Does your RIA firm need to back up SharePoint?

Does your RIA firm need to back up SharePoint?

If you’re a registered investment advisor (RIA), then you need to back up SharePoint. It’s that simple. But do you need 3rd-party backup tools? Read on to find the right solution for you. 

You likely rely on this platform to store and share important data with clients, employees, and other stakeholders. But what happens if something goes wrong and your data is lost or corrupted? Disaster can strike at any time, so it’s critical to have a plan in place to ensure your SharePoint data is always safe and accessible.

Why is it vital to back up SharePoint?

SharePoint is a powerful online collaboration platform, but it’s not invulnerable. Natural disasters, power outages, server crashes, and malicious actors can all compromise your data if you’re not prepared. Without a reliable backup solution, you risk losing irreplaceable documents and communications and potentially damaging your reputation with clients.

Fortunately, there are a variety of tools and strategies available to help your RIA firm back up SharePoint. Whether you opt for a third-party backup solution, an on-premises system, or a combination of both, the key is to have a plan that guarantees the safety and availability of your data when you need it most. 

Do you need a third-party tool to back up SharePoint?

While third-party backup tools can offer additional features and flexibility, it’s not always necessary to invest in a separate solution. Microsoft already provides a range of backup options for SharePoint, such as through OneDrive or Compliance Center retention policies. Plus, SharePoint comes with the following built-in data protection features, which you may find to be more than sufficient to preserve your data:


Every time you modify or reupload a document, SharePoint creates a new version of that file. This enables you to track changes over time, restore previous versions if needed, and save important documents without fear of data loss.

Recycle bin

Whether you intentionally or accidentally delete files in SharePoint, these files will be moved to the recycle bin, where they’ll be stored for 93 days before getting permanently deleted. The unique thing about SharePoint’s recycle bin is that it has two stages: the first-stage recycle bin, which stores the deleted items, and the second-stage recycle bin, which stores items that were deleted from the first-stage recycle bin.

Both individual users and site administrators can restore and delete files in the first-stage recycle bin. However, files in the second-stage recycle bin can be restored or deleted only by administrators, preventing users from inadvertently emptying the second-stage recycle bin and losing valuable data.

In addition, Microsoft backs up all content for 14 more days after actual deletion, which means that your files or folders can be kept for a total of 107 days. However, you will no longer be able to restore these from the recycle bin after the 107-day mark.

Retention policies

SharePoint administrators can set up retention policies to control how long documents and other content will be retained in SharePoint. These policies can be configured based on specific criteria, such as content type, file size, or user group, and they can be used to ensure that the most important data is kept for as long as it needs to be.

The biggest benefit of retention policies is that they can help your RIA firm meet compliance requirements, as they allow you to maintain control over the life cycle of documents, even after they’ve been deleted or archived. What’s more, you can review and customize your retention policies at any time, making it easy to adjust your data protection strategy should your needs change. 

All of these features enable you to back up SharePoint without requiring additional tools. That said, relying on just a single backup option is not enough to protect your data against all potential threats. For that reason, you should consider implementing a multilayered approach that uses a combination of various backup tools and strategies to provide a strong line of defense against data loss.

Let the IT experts handle it

No matter what type of backup solution you choose for your RIA firm, it’s always a good idea to leave the setup and management of your backups to data management experts. In most cases, this will be your IT team. But if you don’t have an in-house IT team, you can always turn to an experienced managed IT services provider for assistance.

For instance, our experts at RIA WorkSpace can help you assess your data protection needs and create a tailored backup plan that ensures maximum security for your mission-critical SharePoint data. We also provide a range of other RIA-specific IT services that can help your firm stay one step ahead of the competition. Contact us today to learn more.