7 tips – How to Create an Effective Data Backup Strategy (and Why You Should)

Whether you’re a start-up or global corporation, backups are an essential part of any business’ IT strategy.
Making and securing multiple versions of your important data is essential for avoiding the data loss due to theft, malicious activities, or even a fire or flood in your workplace.

We understand that making copies of data and organizing them can be difficult for business owners.

Therefore, we’ve put together some suggestions on how to create an effective data backup strategy and keep up with backups to prevent data loss.
If you need convincing why backups are important? – Check these two articles out:

Backups – Why Should we care?

10 Backup Statistics – every business should know

Realise, it is not always intended to be harmful or catastrophic.

A frequent misstep we hear frequently is “we don’t need to back up”, “We are safe”, “We haven’t had any ransomware attacks yet”, “Personnel understand not to open suspicious files”…but did you know that the most common data recovery is actually due to unintended errors?

Not to mention data corruption and then let’s discuss hardware failures, malicious recoveries are only the stories we get wind of when it makes the news.

It’s as easy as 3-2-1 backup.

One of the primary reasons why people don’t keep backups is because they are unaware of the correct procedure.

The 3-2-1 rule is usually recommended; three copies of your data, stored on two distinct mediums, with one located away from the original source.

A lot of people make a mistake by having just one copy of their files. Without a doubt, this is better than nothing, however having two additional replicas considerably decreases the probability of data loss.

It is essential to save these on two distinct mediums, for example a USB flash drive and an external hard drive.
This will provide protection from any device failure. Furthermore, it is wise to keep one of the backups in a different place than the other ones.

By having various locations, you can protect yourself against fire, robbery or any other unfortunate incident in your workplace.

Use Cloud Storage and File Sync Services.

You may be wondering “What if I don’t have access to another location to store a backup?” Fortunately, start-ups and small businesses can still use the 3-2-1 backup strategy approach without needing to rent out extra space.

Cloud storage offer an economical – yet secure – solution, providing organizations with the ability to store their documents on a remote server. These files are stored in datacentres that are managed by reliable companies such as Amazon and Microsoft.

If you are already making use of OneDrive, Google Drive or Dropbox to keep your documents and information, then these services could be a great selection for you due to the fact that they can be incorporated without difficulty.

Nonetheless, it is important to bear in mind that document and collaboration platforms such as these should not be viewed as a backup answer and must always be used in conjunction with other back-up techniques; in fact, Google and Microsoft both firmly recommend to keep your data using a third-party or alternate source.

For instance, we have our cloud backup solution storing data in Amazon (AWS) and Google (GCP), you can backup all of the above vendors and set up an offsite copy. It’s also a great choice as it stores multiple copies of the files.

Monitor and Check up on them regularly.

It is highly beneficial to back up your data with a backup schedule, but it is equally important to ensure that you are routinely inspecting them.

Unless you take the time to test them, how can you be certain that they are operating as intended?

We suggest examining your backups at least once a month to every six months; this will guarantee that everything is running optimally and that all of your data can be retrieved if an emergency arises.

Nothing worse than when you need to restore, you find that it doesn’t work or that there is nothing there.

Disaster recovery Plan.

It is important to create a plan for recovering from a disaster in order to minimize the amount of time your company will be without data if it is lost. A good disaster recovery plan should include the following:

1. Establish objectives and scope: Establish what type of disasters you’re preparing for, what systems need to be recovered, and who is responsible for recovery.
2. Identify critical systems: Identify which systems are mission-critical and need to be recovered as quickly as possible.
3. Develop backup strategies: Determine how often backups will be created, where they will be stored, and who is responsible for them.
4. Test the plan regularly: Regularly test your plan to make sure it works correctly in case of a disaster situation.
5. Train personnel: Make sure all personnel involved in the recovery process are trained on their roles and responsibilities in case of a disaster.
6. Develop a communication strategy: Create a strategy for communicating with stakeholders about the recovery process and any changes that may need to be made during or after the event.
7. Document procedures: Document each step of the recovery process so that personnel can easily follow it in case of an emergency situation. Having a backup of the information is useless if you don’t know how to access it again.

Consider automation.

Manual backups are a great way to ensure your files are safe while keeping expenses low. This makes them a suitable choice for individuals and very small firms. Be mindful of possible drawbacks like sickness, forgetfulness, and only copying the data that select individuals deem important and not the firm as a whole.

It is wise to consider automating your backups sooner rather than later.

Automating your backups allows you to set up a backup schedule for when and how often they should be performed, saving you time and energy.

Automated backups can also help ensure that data is securely backed up in multiple locations, providing an extra layer of protection in the event of a disaster. Doing so ensures that no file will be overlooked. Copying files by hand is not only tedious, but it can also lead to mistakes being made.

Our Little Secret.

Shhh…Keep it a secret that we don’t just “flip the switch” and have IT work like magic for our customers; in reality, all of these strategies are integrated into our services for every customer.

We program computers to reroute all files from Desktop, Documents, Pictures to cloud services such as OneDrive/SharePoint, from where we back up the files multiple times a day, not only their files but also their emails, Teams and SharePoint. (3-2-1 backup system).

Keeping track of the backups, notifies us of any likely issues with the backups and a Disaster Recovery Plan is established for when restorations are necessary, as well as frequent testing to make sure it works like a charm. Its almost like we created this piece based on what we do 😉

This article offers a few suggestions for keeping backups and is not exhaustive. If you would like to explore your backup and disaster recovery plan further, please contact us.

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