Data Backup Best Practices For Businesses

To develop an effective backup and recovery strategy plan, a business must employ these 13 data backup best practices.

13 Best Practices for Data Backup and Recovery Every Company Must Employ

Data loss disasters can happen to any company. And when they do, it is important to have a plan in place that will help your company recover quickly and with as little disruption as possible. Indeed, in today’s digital world, the most common disasters that affect businesses are data loss incidents. These can be caused by many events, including:

  • Hardware failure

  • Malware or ransomware attack

  • Human error

  • Theft of hardware or data

  • Environmental issues (power failure, natural disasters, etc.)

A backup and recovery strategy plan is crucial for small and medium businesses. To be effective, you should ensure that you employ current best practices for implementing backup and recovery.

Why should you be using best practices for backing up data?

Using best practices for data backup and recovery will ensure you do things right. Best practices will guide you through the most efficient and effective strategies. They are often developed, tested, and shared by regulatory authorities, and direct a recommended course of action.

In short, best practices are the best methods to do things and have often been developed through trial and error ─ meaning you benefit from the mistakes of others.

13 of the best practices for backup and recovery

These 13 backup and recovery best practices should form the backbone of a business’s data backup and recovery strategy plan.

  1. Review existing legacy systems

It is important to plan and think about what would happen if a disaster does occur. The best way to approach backup and recovery is by identifying the most important systems first and then working your way down from there. This will help you identify the critical systems that are necessary for your company’s operations.

But you mustn’t forget your legacy systems ─ outdated hardware and software that you still use but that may not integrate with newer technology. You’ll need to take extra care when backing up this data.

  1. Define the data that needs to be backed up

When it comes to backup, there are three main types of data that need to be backed up ─ system data, application data, and user data. System data includes all the information that is needed for the OS to run smoothly. Application data includes all the files and settings of an application. User data includes all the information related to a specific user account including their preferences and settings.

Identify what kind of data needs to be backed up, whether it is on-premises or cloud-based, and how often it should be backed up. This will determine what kind of backup software you need to invest in and how much space you need on your storage device for backups.

  1. Determine which backup type makes the most sense

The three types of backups are:

  • Full backup: This backs up all the data on a specific storage device, such as a hard drive or server.

  • Incremental backup: This backs up only the data that has changed since the last full backup or incremental backup.

  • Differential backup: This backs up any data that has changed since the last full backup or incremental backup, and does not back up any data before that point.

It is important to know which type of backup makes the most sense for your company and what you are trying to accomplish.

  1. Select the storage location

A good backup strategy will include both local and offsite backups. Local backups are stored on the same computer as the original data. This type of backup is quick and easy but provides little protection if that computer is damaged or stolen. Offsite backups use a remote storage solution such as cloud storage or an external hard drive that can be stored in a safe place at home or work when not being used for backup purposes.

  1. Define backup safeguards

A backup safeguard is a strategy or technique used to protect data from permanent loss. The most basic backup safeguard is to make sure that we have a regular backup schedule that includes a full, incremental, or differential backup. It’s also important to make sure that we have multiple copies of the backups and store them in different locations, so they are not all in one place if something happens.

  1. Implement encryption

Encryption is the process of encoding data so that it cannot be read by anyone without a decryption key. It is an essential tool for protecting data from unauthorized access. When backing up data, you should encrypt it. This means that your backup data will be safe from prying eyes, which is necessary for any company with sensitive data.

  1. Protect backups with passwords

Offline backups have the advantage of being faster and less vulnerable to an attack, but they also have the disadvantage of being more difficult to manage because they can’t be accessed from outside your organization. Online backups have the advantage of being easier to manage, but they’re more vulnerable because they’re accessible from outside your organization.

Whatever the format of your backup, it is important that you protect it with a password. If you don’t, anyone who has access to your computer or the data storage device can access your backup.

  1. Adhere to the 3-2-1 rule

The 3-2-1 rule is a backup strategy that states that you should have three copies of your data, two distinct types of media, and one offsite location.

It’s an easy guideline to follow to ensure that your data will be protected if there is a natural disaster or other emergencies where you lose power, internet access, or your physical location.

  1. Perform backups often

It’s important to note that this is not just a suggestion but a requirement to ensure that you have the data you need in case of an emergency. When you backup your data often, the amount of data that can be permanently lost is minimized.

  1. Test backups to ensure they can be restored

Backups are important, but they’re only as good as their ability to be restored.

Test the backups by restoring them and ensuring that they can be restored without any errors. This will help you identify any issues in your backup process and fix them before they happen.

  1. Ensure that backups are maintained for the proper amount of time

Best practices for backup and recovery include ensuring that backups are maintained for the proper amount of time. Only by doing this will you ensure that your backed-up data is available when needed.

  1. Conduct a risk analysis of the backup process

It’s crucial to conduct a risk analysis of the current backup process and develop a plan that minimizes the risks. By conducting a risk analysis, you will identify potential risks and be able to take necessary measures to mitigate them. When doing a risk analysis, you should:

  • Identify all the risks associated with the backup process

  • Conduct a cost-benefit analysis for each identified risk

You should then prioritize based on the cost-benefit ratio.

  1. Document policies and procedures as part of your disaster recovery strategy

A successful disaster recovery strategy involves creating a backup plan and documenting policies and procedures. This will help to ensure that the plan is followed by everyone in your company and that all are prepared to recover from any data loss or disaster efficiently.

How to Select the Right Backup Strategy for Your Business

In today’s digital world, it is crucial that businesses have a backup strategy. They need to protect their data and ensure it is recoverable in the event of any data loss or disaster.

A data backup and recovery strategy should be a part of the disaster recovery plan that your business has in place. It should be a part of your business continuity plan and should be periodically tested and updated.

Embedding these best practices and backup and recovery strategies into your business planning will help ensure that your company can become operational quickly should you suffer a data loss incident. They could be the difference that helps you survive and thrive through a catastrophic data loss event.

At Millennium Tech, we specialize in helping small and medium enterprises secure their data against data loss to ensure that they recover quickly, protect their 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.

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