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Threat Intelligence

3/28/2019
04:15 PM
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40% of Organizations Not Doing Enough to Protect Office 365 Data

Companies could be leaving themselves vulnerable by not using third-party data backup tools, a new report finds.

IT organizations are taking a big risk by relying on Office 365 to deliver all the backup they need, according to a new report released today by Barracuda.

Based on responses from more than 1,000 IT professionals, business executives, and backup administrators, Barracuda found that 40% of IT organizations surveyed don't use third-party backup tools to protect Office 365 data.

Greg Arnette, director of data protection platform strategy at Barracuda, points out that while Microsoft does offer a resilient SaaS infrastructure to ensure availability, it does not protect data for historical restoration for long, and its service-level agreements don't protect against user error, malicious intent, or other data-destroying activity.

"Microsoft will protect your data for an outage in a data center environment," Arnette says. "But they will not detect threats such as account takeovers and ransomware. Those kind of attacks will look like the actions of a typical end user. The backup vendors are now doing more detection using cloud-based APIs to keep track of what changes over time."

According to the study, deleted emails are not backed up on Office 365 in the traditional sense. Rather, they are kept in the recycle bin for a maximum of 93 days before they're deleted forever. For SharePoint and OneDrive, deleted information gets retained for a maximum of 14 days by Microsoft, and individuals must open a support ticket to retrieve it. SharePoint and OneDrive are unable to retrieve single items/files; they must restore an entire instance. It's unlikely that such short retention policies meet most compliance requirements.

"There's an assumption that if the data is in SaaS, it's automatically backed up, but that's not the case," says Christophe Bertrand, a senior analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group who covers data protection. "Just because it's in the cloud doesn't mean that you don't have to back it up. You are still responsible for protecting the data, making it recoverable and archiving it, especially email."

The Barracuda study also found that while 64% of global organizations say they back up data to the cloud, a sizeable 36% still don’t. The reason for this is unclear, according to the report, although there could be latent security concerns over doing so.

“We see this as a checkpoint in time where the industry is shifting to a cloud mentality,” Arnette says.

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Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience, most of the last 24 of which were spent covering networking and security technology. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio

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REISEN1955
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REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
5/14/2019 | 9:23:01 AM
Re: Follow me
I still have floppy disks from ancient backups --- both 3.5 AND 5.25!!!!!   Now finding one of those drives to attach is a challenge.   May have to Ebay an IBM 5150 to read them.  Also runs Visiword.  (Now that disk had an encryption scheme for boot that nobody ever cracked).

i have a box of 8" floppy disks too but don't have an IBM S/36 5360 to run them on. 
REISEN1955
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REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
5/13/2019 | 8:45:30 AM
Re: Follow me
Email too can be a great restoration option - tons of attachments are often resident and can be accessed if needed, of course, by both user and hacker.  Que sera sera. 
StephenGiderson
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StephenGiderson,
User Rank: Strategist
5/13/2019 | 3:29:07 AM
Follow me
Previously in school, I used to back up every single one of my assignments on more than 2 devices after saving in my email account. That is how prudent I was when it comes to safeguarding my own data. Organizations should really follow my style!
REISEN1955
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REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
3/29/2019 | 8:11:08 AM
Backups to the cloud
As primary?????   I use a cloud app for backups but with CAUTION and have local backups, 3 of them, ready to go if something like ransomware hit my system - and i don't open suspect emails OR open suspect attachments.  Ever.  My backups are set ot mirror the drive structure of primary data data and I have used this for my clients as well.  Small business - bad drive, pull and replace - takes 15 min and a screwdriver but the same apples to data center.  Have two backup protocols, not one - Murphy's Law.  It will fail when needed so have two methods and one offsite secure.  Data schedule generally daily - not weekly or random.  Putting trust in the cloud is a fools game, you are exposing data on a second tier of theft - not one but two.  
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