Having a data backup strategy is crucial for protecting your company.

Imagine what would happen if your only backup is on a single computer and it’s lost, damaged or stolen – it would be so devastating for your company.

Why a Data Backup Strategy is Essential

Data loss is a serious problem for companies of all sizes because losing data means losing time and money to restore or retrieve information that’s crucial to your business. About 60 percent of companies that lose their business data will shut down within six months.

Data loss happens when sensitive or valuable information on a computer is compromised due to theft, power failure, human error, malware or viruses. It may also happen due to mechanical failure or physical damage. Hardware or mechanical failure accounts for the highest percentage of data loss, but human errors and computer viruses and malware (e.g., ransomware) follow closely behind.

The Components of Effective Backup Strategies

Here are some of the components of efficient backup strategies:

  • Identify which data needs backup protection. Determine what needs to be in a data backup. For many companies, this includes everything from customer data to files containing information about payments or accounts.
  • Assess your company’s backup needs. How often should you back up your business data? If you want your company to generate data as quickly as possible, you may want a daily or an hourly backup. If your company rarely updates data, a once-weekly backup may be sufficient.
  • Identify where you will store copies of your business data. You can choose between cloud and on-premise storage systems. Many companies, however, use a hybrid approach to ensure maximum data protection.
  • Consider what you’re protecting your company against. If you want to protect your data from natural disasters such as flooding, then you may want to consider cloud-based storage. Only keep your critical business data backups if they are stored in a waterproof, fireproof and indestructible safe.
  • Train your employees. This prevents human error in data handling. Help your employees understand how your company’s data processing works and how your backup systems function.

What Are the Various Backup Options?

Here are some of the backup options that you can choose from:

  • Hardware backups: Data is backed up in a single drive on your computer.
  • Cloud storage: Also known as offsite backup, this option allows you to store your business data in the vendor’s secure cloud infrastructure. But, you need a stable internet connection to quickly upload and download data.
  • Hybrid backup solution: This is a combination of software and cloud backups. Data are backed up not only onsite but also on the cloud.

How Can You Ensure that Your Backups Are Secure?

Here’s a look at a few ways to keep your backups secure:

  • Use Encryption. You should package your company’s data backups and encrypt them with at least 256-bit AES.
  • Follow the 3-2-1 rule. Three backup copies of data, across two different mediums, with one copy backed up offsite.
  • Test regularly. This ensures that backups work as expected during emergency situations.
  • Eliminate manual processes. Manual backups are at risk of human error. If you automate your backup system, you can reduce the amount of human interaction with data, which minimizes the risk of overwriting or deletion.

Back It Up or Risk Losing It

Everything from cyber-criminals and thieves to fires and floods can put your data backups at risk. Thus, it’s crucial to have a backup system in place to ensure business continuity. If you need help implementing backup systems, contact one of our experts today.