Not having a complete back up of your business data can lead to serious vulnerability and business continuity issues. You could be hit with ransomware and have no choice but to pay the ransom or you could lose your data for good due to a major hard drive crash or physical damage to your computer. There are a lot of potential threats out there when it comes to data loss. It can be caused by everything from accidental deletion to a flood or fire. Yet 46% of small and medium-sized businesses don’t have a backup and disaster recovery plan. Some of the costs involved when a company experiences data loss and doesn’t have a way to quickly recover their information includes:
- Downtime costs (they average $100,000 per ransomware incident)
- Loss of digital assets that may never be recovered
- Cost of recreating lost data
- Potential loss of business entirely if unable to recover
So, backup and recovery are one of the most vital parts of any good IT security plan and make up the foundation of business continuity. Knowing a few of the basics can ensure you’re doing it right and won’t have to worry about missteps that can cause problems with data recovery.
Good Backups are Only a Few Tips Away
While backing up your data might not be the most exciting part of your technology infrastructure, it’s one of the most vital. Here are tips on best practices to help backups go as smoothly and worry-free as possible.
Use the 3-2-1 Backup Rule as a Foundation
The 3-2-1 backup rule is designed to keep businesses from making a few common backup mistakes, like keeping their data and backup on site or not having a redundant backup to ensure their data is protected. It’s a great foundation to use when planning which backup systems that you’re going to use and where they should reside. The rule goes like this:
- 3: Keep at least three copies of all your data. This could be the copy that’s on your computer’s hard drive, plus a local backup, plus a cloud backup.
- 2: Ensure at least two of those copies are on different backup media. For example, you don’t want both your backups to be on a removable hard drive.
- 1: Make sure that one copy is kept offsite. Having a cloud backup that’s not stored onsite protects you in the case of some type of disaster or damage to your premises.
Use a Full System Backup Rather than Just File/Folder Backup
If you’re just copying your files and folders, then if your computer were to crash, you’d have your files, but lose any operating system settings, emails, and applications that you had. This would mean recovery would take longer. Backups that take a full image of your computer, operating system and all, provide you with a much faster recovery should anything happen to your computer, because they can restore everything as it was.
Automate Your Backups
Use backup systems that will continually back up your devices automatically, so you and your staff aren’t having to remember to start a backup. It’s easy to get busy during the day and forget to take a backup that evening. Plus, automatic backups can be set to capture changes every hour or even as they occur, so you won’t be left with a day or more of missing data should anything happen.
Monitor and Test Backups
It’s easy for backups to have issues and you not even know about it. Some may stop recording new data because they’ve run out of space, and others may stop suddenly due to a file problem. The easiest way to ensure your backups are running smoothly and that your data is intact and can be easily recovered when you need it is to use a monitored backup plan through a trusted IT provider, like OST.
Include Cloud Services in Your Backup Strategy
Just because your data is in G Suite or Office 365, doesn’t mean that it’s safe from loss. 1 out of 3 companies lose data that’s kept in cloud services (aka SaaS applications). Companies like Microsoft recommend that users back up their data stored in their cloud services in a 3rd party system. Make sure your cloud services data is included in your overall backup strategy and is being backed up separately by a backup service designed for that purpose. This will ensure you have access to your information should your cloud provider have an outage, or a user accidentally delete something they shouldn’t.
Need Help with Your Backups?
There’s no reason to spend hours creating an effective backup plan. Onsite Techs of Rhode Island can customize a backup and disaster recovery plan for you that’s right for your business and protects your data and business continuity in the case of a data loss event. Contact us today to discuss your backup needs at 401-415-6290 or reach out online.