Overcoming 3 data management pitfalls of online learning

A recent survey of U.S. higher-ed institutions’ reopening plans found that 33 percent would be operating completely or primarily online while an additional 27 percent would be following a hybrid model of online and in-person learning. With the shift to greater online learning, colleges and universities must avoid three key data management pitfalls.

Failing to back up Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 enables people to work anywhere without organizations having to host their emails, files, and content management in their own infrastructure. With the rise of remote work, Microsoft 365 has become even more prevalent. However, Microsoft 365 doesn’t provide comprehensive and long-term backup, and 74 percent of Microsoft 365 users have no data protection strategy in place. As professors upload content to shared folders and students access their Microsoft 365 accounts, projects, and other assets both remotely and on campus, files can easily be deleted or hit with malware, often with little or no chance of recovery.

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Microsoft Office 365 offers geo-redundancy, which protects data from site or device failure, but this does not constitute a true data backup. If data is accidentally deleted or maliciously attacked, Microsoft 365 offers limited recovery options. While it does provide basic recycling bin capabilities, Microsoft 365 only stores deleted files for a limited period. Beyond that time frame, the data is permanently deleted. Worse, if a user is accidentally deleted from Microsoft 365, his/her data is erased entirely from the entire Microsoft 365 network.

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