As every year, on March 31, we celebrate World Backup Day. The purpose of this day is to emphasize the importance of protecting data and keeping systems and computers secure. This is the best moment to remind everyone how important archiving really is.
How should this special occasion be celebrated? I have a great idea… Just ask yourself what would happen if a hacker attack or some other unexpected event happened today and your company lost all its critically important business data. What would you do? How would this affect the continuity of your business? Just thinking about it hurts, doesn’t it? So… today is the day to seriously think about your data backup plan.
Data loss is a serious risk for businesses and companies of all sizes. Neglecting backup procedures can be very costly. Just don’t think that it won’t happen to you. Keep in mind that data loss can hit you when you least expect it, so always be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Causes of Data Loss
First of all, you need to be aware of how data can be lost. There are several possible causes:
- Human error – it can be anything from accidentally deleted files to coffee spilled on one of the company’s servers. Not only non-technical users can be a threat. You should be aware that even experienced administrators sometimes make mistakes.
- Hardware failure – usually, the equipment has a several-year warranty, but it is not possible to predict when, for example, a drive will fail. You should also take into account any network equipment failures, firmware errors or crashes, and physical damage to hardware.
- Hardware loss or theft – it is really easy to lose your mobile or laptop at the airport, subway, or bus stop. There is also the possibility of an office break-in.
- Ransomware and cyber extortion – in recent years, this has become a very common type of attack, involving the lockdown or takeover of critical systems or company data in order to extort a ransom.
- Other malware – viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and spyware that can directly lead to data damage or system failure.
- Inside security breaches – usually caused by a current or former employee or business associate with privileged access to a company’s sensitive data or critical infrastructure. This is the most difficult opponent to handle because he has authorized access and intentionally misuses his privileges to steal information or delete critical business data.
- Power failure – it can directly lead to hardware failure.
- Natural disasters – it could be a fire, flood, earthquake, or any other occurrence specific to your region of the world.
Now you can see that the list of threats to your data is quite extensive, so it’s really worth rethinking your backup procedures.
First of all, check if your company has a data backup plan. If not, then you have to create one immediately. Determine who will be responsible for managing data backups, then decide which data to archive and how often to do it.
How Often to Archive Data
It’s not an easy question because it depends on the type of data you want to archive. If you hire designers, even one day of their work lost could be really harmful to your business. On the other hand, a company’s customer database that is not updated frequently can be archived every week. To decide how often to back up, you need to think about the importance and type of your data, but most of all, the frequency of changes made.
Also, the statement “the more often the better” is not a good example here as it relates to backup storage resources, which are not infinite.
Where to Store Backups
Find the best place to store your backups. It can be a specially designated repository, an external disc, or a network drive. Avoid CDs and DVDs, as they can be easily broken and deteriorate over time. When choosing a place for backup hardware, you must also take into account possible events like fire or flood.
How Long to Store Backups
Your plan must also include a backup deletion policy. As I mentioned before, storage space is not infinite, so it is good to think about how long every backup copy should be stored. Plan accordingly. How many previous versions of your data do you need to have to secure your business, and when is it old enough to be disposed of?
Since human error is the number one cause of data loss, you need to emphasize to your employees the importance of backing up data. Make them aware of how easily they can lose data important for their work and that a backup copy can be a great rescue. We all make mistakes, so it is good to be prepared for this kind of situation. Backing up is an important element of a company’s workflow.
This article presented only the basic principles on how to deal with backups, but after reconsidering the above topics, you should be able to prevent your company from experiencing the painful scenario of losing important data. This is a good way to ensure that your business continuity will be secured.
So… let’s go celebrate and make some backups.