Office 365 Shared Responsibility Model – Find Out What You Don’t Know

admin | Published: February 4, 2020 | Office 365

Many users asked a common question i.e. is there any need to backup O365 SharePoint Online, OneDrive, Exchange Online when we posted a blog on Microsoft Office 365 backup and retention policy. A lot of those users think that Microsoft is fully responsible for taking care of cloud data. Here comes the concept of Microsoft Office 365 shared responsibility model. Are you interested in knowing what it is? If yes, then read this article and find out who is responsible for what.

So, to clear the doubts of Office 365 business customers, we have created this post which will help you to know about this model. This post helps users to understand Microsoft’s duty towards records stored in cloud. Moreover, the end users will also learn their duty towards their sensitive data. Because at the end of day, it is basically your own data.

Read More: G Suite vs Office 365 Comparison – Security, Features and Pricing

Who is Responsible for What?

Microsoft’s Responsibility – The main responsibility of Microsoft is to be concentrated on their architecture and the commitments made to millions of its customers. It should take care that its infrastructure is always up in running mode and provides constant uptime reliability of the cloud service. Thus, users can concentrate on their business and expand it globally.

Organization’s Responsibility – An IT organization should aim to gain full access and control over their online data no matter where it is stored. This obligation cannot simply be ignored because the company has decided to use a SaaS application. Customers can search for assistive technologies that are designed to help each group fulfill that primary responsibility.

Office 365 includes integrated data replication that provides redundancy between data centers. This special functionality is essentially required. If an error accidentally occurs that occurs in Microsoft’s global data center, you can go to your replication destination. In some cases, end users have no knowledge of changes.

Important Note – You must remember one thing that replication is not backup. Moreover, replication is not for the users, it is for Microsoft. To understand Microsoft Office 365 shared responsibility model in a clearer way, just answer a question that which one is more secure? A replica or a backup?

Many users might think that replica is a better option while considering application’s uptime. This is because the information which is replicated almost regularly on a secondary website can reduce app downtime. However, there are some problems associated with this replication strategy for data protection. For example, if your data is deleted accidentally or corrupted, then that corrupted data might replace healthy data.

Therefore, it is suggested that the user should not completely rely on the Microsoft’s replicated data. One should create a complete backup of all entire data source also to achieve Office 365 data security.

What about O365 Recycle Bin?

Some users might think that “What is the role of recycle bin in O365?” and it is not wrong. So, that is true that Microsoft pertains some different options of recycle bin, but they can just offer some limited services. The user will be able to retrieve only shot term data which is not in the case of a backup.

The backup data will help you restore any sort of data without any limitations. An organization retains its data for several reasons and one of them is the ability to recover the company’s crucial data in the event of site-wide data loss. So, use of recycle bin for data retention is very short-term solution, as this approach is time specific and may get permanently erased afterwards.

It is the Time to do it in a Right Way!!

On Understanding the importance of data security and availability, both Microsoft and company’s officials are held accountable for the same. Microsoft manages and secures the data on infrastructure level and establishes physical security of data storage centers. Moreover, Office 365 user interface provides identification and authentication in their online services along with a super-vision over user-control and admin.

When we talk about IT companies, their duty begins at data level. We have enlisted various cloud computing security risks that needs to be taken care off. These risks pertain accidental deletion, site-wide losses like fire or floods, ransomware attacks, unauthorized sharing of data etc.

This culminates that, though the data is stored on Microsoft’s cloud, it is still the responsibility of the company officials to properly secure the data by backing it up. In short, Office 365 is just the processor of the data while the organizations are the owner of the data. These norms are clearly specified by Microsoft at Office 365 trust center which clearly states that they are held responsible for the privacy of the data.


We anticipate that this blog has helped you to get a grip on Office 365 shared responsibility model and what they are offering to its customers. Also, shred a light upon the importance of Office 365 backup with which the user can have a complete access to the data. Security of information from all data loss happenings is another takeaway by data retention policies. Just by creating a backup of Office 365 and storing it on a secondary location can nullify the threat of losing your data.