Public sector organisations failing to backup cloud data

Office 365 users in public sector neglect to make own backups, cloud provider says

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Public sector organisations failing to backup cloud data The study of UK government organisations using Office 365 found the vast majority did not make independent backups of data.
By  Mark Sutton Published  February 20, 2017

Many public sector organisations are failing to backup their email and documents generated in Microsoft Office 365 cloud deployments, according to research in the UK.

Ninety-six percent of public sector Office 365 Deployments have no backup solution in place, according to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, potentially leaving government communications and data at risk of loss.

Freedom of Information Requests were sent to all of the listed Public Sector users of Microsoft Office 365 by cloud-to-cloud backup specialist UK Backup. The research highlights that while most government organisations have stringent backup procedures, many are neglecting to backup cloud email, believing that the cloud service provider is responsible for backing up.

James Chillman, managing director of UK Backup, commented: "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," Chillman added.

Chillman noted the increase in ransomware attacks means it is even more important for organisations to backup their data, regardless of whether it is on premise or in the cloud.

"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," Chillman said.

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