We live in a digital age where data has become one of the most valuable commodities in the world. Businesses collect huge volumes of data every day from their customers, and this data plays a critical role in their day-to-day operations. If business organizations happen to lose their data under any circumstance, the consequences can be quite catastrophic.
This is the harsh reality of today’s digital business landscape. Businesses can experience data loss in many ways, ranging from natural disasters to cyberattacks. Should you suffer an unexpected data loss, your competitive advantage lies in how quickly you can get your operations up and running without experiencing major downtime.
In this blog, we’ll take a brief look at the various dangers to business data and how you can prevent them with the right backup. We’ll also look at the different ways of backing up data and the advantages of using a robust business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solution.
Why Do You Need Data Backup?
Before we look at the different ways of backing up data, you need to know why your business requires data backup. Businesses commonly encounter the following data security threats to data in their everyday operations.
Cyberattacks: As technology evolves, cyberattacks continue to evolve as well. The growing threat of ransomware is a testament to that. According to the latest Verizon report, 27 percent of malware incidents can be attributed to ransomware attacks. While antimalware and antivirus programs can certainly offer protection, businesses need to think about what might happen in case of an unavoidable security breach and eventual data loss when formulating a data security strategy.
Natural disasters: Natural disasters such as floods, fire, earthquakes and the like pose a big threat to the traditional form of data storage and security. Do you have what it takes to bounce back if these disasters catch you off guard and wipe out your company’s data?
Hardware issues: Mishaps originating from hardware issues play a major role in business data loss. With traditional data storage methods, data is stored in a physical location on hard drives and backup appliances. Any hardware issues arising in these devices can pose a serious threat to your valuable data.
Human errors: Human errors still play a major role in data loss. According to Verizon, as much as 30 percent of data loss incidents are caused by internal actors. This could be attributed to anything from poor password practices to falling for phishing scams.
All these factors indicate that data loss can happen to any organization irrespective of their size or the security precautions they take. What you need is a solid data backup solution to make sure that your lost data is not completely unrecoverable.
How to Back Up Your data
As you understand the importance of data backup, it’s inevitable that certain questions may spring to mind – What is the best way to store data? How many copies should you take?
With regards to the best way of storing data, both cloud backup and on-site backup appliances need to be considered. This is because both have their own advantages and limitations. On-storage devices are faster, giving organizations full control over their data. However, they are prone to physical mishaps and hardware issues. Cloud-based backup, on the other hand, is not vulnerable to natural disasters but requires a lot of bandwidth to backup large files.
The ideal backup strategy is one that combines both these approaches, with multiple copies stored in different locations. When it comes to backing up your data, you need to consider the 3-2-1 rule, which simultaneously answers your questions on what the right approach to data backup is and the number of copies that need to be made.
As per this rule, it is prudent to have at least three copies of data – one production copy and two backup copies on two different media (internal hard drive and removable storage media) along with one off-site copy (cloud) for disaster recovery. Newer variations of this rule suggest having at least two copies (3-2-2 rule) on the cloud depending on the importance of your data. Ultimately, the more copies you make, the higher your chances of recovery after a loss.
Advantages of BCDR Over File-Only Backups
In crude terms, data backup is simply the process of making copies of your files and storing them. However, the main purpose of a backup is to get your business up and running in no time following an unexpected disaster. Hence, an effective backup strategy is symbiotic with business continuity as well. Business continuity refers to the ability of your organization to get back in working order as quickly as possible following an unexpected data loss.
When you think about business continuity, you must think in terms of Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO). RTO refers to the maximum time an application can be down without affecting the business. RPO refers to the maximum amount of data that can be lost without harming the business.
A good BCDR solution will provide you with the following benefits:
Significant reduction in RTO and RPO
Ability to predict business restoration following an unexpected disaster
Reduction in downtime and associated revenue losses
Lower interruption to critical business processes
Avoid compromise to business reputation
Ability to customize disaster recovery as per your needs
Best Practices for Data Backup
While incorporating an effective backup strategy, you need to implement the following best practices to limit data loss:
Increase frequency: Digitally-run businesses are required to back up their data multiple times a day. Doing it once a day, at the end of business hours, is no longer sufficient, especially with the number of threats gunning for your data.
Use cloud backup: The Cloud has become an indispensable component of data backup in this digital age. Cloud backup comes with a multitude of benefits such as easy recovery, easy scalability, better cost efficiency and more.
Use the power of automation: Automation has become a game changer with regards to various IT tasks and backup is no exception. When you automate your disaster recovery process, you can bounce back from serious disasters and continue business operations without suffering too much downtime.
Determine your retention span: Retaining all data backup versions forever is not a feasible solution for most small businesses. Due to this, you need to determine the duration for which you will retain your data. This requirement will vary based on your industry, needs and compliance regulations. You need to come up with a solution that ticks all parameters.
To Sum Up…
Backup should be a part of every organization’s business strategy, irrespective of its size, location or industry. Threats to business data are very real and are happening at an alarming rate. In this scenario, a solid data backup plan could be the preventative measure that saves your business when disaster strikes.
Talk to us today so we can help you zero in on an effective backup strategy that’s tailor-made for you.