The Importance of Backups

Do you keep a ‘backup’ spare tyre in your car in case of an emergency or break down? Most of us have backups in place to get us out of various situations and  your business data should be no different.

Considering 44% of data loss is caused by system crash, software corruption or mistaken deletion, do you have a backup plan in place in the event one of these commonalities causes you to lose everything?

If you don’t… today (31st March) is World Backup Day, so now is as good a time as any to get started.

What is a backup?

As defined by worldbackupday.com ‘A backup is having a second copy of all your important files’. These files can include documents, emails, pictures, videos and more. Instead of storing all of your data in one place (like an on premise server), you should ensure that a second copy is housed safely elsewhere.

Why should I backup?

Imagine spending hours, days or even weeks working on an important project. Then disaster strikes. You’ll have:

  1. Lost data
  2. Wasted time
  3. Lost money
  4. Potentially missed a deadline
  5. To face the pain of doing the work twice

Convinced yet? What if we told you that 43% of businesses who face a major data loss never re-open? By ensuring backups are in place and functioning, you can avoid being part of the 43% and in turn, ensure your business never suffers from ‘deadly downtime’.

How do I backup?

No two people or businesses manage their data the same way, so the answer to ‘how do I backup?’ will differentiate on a case-by-case basis. Generally, the first rule of thumb is to ensure your data is backed up in three different places.

As a business, you should consider on site, off site and hosted backups. It is also worth noting that it is equally important to have a disaster recovery plan in place. If you’re concerned that you don’t have adequate backups or that they aren’t functioning correctly, contact your IT department or provider.

If you simply want to take a backup of your PC, you can follow Microsoft’s quick guide here.

How many backups should I keep?

There is no right or wrong answer, one will always be better than zero.

However, you may want to think of how much money and disruption it could cause your business. If your last back up was taken a night before –vs- a week before, you’ll likely have significant cost savings as well as less downtime.

We recommend backups are taken as follows:

  • 5 to 7 daily (depending on whether your company closes at the weekend)
  • 1 weekly (rotated, therefore you are not always overwriting Friday’s)
  • 1 monthly (depending on how much you value your data).

Where should I keep my backups?

A network-attached storage (NAS) is one of the fastest and most reliable servers to backup to and restore from. Keep in mind,  you may want to keep your second storage unit in a remote office in case disaster strikes. Another option is to backup certain data or full servers to the cloud.

Understanding the importance of backups to your business is vital to protecting reputation and minimising downtime. Don’t wait and become an April Fool, this World Backup Day.

Guest Contributor: Kevin Lyons, Xperience Group

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