Backing up data refers to the process of making a copy of information typically stored on a device, to protect it in case of a disaster, accident or malicious action.
Why is data backup important?
Data backup is vital for the survival of an organization. With business information being primarily stored online, cyber threats such as human error or a ransomware attack mean critical data can be lost at any moment. Data backup is the ammunition that every organization has to protect against critical data loss.
What are some consistent causes of critical data loss?
Employees are not error-free, and some of these mistakes can be significant. Without realizing it, employees can overwrite important files or delete information that is essential to your business.
Viruses and malware
Viruses and malware can steal and delete swaths of data or bring business operations to a halt. In most cases, work devices become compromised with viruses and malware through email-based attacks or through phishing that tempts an employee to click on a corrupted link.
Stolen or lost devices
Portable computing devices, such as laptops, tablets and smart phones, and the critical information stored on them, can be stolen.
When software is corrupted it may not be able to run again, meaning you cannot access data stored in that software.
Power outages can shut software systems down without warning. Not only can this result in the loss of unsaved data, but it can also cause existing files to be corrupted due to improper shutdown procedures.
How can you backup your data?
A simple option is to backup files on removable media such as CDs, DVDs, or tape backups. This can be practical for smaller environments, but for larger data volumes, you’ll need to back up to multiple disks, or find a different option with more storage.
External hard drive
External hard drives are a popular backup option because it’s easy to use, plus it contains plenty of storage space. You can transfer your data from your device to an external hard drive wirelessly or through cables.
With this option, your data won’t be stored on a device you possess—which eliminates the possibility of losing the device. Cloud backups provide access to your data through the internet at anytime from anywhere. Storage space is flexible, too, with some providers even offering an unlimited capacity.
Remote disaster recovery sites
A disaster recovery site is a location that a company can temporarily relocate to following a security breach or natural disaster. An internal recovery site is organized and maintained by the company, while an external provider maintains an external recovery site.
All of these backup methods should be regularly tested (monthly or quarterly) to ensure they will work when relied upon.
How should you backup your data?
Backup important data once every 24 hours through offline local storage, the cloud or disaster recovery, so that you have copies of your data outside your organization network.
To ensure your backups are done securely, ensure they are encrypted, to add another layer of protection to this data. Adding a strong password to your backups is one way of encrypting your backed up data.