“I solemnly swear to back up my important documents and precious memories on March 31st.”
For individuals and businesses, routine backups offer protection against lost and stolen data. In the event of a system glitch, hard drive crash, or cloud provider outage, your backups minimize the amount of data you lose and keep you operational. In the event of a data breach or device theft, backups also provide invaluable information about the sensitive data a hacker may access. Whether you’re responsible for a single device or a set of business assets, use March 31 as a time to review your data security backup practices and prioritize your most important data.
“…The impact of unrecoverable data loss is significant and in many cases, marks a fatal blow to the business, which could have been avoided with the proper technology, processes and talent in place,” says Chris Groot, vice president, product management, SolarWinds MSP.
Recognize Technology Vulnerabilities
Data loss happens for many reasons—system malfunctions, malicious attacks, natural disasters, and human error to name a few. An Acronis survey determined that 1 in 3 people have suffered data loss in the past year, and as many as 20% of respondents would offer $500 or more for recovery services. Another study of 1,000 small businesses conducted by Retrospect, Inc., reveals that 52% of small businesses and 17% don’t back up their files or systems at all.
A global survey of nearly 600 IT administrators, published by Kroll Ontrack in 2016, provides information about data loss during migration. While 57% of respondents had a backup solution in place when they lost data during the migration process, 75% of them were unable to restore all of their lost data. More 23% of respondents were unable to recover any data at all. In 2017, businesses rely on sensitive data more than ever, and the cost of data loss has risen. The effects of a data loss today may not only cause a business to close down but can also cause it to face lawsuits and regulatory fines.
Identify Information for Backup
If your smartphone were to shut down today and the data was unrecoverable, what would you lose? Passwords? Photographs? Sensitive documents? Without a backup, you may never find the information again. As you prepare for World Backup Day, remember to save data and devices, including the following:
- Contact information. Many address books sync up across multiple devices and with cloud or network storage solutions. To protect linked accounts and address books, create a backup file on an external hard drive or dedicated server.
- Multimedia and documents. Some people choose to back up only vital files, while others back up all documents, pictures, and other records for protected access later.
- Businesses must backup systems across the network, including databases containing sensitive files such as customer information, reports, and raw data.
- Consider routing applications, data storage, and websites to a backup server to avoid downtime in the event of a cyberattack, natural disaster, or system glitch.
- IoT devices. In addition to traditional computers, consider backing up all connected devices. Gaming systems, smartphones, tablets, smart appliances, and other devices may benefit from a backup routine.
Choosing Backup Methods & Finding a Suitable Provider
After identifying the systems and data sets that require backup, it’s important to consider which backup types are best for your needs and find a partner that can implement your plan.
Each type of backup method—physical, virtual, cloud, and hybird—has its pros and cons. You’ll likely want to use a combination of approaches based on process speed, security, and compliance needs.
When selecting a vendor, ask the following questions and consider developing a full disaster recovery plan:
- What does your service-level agreement include? Do you guarantee specific recovery times?
- What technology do you support?
- Can you accommodate my short-term and long-term data retention needs?
- What physical and digital security measures do you have in place to keep my data secure? (i.e. encryption)
- What is your level of customer support?
- How do you determine backup costs?
World Backup Day is a great reminder to be prepared for the unexpected and test your backup restores to make sure they work. At OnRamp, we’re dedicated to providing reliable data backups and disaster recovery services for organizations of all sizes. Contact us for more information.
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