The Importance Of Backups
The Importance Of Backups
One of the most important and valuable assets of any business is data.
As companies grow and develop, they may see themselves amassing increasing volumes of data and attention turns to how best to manage, store and protect that data.
From on-site data centres to hybrid cloud architectures, keeping this valuable information safe is more critical than ever due to the rise in threats from cyber criminals.
Phishing, ransomware and other malicious attacks can wreak havoc on your ability to operate and deliver core competencies, not least the financially devastating impact of data loss.
However, cyber attackers aren’t the only threat to businesses looking to protect their data, in fact, simple user error can cause just as much damage. Statistics show that over 25% of data loss is down to human/user error, with a substantial proportion of that being catastrophic for the organisation.
With the importance of protecting data, and the number of threats and vulnerabilities surrounding companies’ cyber security, the importance of utilising backups has become even more prevalent for the companies of today.
Every business needs a solid data backup and system recovery strategy that can be fallen back up in the face of an unexpected disaster.
What is a backup?
A backup or data backup is a copy of computer data taken and stored elsewhere so that it may be used to restore the original after a data loss event.
Backing up your data entails making and storing copies of your business’s data such as application and product data, customer files, employee and supplier records and other important files.
In today’s modern age of IT, there are many ways to backup your data with many businesses choosing to utilise the cloud as an archival destination for enterprise data backup and database backup.
For many reasons, it’s important to have a backup strategy and schedule of your important information and cloud services make it fairly easy to implement these backups. However, CSG always recommends working with an IT company to ensure the safe and correct implementation of creating, storing and restoring data backups.
What are the 3 types of data backups?
Full backups take a copy of all data in your environment or subsection of the environment, they are the fastest way to recover but can be expensive and require a lot of storage space.
These backups make copies of all the files that have been created or changed since the last full backup. Differential backups save money and time because they don’t backup any files that were saved in the last full backup. The downside is that it takes longer to recover from differential backups because you need access to the full backup and the differential backup that followed it.
Incremental backups are similar to differential backups but they only cover the data that was changed after the last backup of any type. This means whether it was a full backup, a differential backup or an incremental backup it doesn’t matter. This is in contrast to a differential backup that will capture all files changed since the last full backup.
There are, however, some common mistakes to avoid …
Not Doing Any Backups
Backups are seen as a precautionary measure, so it can be easy to forget to set them up, assuming you will never need them or that your data isn’t that important. However, it’s incredibly important to make regular backups to ensure you can still operate should a disaster strike.
Saving Backups On The Same Piece of Hardware
The purpose of a backup is to have a safe copy available at all times for times of emergency, with this in mind, the backup should be stored in a separate location from the original. That way if something goes wrong, both the backup and the original are not compromised at the same time.
Ideally, offsite backups are the best option, which can be stored in the cloud so that in the event of a disaster you will still have a copy of your data to help you recover.
Many IT experts feel a 3-2-1 backup rule is a good starting point: keeping three copies of your data on two different storage types and storing at least one of those copies in an offsite location. The idea was to ensure that you’d have at least one copy to use for systems recovery whether the data loss was a result of malicious activity, user error, or natural disaster.
Not Testing the Backup
It seems like an obvious problem, but many organisations forget to test the backup and thus get caught when they come to rely on that backup. Therefore, it’s paramount to test your backups to ensure they’re functioning correctly, and that you know how to restore information upon demand.
If disaster strikes, the time taken to get back live is very important, therefore we always recommend learning how to restore your backups before the need for them, it will then save time learning something new when you need to get things back on track.
Not Backing Up Frequently Enough
Regular backups are almost as important as backing up in the first place. Depending on how much data your organisation harvests, or how much data you’re willing to lose dictates how often you should be backing up.
Monthly backups may not be enough, as it essentially means you’re willing to lose a full month’s worth of data, if this would be catastrophic, then increase your backup schedule.
Label Your Backups Correctly
Organising backups is an important part of the strategy that is often overlooked, perhaps due to the laborious nature of defining a naming system and a process of filing and storing backups, but it is an important one to fall back on should an emergency occur and the priority is getting restored in as little time as possible.
As outlined in this article, the importance of ensuring you are protected in the event of a hardware failure, natural disaster, cyberattack or a careless mistake, is enormous. Data loss can be a huge expense for organisations, but it is something that can be combated with the use of a backup and recovery strategy.
That’s why it’s important to have data backups done regularly and stored in multiple locations outside of the hardware that the original data is held on, this means having local and offsite backups.
Designing and implementing a data backup strategy and schedule does take time and money but it’s the peace of mind and the security that is needed for organisations in 2022!
How CSG Can Help?
Only 9% of organisations in the UK have a business continuity plan in place. Consequently, over 60% of those that suffer a disaster are forced to close. We are specialist providers of disaster recovery services, designed to ensure that your business continues to operate in the event of a fire, flood, cyber-attack or even hardware failure. Don’t be a business that fails because of a lack of planning.
Or if you’re looking to develop a backup strategy CSG experts would be delighted to work through the various options available and devise a plan that works for you and your business!
Contact us for the best advice, strategy build and deployment in Cyber Security!