8 Things to Know About OneDrive Backup: Securing Your Cloud Storage

laptop computer displaying logo of Microsoft OneDrive

Cloud storage is essential for modern businesses; however, so is ensuring that all critical data that resides within the cloud is kept safe, secure, and confidential. These eight tips are crucial for IT departments to implement to protect their organizations’ data.

As recently as 2022, government officials were accused of acting recklessly with their cloud storage strategies and lacking adequate cyber security funding to ensure their data practices remained safe.

Ensuring that cloud storage follows good-practice guidelines is just as important for smaller organizations and enterprises.

1. Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication, or MFA, is a straightforward concept that adds another layer of authentication when accessing cloud storage, such as Microsoft OneDrive. MFA often involves a password and a secondary authentication sent to a mobile device.

MFAs are helpful for IT organizations and are pretty user-friendly for employees. However, MFA has other benefits such as increased security to access data, mitigation of credential theft such as passwords, adherence to insurance and policy requirements, another step against unauthorized access, user identification, account takeover reduction, and securing remote work access.

2. Strong Password Policies

Often the butt of jokes and the subject of satirical memes, password policies are there for a reason – even if employees hate it! Password settings and change requests can be prompted and enforced as often as your company policy dictates.

Passwords are a fundamental and essential part of an organization’s security infrastructure. Statistically, many cyber attacks originate from a phishing email that extracts information from the weakest part of your network: humans.

Enforcing a consistent and frequent password policy ensures that passwords are not repeated across the web, opening organizations up for cyber attacks.

3. Conditional Access Policy

Most employees should have access to your organization’s OneDrive data to either access or upload important information. However, one critical step that IT departments can take is to limit access locations.

Put simply, this means that access to the OneDrive app is limited to only spaces/networks deemed safe and secure. This practice protects the OneDrive data from unauthorized and malicious users.

4. Encryption

Another excellent method of ensuring that data remains secure and safe is through the practice of encrypting. Encryption merely means translating data into an unreadable format – to make the data readable again, the user requires an encryption key, typically sent via two-factor authentication.

This method is excellent for keeping data safe while it is being stored and through the storage journey. The encryption process is yet another step and layer in keeping data confidential.

5. Auditing and Monitoring

IT Managers can set up and implement auditing and monitoring of user behaviours within the OneDrive account. This is immensely valuable as it provides real-time insights into user access and behaviour and keeps track of all file alterations.

This is beneficial to IT managers. With real-time monitoring, which can alert teams to suspicious behaviours, the audit logs can provide insight into long-term behaviours that might highlight or flag issues from suspicious activity or past security incidents.

Alongside monitoring user behaviour and changes, monitoring logs can also help keep track of any changes that might compromise future network security, making them a potent and essential tool.

6. Data Loss Prevention

Data loss prevention, or DLP for short, is a preventative measure to prevent sensitive or critical data from being shared outside of the company – purposefully or accidentally.

Administrators can set and manage DLP rules that notify them when employees attempt to share critical information outside of the company network.

IKEA Canada suffered a data breach in 2022 due to an internal employee mishandling confidential data. DLP can help mitigate this risk dramatically.

7. Device Management

Another critical strategy for IT departments is the control of all end-point devices that might be utilized to access the OneDrive account. If the end-point devices are shared from the office, then it is acceptable for organizations to keep on top of software and antivirus settings.

However, unless employees’ personal devices adhere to the same standards, it is easy and generally just a good idea to ensure that employees’ personal devices cannot access the company’s OneDrive storage.

8. User Training and General Awareness  

As always, your network is only as strong and secure as those accessing the system and handling the critical data.

Continuous training on cybersecurity for all staff (including leadership) is imperative to avoid cyber attacks that stem from successful phishing attempts.

When it comes to Microsoft OneDrive, it is essential to teach all staff about the best security practices and the many potential risks when using OneDrive.

It is imperative to host frequent training sessions to keep all staff appraised of the latest and greatest security threats and methods of infiltrating networks. Most importantly, these sessions should outline typical scams and methods of gaining unauthorized access – and how to not fall prey to them.

Some companies like to utilize quarterly tests to ensure staff recall all tips and tricks to avoid cyberattacks. This might be helpful to you and your organization.


IT departments have a huge burden of responsibility, which only seems to grow more significant with emerging technologies and the constant evolution of online security threats.

A way to lighten the load is to contact our experienced team to discuss how we can help lighten your load. We can create custom scopes of work to support your needs – allowing you and your team to focus on what is important to you.