In today’s technological era, businesses generate more data than ever before. Thus, big or small, having a regular data backup strategy is must for all organizations. When disaster strikes, whether it is a natural occurrence or malicious intervention, losing the data of your employees, customers, or entire organization, can be a big loss.
Teams must start building suitable backup procedures to protect against unexpected catastrophes in order to avoid significant losses and keep the business going.
To help you simplify data backups and keep your startup running smoothly, here are five data backup tips:
1. Automate Backups
Are you planning to back up data manually?
Manual data backup is a complex and time-consuming task that requires extensive fore-planning. Set some time aside from your busy schedule to back up every bit of data.
In addition, if you are dependent on a specific employee’s diligence, what if they, unfortunately, get sick or leave the company?
Missing the data backup even for a day, week, or month would become serious trouble when the disaster strikes.
Thus, be proactive, implement the right data backup strategy and set automatic backups to happen on a constant and periodic basis. This way, no matter when a disaster occurs, you know there's a backup sitting there waiting for you.
Several companies, including data backup software vendors and operating system builders, are now shipping intelligent backup capabilities. This capability keeps the backups frequent and helps manage the target device's bandwidth intelligently. So the backup streams don't clog your network. These measures have become so sophisticated that many businesses can implement near-continuous backup streams.
Thus the backups are almost available in real-time. It is important not only for disaster recovery but for staying in compliance with regulatory requirements and keeping your mind at peace.
2. Encrypt Data From Day One
Large-scale companies, startups, investors, customers, and marketers focus on one primary thing: Data.
Data can be in the form of a codebase, a blueprint, a business plan, etc. As the company grows, it tends to assimilate information in various forms. Some of them are customer data and transaction records, propositions of future goals, alongside the build and proposals of new products — significant for its survival and success.
Unfortunately, only a few startups recognize the need for data protection. Those who fail to encrypt their data are at risk of getting robbed, which would make them grind to a halt and incompetent.
Various backup software products are available that help you encrypt data on the device and send it in an encrypted form to the cloud using a secured, encrypted channel. This cloud data will additionally get secured through a strict data center security policy.
Thus, start encrypting data from day one to keep the company’s sensitive information safe and secured.
3. Multiple Copies in Multiple Regions Is a Good Idea
Creating copies of your data is mandatory, especially for companies that operate across different geographies.
One of the most prevalent data backup and recovery tips is to have a 3-2-1 rule. This data backup plan advises maintaining three backups of essential files with two copies backed up in two distinct storage types and one copy backed up off-site.
The goal behind the 3-2-1 strategy is to increase resilience through diversity and redundancy. Even if a hacker can access an on-site hard drive of sensitive data, they won’t be able to damage the isolated off-site copy of that data.
Thus, the 3-2-1 rule is merely a starting point for data storage strategies. Individuals and organizations should carefully consider what backup and recovery media best suits their specific needs.
For example, if a New York-based company has offices in the United Kingdom and Spain, you should probably have multiple copies of the data stored in New York, the UK, and Spain. This practice can safeguard against location-based disasters and also file-level problems.
If New York and Spain-based branches aren’t able to access the company data, the UK-based branch will still have access and would be able to share it with the other locations.
Areas of caution include redundancy and compliance. You need to ensure that any redundant data copies are entirely separate, which becomes challenging to do if you're only using one vendor. A single vendor might store the data twice in the same data center, which wouldn't do much good if that data center went down. But if the vendor stores the data in different regions, then there would be zero redundancy with high security.
Similarly, for small businesses, although you might only have one location, you can still save multiple versions of backups and can diversify where and how the data should be saved.
Most data backup apps have settings that let you automate backups to multiple locations, so it's a matter of point-and-click. And if you don't want to save data to yet another cloud service, you can still get much the same effect by saving an extra copy to a local, on-premises resource, like a network-attached storage device.
4. Look for Public Clouds
Protecting data against cyberattacks is one of the vital aims of developing a backup and recovery plan for data. Therefore, it's crucial to ensure that the backup and recovery techniques deployed are safe. There are various layers to this security.
For instance, an organization might decide to back up some of its data in the cloud. The security provided by cloud storage is their first line of protection. The organization's files or documents stored with that cloud provider may get encrypted as the next level of protection.
Security measures differ depending on the situation. But generally speaking, you should spend money on the finest security. Before choosing a data storage company to cooperate with, take the time to research their services.
With clouds like Azure and AWS, all you need to be concerned about is managing the dashboards of Microsoft and Amazon. They deal with local administration and data recovery issues. If any concern comes within the servers, the IT staff has to manage them.
5. Regularize Data Backups
Finally, make sure to test backups regularly. Set-and-forget is a trap into which many SMBs fall when it comes to backup. As most of the backup apps are almost entirely automated. So it's common to forget that the backups are working, especially when most of that work is probably happening after the official working hours.
However, it is essential to take 30 minutes and make sure that
(a) the data you need to have backed up is being saved; and
(b) you can recover that data within the time frame you're expecting.
Just because your backup logs indicate a backup performed on X date at Y time doesn't necessarily mean everything is fine. Transmission to the cloud might have been spotty or broken, or perhaps the files you saved somehow became corrupted. So, take a few minutes and restore some of the files from your most recent backup to ensure everything's working.
Most hardcore IT professionals counsel a monthly or even weekly test of the backup process, but that's coming from folks who work in IT. If you have a team of IT people in your company, then, by all means, testing every month is probably the best balance between data safety and IT workload overkill. Even if you are a small business owner without a large team of IT staff on board, it is advisable to have a good data backup strategy and test the backup process at least once a quarter.
Let Zmanda Take Care of Data Backup Strategy
Maintaining your data backup strategy can feel like a full-time job, considering this ever-changing and expanding nature of technology. Several businesses have run into bottlenecks because they believed their method was viable and have lost debilitating amounts of data.
Are you wondering where you’ll acquire the expertise and the time to configure effective backup plans? Allow Zmanda to handle your backups and cybersecurity and gain end-to-end data integrity and easy storage.
With Zmanda, we help with the automation of backups of all operations independently to the multiple storage points using our 3-2-1 rule at any time of your choice. We also help to seamlessly compress & smartly encrypt data during each step of the backup process. It allows you to gain complete control over the data from the storage units.