While most Councils and Government Departments have stringent backup procedures in place, the majority (96%) have no method or procedure to backup their Microsoft Office 365 Deployment, according to a recent FOI request from Cloud to Cloud Backup specialists UK Backup.
Freedom of Information Requests were sent to all of the listed Public Sector users of Microsoft Office 365; with a high proportion of responses. Managing Director of UK Backup, James Chillman, says that a frightening 96% have no procedure in place for protecting their email environment.
“Councils and Government Departments are ultimately responsible for protecting their data, regardless of where that data resides. While SaaS Email providers such as Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365, generally do a good job of backing up your data; their backups are for their benefit, not yours. If you need to recover deleted data, for example, purged email from several months or years ago to be used as legal evidence – You might find that your provider is unable or unwilling to help.”
“What was even more worrying was the number of users who believe that the responsibility lies with Microsoft to maintain backups. What happens when you delete an email? You have 14 or 30 days to recover it from the trash can, and afterwards, it’s gone forever, not even Microsoft’s backups can help in this situation.”
With ransomware attacks becoming more and more common it is becoming more vital for organisations to ensure that all data is treated the same and backed up regardless if it's on-premise or in the cloud.
“Recent news from Tiverton Town Council highlights the importance of backing up data to assist in recovering from ransomware, one click on a malicious email and the council lost two years worth of data.”
With more and more Departments and Councils predicted to move to Office 365 over the coming months, UK Backup’s Advice would be to remember the importance of appropriate backup procedures for cloud environments, James Chillman concludes:
“Over the coming months and years, the number of Public Sector Office 365 users is set to grow. For government bodies dealing with such vast amounts of sensitive data, it’s important to ensure that this is protected no matter where the data resides. All of the Departments have good backup policies in place for onsite data but need to ensure these policies extend to Cloud environments as well.”
FOI requests sent to 27 Councils/Departments. Four did not respond. One refused to answer on the basis that it is outside the FOI requirements and owned by the Electoral Register Officer.