While Office 365 offers a certain amount of native litigation hold functionality, it is not designed to restore lost data but rather maintain user data for e-discovery purposes. Litigation hold keeps a copy of user data, but in no way is it a replacement for O365 backup.
A serious problem becomes apparent when a business places all O365 data in litigation hold and is actually subject to an e-discovery request. With O365, all of the business’ data would be discoverable rather than just the data related to the legal action, which open a business to potential liability.
Below are a few more reasons O365 litigation hold should not be used as backup.
- No efficient way to restore from ransomware. This alone is reason enough to deploy a third-party SaaS backup solution.
- There is no direct restore option. It is not designed to restore emails or user accounts. A user can export data and go through a manual recovery process, but this will be cumbersome.
- No copy of data in a secondary physical location is created.
- Litigation hold does not allow deletion of emails or attached files, so storage capacity needs (and cost) increase exponentially over time.
- It does not allow customers to effortlessly restore O365 data to a different user when an employee leaves their company. The customer would be required to manually export and then import data as part of the process of recovering to the native environment.
- Customers will continue paying Microsoft licensing fees since it does not allow you to archive users’ data.
In contrast, third-party O365 backup tools store their backups independent of Microsoft’s servers. SaaS backups are structured in a way that enables rapid restore of user data. Our O365 BaaS with Veeam product, for example, backs up Microsoft Exchange, OneDrive and SharePoint. If ransomware or accidental data deletion impacts a customer, these backups allow the customer to quickly restore user data to before the data loss transpired.
Our O365 BaaS with Veeam product also allows customers to backup and maintain users’ data from former employees that have left their company. This presents the company with a huge cost savings over paying for Microsoft licenses to maintain those past employees’ data. Finally, our O365 BaaS with Veeam product allows customers to restore archived user emails and documents to current user accounts lickety-split.
Simply put, rather than diminishing risk for customers, using litigation hold as a form of backup makes them prone to liability.