (multi-factor authentication) enabled on all email accounts. All employees should access their work email from secure devices, preferably not their personal devices. Also, the password for your work email should be completely unique and never reused on another site. Hackers can take passwords from other data breaches and try them on emails, and if you have used the same password on multiple websites, then you are putting all your accounts at risk.

In addition, you should install advanced phishing and spam protection. This is a comprehensive email protection and continuity product that helps defend against the latest threats, from spear phishing, ransomware, and other targeted attacks.

Recheck permissions for mobile apps and browser extensions.

As you probably know, mobile apps often require your permission to access contacts or files, to use the camera, the microphone, geolocation, and so forth. Some apps cannot work without these permissions, but others use this information to profile you for marketing or even worse, but let’s stay positive. It’s quite easy to control permissions for your mobile apps. The same goes for browser extensions. So, make sure you limit their access as much as possible.

Keeping your personal data private and secure will remain a challenge in the coming years, but with the right help and by following a set of rules you will be able to keep your internet-connected devices safe and secure.