Thirteen Group - Keeping data safe  |  Case Study

Protecting Microsoft 365 data from Ransomware attacks and accidental deletion

The Client: Thirteen Group

Thirteen Group is a landlord and housing developer that provide homes for rent and sale. They manage 34,000 properties from North Yorkshire to York.

We are thrilled to have been Thirteen's chosen technology partner for several digital transformation projects over the years, helping them find more efficient, modern and less expensive ways of working.

"Working with boxxe has been a fantastic experience, they saw my vision and brought it to life, adding their own innovative and forward-thinking ideas.  It’s paved the way to Thirteen Group being Microsoft-first in our future developments."

Jayne Allport , Head of Service, Systems & Application Improvement, Thirteen Group

The Challenge: No easy way to recover data  


Four years ago Thirteen began its cloud journey by moving to Microsoft 365 using Exchange Online, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams for closer collaboration, and the large-scale storage of business-critical data.

However, Thirteen relied on Microsoft’s out-of-the-box recycling, in which deleted files are only held for 90 days by default. This put the organisation at risk for irrecoverable data loss.

Microsoft operates a shared responsibility model, meaning it is responsible for protecting the platform while its customers are responsible for long-term data retention.

Without secure backups in place, Thirteen risked data loss to accidental deletion, platform disruption, or ransomware. It had to replace insufficient tools and processes to respond to the increasing volume, and variety of threats.

The Solution: Secure data protection with Druva

For Thirteen's IT team, the top priority for data protection was cloud-native capability.

“Thirteen Group approached boxxe as they were looking to protect their SharePoint Online environment and users’ Microsoft 365 data.

Their challenge was backing up large volumes of data into the cloud, and providing resiliency from the Microsoft ecosystem.

With our understanding of their challenges and the solutions available in the marketplace, partnering with Druva to deliver this solution was the only choice over the likes of Veeam and Skykick,” said Chris France, Technology Solutions Leader at boxxe.

Another benefit is Druva’s native integration with Microsoft Teams.

“Druva is superior to SkyKick by a mile,” said Hassan Bahrani, Thirteen’s Head of IT. “SkyKick didn’t integrate with Teams out of the box. Whereas Druva backs up actual Teams and SharePoint sites, and everything in Microsoft 365.”

Another differentiator is that Druva is built on Amazon Web Services (AWS). This was key for Hassan and the team because it enabled them to achieve complete separation between Microsoft 365 data on Microsoft Azure and its backups.

Furthermore, backups cut ties with original data, protecting against corruption if a security breach occurs.

Additionally, Thirteen, not Druva, manages the keys to encryption for data at rest, giving the organization complete control and privac y.

While Druva’s features are important, Hassan was equally impressed with its support.

“When we reached out to Druva, we received amazing expert advice,” Hassan said. “They quickly fixed any issues, and always well within our service level agreement (SLA).”

Key outcomes:

100% of Microsoft 365 data protected, including Exchange Online, OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams
95% faster data recovery speeds - from five hours to minutes
100% compliance with GDPR regulations with the ability to complete "right to be forgotten" requests in minutes
A single pane of glass to manage backups and restores of Microsoft 365 data

The Results: Peace of mind

Through Druva, boxxe has helped Thirteen deploy a flexible, secure way to back up and restore its business-critical Microsoft 365 data.

In fact, Thirteen’s IT team can now recover lost or deleted files 95% faster – taking minutes instead of hours. The solution simplifies the location and recovery of specific data points, no matter how granular.

This is crucial as UK GDPR laws give people the ‘right to be forgotten,’ meaning anyone can ask Thirteen to erase all records containing their personal data.

Previously, these requests required hours of trawling through physical tape. With Druva, the team can find all records in minutes, saving valuable time while staying compliant. The ever-present threat of a ransomware attack used to be a serious concern of Hassan’s team.

Now, Druva provides his team peace of mind, protecting backups against infection, as single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor authentication (MFA), and role-based access controls (RBAC) isolate and control data access to guard against infection and encryption. With Druva, he knows exactly how the company will recover affected Microsoft 365 data when, not if, a ransomware attack happens.

“We will likely experience a ransomware attack, and how we recover is going to be testament to our character and the controls we now have in place,” Hassan said. “Druva is a key part of that recovery plan.” Choosing Druva means the IT team has more time to support staff as they help vulnerable people secure housing.

“There are a lot of systems we could do without,” Hassan said. “But not Microsoft 365. It’s the heart of our business, and Druva ensures that data is secure so our company can continue serving our customers.”

Why Choose boxxe?

With 25+ years of commercial Microsoft experience, we offer industry-leading support at every stage of the Microsoft lifecycle.

Want to more about how we supported the Thirteen Group in keeping data safe from accidentlal deletion and ransomware?

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