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We live in a digital age where data has become one of the most valuable commodities in the world. Businesses collect vast volumes of data every day from their customers, which plays a critical role in their day-to-day operations. If business organisations happen to lose their data under any circumstance, the consequences can be catastrophic.
This is the harsh reality of today’s digital business landscape. Businesses can experience data loss in many ways, ranging from natural disasters to cyberattacks. Should you suffer an unexpected data loss, your competitive advantage lies in how quickly you can get your operations up and running without experiencing significant downtime.
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In this blog, we’ll take a brief look at the various dangers to business data and how you can prevent them with the proper backup strategy. We’ll also look at the different ways of backing up data and the advantages of using a robust business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solution.
Before we look at the different ways of backing up data, you need to know why your business requires data backup. Businesses commonly encounter the following data security threats to data in their everyday operations.
Cyberattacks: As technology evolves, cyberattacks continue to evolve as well. The growing threat of ransomware is a testament to that. According to the latest Verizon report, 27% of malware incidents can be attributed to ransomware attacks. While antimalware and antivirus programs can certainly offer protection, businesses need to think about what might happen in case of an unavoidable security breach and eventual data loss when formulating a data security strategy.
Natural disasters: Natural disasters such as floods, fire, earthquakes and the like pose a meaningful threat to the traditional form of data storage and security. Do you have what it takes to bounce back if these disasters catch you off guard and wipe out your company’s data?
Hardware issues: Mishaps originating from hardware issues play a major role in business data loss. With traditional data storage methods, data is stored in a physical location on hard drives and backup appliances. Any hardware issues arising in these devices can pose a severe threat to your valuable data.
Human errors: Human errors still play a central role in data loss. According to Verizon, as much as 30% of data loss incidents are caused by internal actors. This could be attributed to anything from poor password practices to falling for phishing scams. Human error can be avoided with employee training.
All these factors indicate that data loss can happen to any organisation irrespective of their size or the security precautions taken. You need a solid data backup solution to make sure that your lost data is not entirely unrecoverable.
As you understand the importance of data backup, certain questions may inevitably spring to mind – What is the best way to store data? How many copies should you take?
Regarding the best way of storing data, both cloud backup and on-site backup appliances need to be considered. This is because both have their own advantages and limitations. On-storage devices are faster, giving organisations complete control over their data. However, they are prone to physical mishaps and hardware issues. On the other hand, Cloud-based backup is not vulnerable to natural disasters but requires a lot of bandwidth to backup large files.
The ideal backup strategy combines both these approaches, with multiple copies stored in different locations. When backing up your data, you need to consider the 3-2-1 rule, which simultaneously answers your questions on the right approach to data backup and the number of copies that need to be made.
As per this rule, it is prudent to have at least three copies of data – one production copy and two backup copies on two different media (internal hard drive and removable storage media) along with one off-site copy (cloud) for disaster recovery. Newer variations of this rule suggest having at least two copies (3-2-2 rule) on the cloud depending on the importance of your data. Ultimately, the more copies you make, the higher your chances of recovery after a loss.
In crude terms, data backup is simply the process of making copies of your files and storing them. However, the primary purpose of a backup is to get your business up and running in no time following an unexpected disaster. Hence, an effective backup strategy is symbiotic with business continuity as well. Business continuity refers to the ability of your organisation to get back in working order as quickly as possible following an unexpected data loss.
Recommended Read: Why an Impact Analysis is Essential for Business Continuity
When you think about business continuity, you must think in terms of Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO). RTO refers to the maximum time an application can be down without affecting the business. RPO refers to the maximum amount of data that can be lost without harming the company.
A good Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery solution will provide you with the following benefits:
While incorporating an effective backup strategy, you need to implement the following best practices to limit data loss:
Backup should be a part of every organisation’s business strategy, irrespective of its size, location or industry. Threats to business data are widespread and are happening at an alarming rate. In this scenario, a solid data backup plan could be the preventative measure that saves your business when disaster strikes.
Talk to us today so we can help you zero in on an effective backup strategy that’s tailor-made for you.