When's the Last Time You Checked Your Backup? The Tool You Choose Can Sink or Save Your Business

Backups tend to be one of those “out of sight, out of mind” things. We start one at some point, then often we don’t think about it again until we need to recover our data. 

But there are many things that can go wrong in between initiating the backup and trying to recover your data months or years later, and if you haven’t chosen a resilient solution, you could be left with a devastating loss.

There is a reason that backup and recovery are a major part of any business continuity plan. Because a single data loss incident causes many companies to have to close their doors due to the financial consequences. 

The National Archives & Records Administration estimates that 93% of businesses that have experienced data loss resulting in prolonged downtime for 10 days or more, end up filing for bankruptcy within a year.

Data loss can occur from a number of different areas:

  • Accidental deletion
  • Ransomware or virus
  • Hard drive failure
  • Software failure
  • Cloud services outage
  • Internal malicious deletion
  • Data breach
  • Lost or stolen device
  • Natural or manmade disaster (hurricane, fire, etc.)

We’ll take you through the best types of backup systems to use, the 3-2-1 backup rule, and the importance of “recovery” when it comes to a backup and recovery tool.

Why Should My Business Use the 3-2-1 Backup Rule?

Data loss can occur at anytime out of the blue and can cost small to medium-sized businesses $15,000 a day, just in daily disruption alone (not including costs for emergency IT support, data breach costs, etc.).

Even when a company is backing up, often they’re not following the 3-2-1 backup rule, which leaves them vulnerable to data loss.

On average, 60% of backups are incomplete and 50% of restores fail.

Not all backups, even if you’re doing them right, are infallible, and even cloud service providers, like Microsoft, recommend you backup your cloud services with a 3rdparty tool. The 3-2-1 backup rule is designed to ensure minimal data loss, even if a backup failure on a device occurs.

The 3-2-1 Backup Rule

  • 3 – Save your data on at least 3 different media (i.e. a cloud backup, a hard drive backup, your PC hard drive)
  • 2 – Ensure at least 2 of those media are different. (i.e. don’t have all three of your backups as cloud-based)
  • 1 – Include at least 1 off-site backup (i.e. all your backups should not be located at your office)

So, what this might look like for your business if you’re following the rule is:

  • 1 copy of data on the computer’s hard drive
  • 1 copy of data stored in a cloud system like OneDrive
  • 1 copy of data stored in a cloud backup service that’s specifically designed for backup and recovery 

What to Look for in a Good Backup & Recovery Tool

There are many different options out there for data backup, some of them also offer easy recovery options, while others don’t.

For example, if you’re backing up files to a flash drive, that flash drive isn’t going to include a robust recovery option that puts all your files back in the same place on your hard drive, or even include your computer’s software and settings.

Using a flash drive, CD, or basic hard drive for simple manual copying of files or folders is one of the most basic types of backups and is going to increase recovery time should a data loss incident occur.

A better type of system is one that takes a full image of your hard drive. Many external backup systems will do this, such as:

  • Using a program like Mac’s Time Machine with an external removable hard drive
  • Using a cloud-based backup service

The advantage of a system that takes a full image of your computer (also known as cloning your drive) is that in the event you lose your laptop or your computer crashes and is unrecoverable, you can clone all your programs, settings, files, and folders over to another computer and get back up and running quickly. 

If all you’ve saved are the data files, then you’re going to be spending time installing things like the operating system and any needed updates, software, and reconfiguring things like your email and system settings.

Things to Look for in a Good Backup System

  • Automated and can take backups throughout the day
  • Designed not to slow a computer down while backing up
  • Has a fast and easy data restoration process
  • Provides alerts if a backup has stopped or run out of space
  • Takes a full image of your computer, not just a file copying program
  • If it’s a cloud backup provider, has a good reputation
  • Flexibility to easily expand space when needed

Things You Can Do to Ensure Business Continuity

  • Check backups regularly to ensure they haven’t hit a snag
  • Double check to make sure the correct files/folders are backing up
  • Test the backup recovery process of your backup tools
  • Use the 3-2-1 backup rule

Protect Your Business with Sound Backup/Recovery Solutions

Technology Visionaries can help your business alleviate any worries about catastrophic loss of your computer data. We offer complete backup protection for New Jersey businesses with tools that ensure both reliable backups and fast recovery.

Contact us today to do a “Backup Checkup” and sleep soundly tonight. Call us at 732-587-5960 or send a message through our contact form.