World Backup Day is a global initiative encouraging people and businesses to backup and protect their data. Since securing data for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) has become a labor-intensive task due to the tremendous increase in data volume and the far-reaching routes it traverses, backing up data is a practice that should be applied consistently and without fail.
In line with World Backup Day on March 31st, here’s a guide on why your business should have backups, which files to back up, where to store them, when you should do it, and how to do it.
Why are backups important?
Data loss is crippling. It can cause massive profit loss, reputation damage, productivity disruption, loss of customer loyalty, and even permanent business failure. Backups are an essential part of any ransomware disaster recovery plan. When an organization is hit with ransomware, they can simply use its backups to recover the system without giving in to cybercriminals.
However, backups are not immune to ransomware. There are advanced ransomware strains that have the mechanisms to seek out and encrypt backups that are stored both locally and in the cloud. As with any data, using a combination of local and offsite backups will help reduce the risk of ransomware affecting your company’s backups and put your business in a more secure position to minimize downtime in the event of an infection.
What should you back up?
A comprehensive backup ensures that your business can make a complete recovery in the event of an error, or disaster. A complete backup should include:
☐ Operating system files
☐ Software application files
☐ Lesser used data files
☐ All data files on every server (not just some servers)
Where should you back up?
According to Schofield’s Second Law of Computing, data doesn’t really exist unless you have at least two copies of it. This law emphasizes that you should make several reliable backups to make sure that at least one backup will survive.
You should also use a trusted cloud backup solution so you can restore data seamlessly while ensuring business continuity, data security, and compliance.
When should you back up?
With the increasing likeliness of data loss due to disasters, destruction from cybercrime, and physical device loss or theft, backing up should be done once per night, for all machines (servers, laptops, desktops, etc). Most cloud services have automated backups. But even if you're using a cloud service, it'll still be prudent for everyone in your organization to know and practice data backup best practices.
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How can you back up your files?
Cloud computing is an ideal solution for SMBs, and you can also save your data locally by keeping all the files that will need to be archived on a single drive on a computer.
For instance, if you need to back up accounting files, word-processing documents, spreadsheets, photos, and email, you can use Simply Accounting, Microsoft Office (including Outlook), and Paintshop Pro all on a separate drive or under a separate folder. Back up the drive, select the critical data to be archived, then install and use a backup software program to archive your business data on a regular schedule.
Data backups are often not prioritized and put on the back burner by business leaders, which is why World Backup Day serves as an excellent reminder for SMBs who may not be implementing data backup best practices.
As the leading managed IT services provider in Athens, we look out for businesses that handle critical data and provide solutions that will ensure data remains secure and protected, always. Schedule a free consultation with us today.
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