Did you know that 42% of businesses faced a data loss event in 2019? Also, 52% of small businesses have lost data at least once. Data loss can be detrimental for any company. It can result in substantial financial loss, tarnished reputation, corporate liability, and business closure. Consequently, businesses should consider data backups strategies in place to shield themselves from the dire consequences of data loss. A good data backup plan is a crucial part of business continuity and keeps your company safe, and secure.
Facts on Data Loss
Cases of data loss have increased substantially over the years. In 2015, more than 2,000 data breaches culminating in data loss were reported across the globe. Among the causes of data loss, include;
- BYOD policies
- Human error
- System failure
- Computer viruses
- Software corruption
- Mechanical damages of hard drive
- Natural disasters
Data loss can affect any company, regardless of size and industry. In many instances, organizations lose sensitive information as well as intellectual property. Data loss exposes confidential information that can harm individuals â€“ customers and employees, and organizations.
Also, it is costly for companies. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach is approximately $3.92 million. Downtime emanating from data loss can cost a business between $10,000 and $5 million per hour.
Data Backup Strategies
All the detrimental effects of data loss can be avoided with a data backup strategy. In fact, it is easier, efficient, and cheaper to backup data than risk data loss. Data backup guarantees that a copy of data is stored on another medium in case the chief storage fails. Here are some essential data backup considerations you should make.
Onsite vs. Offsite Storage
When developing a data backup strategy, you must determine whether to use onsite or offsite storage. Onsite storage involves backing up your data on physical media. Administrators backup data manually at planned intervals or irregularly.
With onsite storage, you have physical control of data, keep sensitive data onsite, and don’t require internet connectivity to access it. However, you need monetary investment in infrastructure and space to accommodate servers.
Offsite storage involves backing up data in remote storage centers at regular intervals. The process is mostly automated, and applications handle the backup of data. Cloud storage is desirable because it is automated, scalable, cost-effective, and secure. Nevertheless, third-parties access your sensitive data, and you need internet connectivity to access your data.
Types of Backup
There are three categories of backups, namely full backups, differential backups, and incremental backups. The type of backup you choose depends on your enterprise’s needs and network resources.
They provide a complete copy of data. Since they are storage-intensive, it is best practice to run them periodically. It can be daily or weekly, depending on organizational needs.
These backups demand that you first conduct a full backup then build on it with newer data. Every update you make on the original full backup data is copied and stored. Differential backup requires fewer resources than a full backup and hence an excellent option for many businesses.
It begins with a full backup and then only copies new data since the last incremental backup. This type of backup is the least resource-intensive.
Data Backup Strategies For SMBs
1. Increase Backup Frequency
The 2020 World Cyber Protection Week Survey revealed that although 90% of companies backup their IT components, only 41% backup daily. 28% of organizations backup their data weekly, 20% monthly, and 10% don’t backup at all.
It is best practice for companies to increase their backup frequency. Once a day is no longer enough. Businesses should aim to backup their data multiple times in a day. Numerous tools are available in the market to facilitate rapid and instant backups.
2. Adhere to 3-2-1 Backup Rule
This rule requires that a company keeps three copies of data, two should be local but in different media, and one stored offsite. To comply with this backup rule, you should backup to two local on-premises storage and replicate the data to offsite storage. A good example of adhering to the 3-2-1 rule is using your central server in your corporate headquarters, a backup NAS drive, and a cloud backup.
3. Encrypt Backups
Your backup data is not immune to cybersecurity threats. Therefore, you should encrypt it to add a layer of security. When recovery time comes, everything will be as you expect. You can enquire from your IT service provider whether your backups are encrypted. If not, he can advise on how to encrypt them.
4. Use Cloud Backup Cautiously
The need to use cloud backup cautiously cannot be ignored. While the upfront costs of cloud backup are attractive, long-term costs can be prohibitive. For example, paying for 100TBs of data over a long period can be costlier than owning 100TB of storage.
A good number of cloud vendors charge clients an egress fee for moving data from the cloud to their premises. Subsequently, during recovery, you pay the egress fee.
As such, it is fundamental for enterprises to take a strategic approach to the cloud. Although on-premises storage may be more cost-effective for some organizations, they should store recent copies of data in the cloud.
5. Do not Ignore Endpoints
Endpoints refer to laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones that employees use to perform their duties. These devices store valuable data that can be lost if the device is lost, stolen, or malfunctions. Hence, it is essential to backup data stored in these endpoints. Luckily, thanks to the cloud, you can backup your endpoints data seamlessly to a cloud repository.
6. Test your Backups
Do not invest in a backup plan and assume that you will get your data back in the event of a loss. You should test your backups for complete data protection and business continuity. Try to restore a file or application and see what you get. You may find that your backups work just fine or be in for some surprises.
Who Should Backup Data?
The role of backing up data should not be left to system administrators and IT personnel. Every person who creates, edits, and modifies data for business purposes must backup the data to protect it from loss. S/he should have a daily backup plan.
Organizations in the financial and medical sectors have a legal obligation to backup their data regularly. Also, they should ensure that their data is stored securely and encrypted for a specified duration.
Currently, data backup is more important than ever as cases of data loss increase every day. Whether a data loss emanates from human error, system malfunction, or a natural disaster, the effects can devastate your business. Use the strategies outlined above to secure your data and company in 2020 and beyond. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.