The Practitioners Guide to Microsoft 365 Teams and Groups Data Protection
First introduced in 2017 due to the global pandemic and increased work from home mandates, Microsoft Teams and Groups have seen a dramatic increase in enterprise adoption. In Q4 2020, Teams tracked 115 million active users, up from 75 million in Q2 2020, attributing roughly $6.8 billion to Microsoft’s CY2020 revenue.
This recent massive adoption of Microsoft Teams and Groups makes the data generated by these applications critical. Enterprises need to protect Microsoft 365 Teams and Groups against human errors and cyber threats, continue to meet aggressive recovery time SLAs, and isolate data for legal and compliance requirements.
Let’s review some common data management problems that Microsoft 365 cannot solve, including its native options for retaining Teams and Groups enterprise data. We’ll also share some demos that showcase how simple it can be when leveraging Cohesity.
Common Problems That Microsoft 365 Cannot Solve for Your Data
One common problem is understanding who is responsible for the enterprise data within your SaaS offering. For example, when you break down the data responsibility, it’s important to understand that your data is still your data even when it is in the cloud. As the SaaS customer, your data is vulnerable to the same risks as when it was on-premises; and you worked very hard to ensure it was recoverable from any situation. Don’t treat your SaaS-based cloud workloads any differently. Let’s break it down here:
SaaS Customer Data Responsibility
Protection from user error or accidental deletions
Guard against insider threats
Attempt to detect and prevent security threats — ransomware, phishing and viruses
SaaS Provider Responsibility
High availability of the infrastructure and ensuring the infrastructure is online
SaaS application failure
Another common problem is bypassing the step of taking a closer look at the options by which M365 data can be retained, then based on your business requirements, determining the right third-party data protection solution to fill the anticipated gaps. For example, let’s look at Microsoft 365 Groups which allow administrators to grant access to a collection of sharedM365 resources such as a Teams site. If a group is deleted, it is only recoverable for 30 days. If it’s needed beyond 30 days to bring that Teams site back, without a third-party solution there will be many challenges in doing so. See this demo on recovery of Microsoft 365 Groups with Cohesity.
Microsoft 365-native Options for Microsoft Teams Sites Recovery
While it is easy to use Teams, the solution is complex and was developed directly in the cloud, leveraging many Microsoft cloud applications such as Exchange Online, OneDrive, SharePoint Online, Azure, Cosmos DB and more. Teams sites specifically are foundationally leveraging SharePoint online. This interdependency and its architecture make it hard to protect the Teams. From Microsoft 365’s native offering perspective, you can expect the following opportunities to protect that information as shown here:
Regular Deleted Items (only 93 days)
Deleted files and folders
Site Collection Recycle bin (only 30 days)
Files emptied by the user/administrator from the site recycle bin
Sites deleted can be restored by the administrator
If configured, can rollback a file to a previous version
Protecting Microsoft Teams Sites with Cohesity
When using Cohesity to back up your Microsoft Teams sites and Microsoft 365 groups enterprise-specific data services solution, you gain the flexibility of where your data is kept (on-premises or cloud) with a single pane of glass for hybrid cloud management. Enterprises also gain greater control over your Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) that are needed for SLA management, and recovery from the unexpected. You gain the ability to deploy M365 data isolation for legal and compliance, and our solution provides flexibility about cloud exit planning should that ever become a need. Also, administrators can automate scheduled backups, restore files and folders, maintain compliance with data-lock (WORM-like) legal hold, and leverage global search to streamline it all. Take a look at this brief demo video to see just how simple protecting Microsoft Teams sites can be.
What our customers are saying:
“Our partners and legal staff are working from everywhere with documents and exhibits as well as other unstructured files to serve clients, which made it ideal for the firm to adopt Microsoft 365 SharePoint and complement it with more reliable backup and recovery from Cohesity. With Cohesity, we can ensure this next-generation Intranet platform that we are building has robust site backup and recovery to an original or alternate site, and that we can replicate workflows, control security and permissions, conduct cross-Microsoft 365 domain restores and more.” — Carl Holzhauer, Infrastructure Manager, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP