data backup

Data Backup Best Practices for Businesses

When your business relies on accessing data, losing it is one of the most stressful events you can face. As technology and threats change, so should your approach to data backup. If you haven’t reviewed your approach for a while, here are some of the best practices you can adopt.

Three, two, one approach

There’s an unwritten rule in the world of data backup that states you follow the three, two, one approach. You should back up your data with three copies, in two different locations, and one of those locations should be offsite.

Using a third party to store your data offsite can protect you in the event of a disaster. For example, if there’s a natural disaster and it sends your hardware into a state of ruin, you’ll be able to recover your data from your third-party provider. Or, if ransomware holds your systems hostage, you can make sure it’s business as usual, using your offsite data.

Use regular backup intervals

How often do you back up your data at present? If it’s once every 24 hours, you’d be forgiven for thinking that’s a high enough frequency. Unfortunately, it isn’t.

If you lose your data toward the end of your designated 24-hour period, you could lose a day’s worth of work or more. Consider the financial impact of such losses and how it would affect your productivity. By increasing your backup intervals so they take place once every two to three hours, you won’t face such significant losses.

Try backup encryption

If you do choose to host a copy of your data offsite, make sure you use backup encryption to keep it safe. Some services, such as cloud storage, provide super-strength encryption that’s difficult for even the savviest of hackers to access.

Paying more for backup encryption is always worth it. In 2018, the average cost per stolen record of data was $148. That was a 4.8% increase from 2017. The first six months of 2019 saw more than 3,800 publicly disclosed breaches which was in total 4.1 billion compromised records. Incredibly, 3.2 billion of these involved only 8 breaches.

Consider using a cloud service

Using a cloud service to back up some of your data is about much more than keeping it safe. Cloud storage is also more cost-friendly than you may think. You can increase and decrease the storage you’re using in line with business demands, making it flexible too.

It’s estimated that 83% of workloads will be in the cloud by 2020. This suggests that most businesses are working toward depending on cloud storage for their data backup. In addition to being safe and cost-friendly, it’s also flexible. When your employees can access data from anywhere, they can work from anywhere.

Decide on your retention span

It’s unreasonable to expect to keep your backups forever. Your storage requirements would go out of control and the costs would become difficult to manage. In some cases, keeping your backups forever may make you non-compliant with data protection laws.

Instead, decide on a retention span that’s useful to you. You may need the assistance of IT professionals to make such a decision. Focus on how long you’d like to keep each hourly, daily, and weekly backup for. Ideally, this will be in line with promoting your business aims while reducing unnecessary data storage.

By adopting some of the best industry practices for backing up your data, you stand a stronger chance of helping your business run smoothly. Just don’t forget to review your approach periodically to make sure you’re in step with the latest tech demands.