One small global survey may hold clues to the answer, at least in the Asia Pacific region.

Worries about protecting Office 365 data are keeping IT decision in the region up at night, according to a global study by cybersecurity solutions firm Barracuda.

Based on the responses of over 1,800 respondents (IT executives, individual contributors,

and team managers with responsibility for their organizations’ cloud infrastructure in companies with 50 or more employees) in the USA, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as the Asia Pacific region, the study data showed that remote-working over the past year had amplified reliance on Microsoft SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams, along with concerns over protecting Office 365 data.

According to the report, 73% of respondents in the Asia Pacific region were concerned that their Office 365 data could be the target of a ransomware attack, with 58% admitting they had already suffered at least one attack since moving to remote-working.

More backup granularity needed

The data showed that around 7 in 10 IT heads in the APAC respondents were now concerned about compliance with data privacy requirements. Some 69% reported that they worried about data being backed up outside their geography (geo residency), and 75% stated a preference for SaaS backup for Office 365—i.e., weaning from hardware or software maintenance.

Results also showed:

  • 80% APAC respondents wanted the ability to start running their first backups immediately upon signing up for a new data protection solution
  • Organizations in the region felt a need for more granular restore and other functionality not available in Microsoft’s native capabilities, including better restore of Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Teams (77%), along with the ability to recover mailboxes to another location or user (76%).

Commenting on the findings, Mark Lukie, Systems Engineer Manager, Barracuda (Asia-Pacific) said:

Protecting Office 365 data is a more crucial requirement than ever before—and a lot more challenging. We are continuing to see organizations looking for comprehensive, easy-to-use backup solutions that are fast to get up and running and include capabilities like granular retention that aren’t included in Microsoft’s native functionality.”