Protecting your data is critical; whether it’s images, emails, video files, or private information, data of all kinds is equally valuable. Any amount of data loss can jeopardize your identity, obliterate your family history, and even bankrupt your entire business.
As we become increasingly dependent on technology, World Backup Day on March 31st encourages us to secure our valuable digital data. There’s always that one photo, movie, or memory that you took the time to save but you no longer have– this is where the backup becomes essential.
Importance Of Protecting Your Data
The consequences of data loss due to cyberattacks can be disastrous for an organization. More than 40% of organizations that suffer data loss lose more than 20% of their clients. Additionally, nearly 30% of organizations that have become victims of data breaches lose major business development prospects.
Did you know that 113 cellphones are lost every minute, but more than 20% of people have never considered backing up their devices?World Backup Day website
Cyberattacks, however, are not the only threat to your data. Ransomware, malware, a slew of natural disasters, and even your external hard drive wearing out are all threats to your data. In such cases, having a data backup can aid in the recovery of lost data.
This blog will cover the basics of data backup and recovery basics, how it helps your organization, data backup guidelines, solutions and storage options, and some DIY recommendations for everyday life.
What is Data Backup And Recovery?
Data backup is the habit of creating a copy (or archive) of the file and data on your device. Maintaining a backup of your critical corporate and personal data allows you to restore it in case of data loss.
Data loss can occur in various ways, including hard drive failures, ransomware attacks, and even human error or physical theft. Whatever the disaster, a data backup could provide the relief you need to restore the data on your devices. It’s usually kept in a safe, separate location from the original machine, such as the cloud.
What Data Should You Back Up?
Any data that you can’t replace (or have severe consequences if lost) should be backed up. It can be everything from music files and images to address books and spreadsheets on an individual level. It can even be your pet’s pictures – anything that you think is valuable should have a backup.
Nevertheless, it is usually the IT department’s task for businesses to manage, store, backup, and recover the data. It includes (but is not limited to) backing up your customer database, financial databases, configuration files, registry and operation files, inventory databases, and similar sensitive information.
How Should I Backup My Data?
Almost all information technology leaders would advise you that partial data backup is preferable to none. However, not all backup devices and technologies are the same, nor do they all provide the same degrees of security.
Remember, the key is to secure the critical data so it can be restored in the event of data loss. Furthermore, it is best to safeguard your data using the 3-2-1 rule for optimal protection. Following the 3-2-1 rule, you should:
- Always create at least THREE copies of your data
- Store the data in at least TWO storage (cloud, hard drives, USB, etc.)
- Keep ONE copy of your data offsite; far from the other copy
Data Backup Solutions And Storage Options
Fundamentally, there are four types of data backup solutions – out of which you always employ at least two solutions. They are categorized based on their storage capacities. These include:
- Removable Media: They have the smallest storage capacity, i.e., 128 to 256 gigabytes. These include CDs, DVDs, USBs, etc. and are used to transfer files from one device to another.
- External Hard Drives: They have up to 10 terabytes of storage capacity. USBs and SSDs are typical examples of most compatible external hard drives.
- Cloud Backup: They have flexible storage capacity, typically more than 1 exabyte. These include Dropbox, Google Drive, and iCloud. Cloud back can also encrypt the stored data.
- Third-Party Services: When you have a ton of important data, you can take help from third-party pros. They offer unlimited storage capacity, data encryption, and hybrid data backup solutions.
Like all other security solutions, data backup solutions are also not one-size-fits-all. The optimal data storage and backup solution for you is the one that suits your needs. Nevertheless, the data backup solution that you consider must be:
- Easy to set up
- Easy to access
- Secure and spacious
In addition to that, you must constantly strategize your backups considering the recovery point objectives (time between your backups) and recovery times objectives (times required to restore your data). The optimal strategy is the one that has the shortest RPO and fastest RTO and vice versa.
Data Backup Guidelines And Recommendations
While the solutions and storage options might not fit everyone’s requirements, maintaining cyber hygiene for data management certainly fits. It is recommended because data backup is not a one-and-done thing. It is a continuous and regular process. Let’s look at some of the best data backup practices:
- Remember the 3-2-1 rule? This rule should always be the priority of data backup strategy
- You should always backup your data regularly to keep RPO minimum
- Always keep a physical copy of the most important documents and files
- Prioritize what information you are backing up and organize it for easy access
- It is essential to test your backup process and storage solutions regularly
A Quick Recap
Whether you keep years of extremely sensitive client data or save a lot of images of your cat, you never want to discover that a significant portion, if not all, of your data, has been lost.
World Backup Day is a reminder to create data backups regularly.
Whether we look at it individually or in the context of organizations, data is equally important for everyone. So, always follow the best data management practices in your daily life and keep your data safe!