How to Improve Your Data Backup Practices

How to Improve Your Data Backup Practices

If a business is in operation today, it needs to have preparations in order to protect itself and its data from potential disasters—a fact that has only become more pressing as digital data has become the norm. Let’s take a few moments to go over what today’s businesses need to include in their disaster recovery preparations to ensure that their data remains protected.

Why is Data Backup So Important?

In short, today’s businesses run on data. Customer information, financial records, employee records, vendor agreements, and every aspect of a business’ operations are reliant on data. This is precisely what makes data loss so dangerous. Making the situation even worse, data loss can come from a variety of circumstances, from natural disasters to cyberattacks and everything in between, at any time, potentially crushing a company’s finances and operations alike.

A disaster recovery strategy, with a solid data backup supporting it, is so critical for this reason.

The whole point of a data backup is to ensure you have access to all of your critical data even after a data loss event. It’s meant to be your saving grace if something threatens your capability to continue operations.

Data backup gives you the ability to:

  • Protect your data – A solid backup system allows you to avoid data loss from various factors, from natural disasters to hardware failure and cyberattacks, by giving you the opportunity to recover it.
  • Avoid financial loss – Data loss is an expensive issue, with implications spanning from lost sales and productivity to interrupted business operations and a loss of trust. If you can prevent these issues by preventing data loss, your business will be better off for it.

Unfortunately, data loss is pervasive and prevalent, which means it can happen in all ways and at all times. It’s important that you keep these threat factors in mind so that you can prepare yourself properly:

  • Human Error – People make mistakes, and some of these mistakes might wind up losing your business its data. It’s far too easy to accidentally delete or even just alter a file, and there’s always a chance that the file in question will happen to contain something critical.
  • Hardware Error – The various components of your hardware infrastructure—your hard drives, servers, and other elements—can malfunction and ultimately lose your business its data. 
  • Software Error – Operating systems, antivirus, and other essential applications aren’t immune to issues and errors that can ultimately impact your files and your data.
  • Lost or Stolen Devices – Laptops and smartphones can go missing or wind up stolen, potentially causing data loss (although we recommend using centralized storage to avoid this).

Keeping these scenarios in mind can help you create disaster recovery strategies that will mitigate them. In a data loss situation, time is of the essence, so you need to be sure that you are prepared to recover it rapidly and efficiently.

How to Create a Successful Data Backup Policy for Your Business

Hopefully, it’s clear how essential a proper data backup is to your business, as a means of both maintaining your operations and as a means of protecting your all-important data. A well-planned backup strategy is one that follows the following practices:

Backup Your Data on a Regular Basis

Your backup only protects the data it includes, which means you need to regularly update the data there to ensure that the latest version of everything you need is successfully backed up. Fortunately, automated backups can be scheduled to take complete snapshots of your business’ data at regular and specific intervals.

Ensure Your Backup is Secure

When you think about how valuable a complete collection of your business’ data would be to a cybercriminal, securing your backup should be a no-brainer. Encrypting all data while it is stored is a necessity, as is authenticating all access through the use of passwords, biometrics, or identification cards.

Ensure Your Backup Works

A backup that doesn’t allow you to restore your data isn’t really a backup. You need to regularly test your restoration processes—ideally, operating entirely off of your backups—and keep an eye on your backup system itself to catch issues and resolve them.

Use the 3-2-1 Backup Rule to Your Advantage

The 3-2-1 rule is a concept meant to guide your backup practices to ensure that your backups remain redundant, reliable, and available to you. It breaks down into the following: (at least) three copies of your data, stored in (at least) two different places, (at least) one of which is offsite to greatly reduce the likelihood of permanent data loss.

You Also Need a Disaster Recovery Plan

With your backup squared away, you also need a comprehensive disaster recovery plan that outlines how it is to be put to use—among many, many other key considerations that should be involved in this plan. What procedures need to be followed when data recovery is necessary, or if hardware needs to be restored or your data migrated?

As you might imagine, data backup is critical to the success of your business continuity measures. Therefore, having the best practices in place to make your business continuity as successful as it needs to be is, in a word, essential. Your backup strategy needs to meet all the requirements of your business, ensure everything is tested regularly and secured, and your entire disaster recovery plan is fully documented.

We’re here to help. Call us at PHONENUMBER to find out how.