An Effective Data Backup Strategy Is Critical for Your Business
Where would your business be if your employees came to work tomorrow and found they had no data to work with? That all your historic customer records had disappeared overnight, and your databases had been wiped off the thousands of files you maintain on them?
Up the proverbial creek without a paddle, right?
Corporate data backup isn’t a ‘nice-to-have’ for business owners. It’s crucial to the health of your business.
In this article, we discuss:
Why protecting your file system from cyberattack and human error with data backups is business-critical
The types of backup solutions available
Key tips to help you implement effective data backup and recovery in your company
What is corporate data backup?
Before we get started, here’s a simple corporate data backup definition:
Corporate data backup is the process of employing backup software and hardware devices, and backup services, to create and store a copy of business-critical data in a safe, remote location. This backup copy helps a business to quickly return to operating normally should its data be lost, or its systems breached.
Why data backup is important for your business
Data backups are like emergency parachutes. If your main chute doesn’t work, you have a backup to save you. A skydiver wouldn’t leave home without one. It’s a lifesaver.
Here are five reasons your business needs a backup and recovery strategy:
It ensures business continuity and recoverability in case of a disaster, or a human error that leads to an unintentional modification or deletion of data
It helps to protect your business against cyberattacks and security breaches resulting from ransomware, phishing schemes, and corporate espionage
It may be necessary for you to maintain adherence to regulatory requirements, including different privacy regulations
It reduces your costs and removes exhausting workloads placed upon your business in the event of data loss
Should the unexpected occur, effective data backups for all types of data should help to protect your reputation
Think of the worst-case scenario. If your data is lost and you have no corporate data backup planning in place, you will have lost all your business-critical data:
Your accounts team will not be able to send and process invoices for work done
Your operations team won’t be able to make the products or provide the services that customers have requested
Your sales teams won’t be able to prospect and sell to existing clients
Rebuilding your database from scratch could take days or weeks. Even then, it’s unlikely that you will have all you need to function as you were prior to the data loss.
According to data collected by the National Archives & Records Administration in Washington:
93% of businesses that experience catastrophic data loss that causes downtime of 10 days or more file for bankruptcy within 12 months
Of these, 50% file for bankruptcy immediately
Of businesses without a data backup and recovery plan, 43% cease trading after a major data loss
The more the amount of data your business holds, the more critical it is to protect against data loss – and creating a regular backup copy held on suitable data storage devices remote to your business is essential in a successful data protection strategy.
Which type of backup does your business need?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy for corporate data backup. The type of backup your business needs depends on many factors, including the type of data you hold, how you hold it, regulatory requirements, and the nature of the data.
However, when you are devising your data backup strategy, you should aim for processes that reduce business risk the most. The following three backup types are the most common used by businesses of all sizes:
Full corporate data backups
A full backup is the most comprehensive backup type. This backs up every file in your company’s system every time you run a full backup.
You’ll need to ensure you have a large storage facility (cloud services are often used), and that you have the bandwidth to conduct the full backup. As you can imagine, a full backup takes the longest of the three types to complete. Because of these restrictions, most businesses run a full backup periodically – typically monthly or weekly. The benefits of a full backup include that they provide the quickest and simplest way to recover from a data loss.
Incremental corporate data backups
An incremental backup stores the changes to data that have been made since the previous backup. In an incremental backup, changes to existing files and folders and new data are saved during the backup.
This type of backup uses the least resource, but it cannot be used as a standalone backup strategy. If you lose data, piecing it back together can be a little like completing a jigsaw puzzle – and if you’re missing a piece, the picture will remain incomplete.
Differential corporate data backups
In this type of backup, you create backups of backups. You’ll create a backup of the previous backup, and include changes made since that previous backup. The benefit of this type of backup over incremental backups is that you only need to store the previous and current backups to recover lost data.
Differential backups use less storage than full backups but are more time-consuming than incremental backups.
4 key tips for successful corporate data backup
There are many ways in which to store your backed-up data. These include:
Whichever method you choose (and we’d be happy to help you decide which is the best and most cost-effective for you), these best practices will help you implement an effective and successful backup strategy:
Employ the 3-2-1 backup strategy
Expert advice is to implement the 3-2-1 backup strategy:
Create three copies of the data
Store each copy in two distinct types of storage solution
Store at least one backup remotely
By using this strategy, your business should reduce the risks of data loss and be able to recover from any type of data loss, including if you lose access to your business premises.
Conduct regular backups
Your data is continually evolving. Therefore, it is crucial to have your data backed up regularly. Failure to do so could result in a loss of data recovery capability over time, and make recovery more difficult and less effective. We recommend that you select a data backup solution that backs up your data daily.
Invest in cloud storage
While cloud storage does not fully eliminate the threat of cyber-attack (no solution can), it is a cost-effective method to back up your data, leverage the cloud service provider’s technology, and ensure backups are stored remotely and easily accessible to your business.
Keep physical copies of your backups
Physical copies in the digital age? Are we mad suggesting such a thing? Hear us out.
A physical copy of your data cannot be accessed/hacked unless someone has access to where it is stored (tip: behind a locked door). Remember, though, that a physical copy can be destroyed in a natural disaster or lost because of human error.
The bottom line
Backing up corporate data is crucial to the success and sustainability of your business. The consequences of data loss can be severe – and even cause your company to close.
An effective corporate data backup strategy will protect your business and should incorporate both digital and physical backups, with backed-up data held in the right format, backed up regularly, and at least one version stored remotely.
At Millennium Tech, we specialize in helping small and medium enterprises secure their data against data loss to ensure that you recover quickly, protect your reputation, and continue to operate fully as soon as possible after any data loss incident.
Contact us today to ensure your company is fully protected.