March 31st is World Backup Day!
Have you backed up your data recently? Large amounts of valuable data are lost every day because people fail to follow one basic procedure: Backup data. World Backup Day – March 31st – is set aside as a reminder to back up your files, even if it’s only once a year. For those with backup technology in place, World Backup Day should be a reminder of the importance that digital information plays in our daily lives, to check up on existing backups to make sure they are being properly made and that they can be easily restored. For those not currently backing up their data regularly, the day should bring into focus data security. Perhaps take the time to consider the impact losing your data forever would have, then take action.
What is a Backup?
A backup is a secondary copy of data. Backups may include things like company or client data, emails, text messages, or even family photos. Regardless of the type of data, a backup is a copy of the original which is used primarily as a safeguard against loss or destruction of the original copy.
Why Should I Backup my Data?
Making backups of collected data is critically important in data management. Backups protect against human errors, hardware failure, virus attacks, power failure, and natural disasters. Backups can help save time and money if these failures occur. If you’ve ever deleted an important file, lost an important email, or found out the hard drive on your computer is broken, you can probably understand why having a backup is worthwhile. But thinking beyond just a broken hard drive there are several important reasons to keep accurate and up-to-date information in a safe place. Consider the ever-growing number of ransomware cases popping up around the world and particularly the threat that small business owners face when targeted by these attacks.
Benefits of Backups
Imagine you turn on your laptop for work on a Monday morning and the screen is blue. You turn it off and quickly restart your computer, but still, the screen is blue (commonly known as BSOD or Blue Screen of Death amongst PC repair technicians). You have a sudden panic feeling as you realize all of the presentations for current and potential customers are on this laptop. Sure, all the long-term records and important data are on a company server, but now you’ve lost dozens of hours of work and there’s little chance you’ll get it back. This very real scenario is just one pitfall of avoiding backups. Having backups allow you to work without fear that a document, database, or presentation will disappear. Backups also provide insurance against malicious acts such as employees or outside actors, as well as accidental data destruction.
How to Backup Data
There are a wide variety of backup solutions available, from no-cost options to complex redundant servers placed in your physical workspace. Backup solutions come in a few major categories:
Cloud– Cloud backup refers to any data that is stored offsite from the original and generally refers to using a third party with redundant data storage to keep the data. Cloud has amazing reliability (the data never goes away as it is stored in multiple locations with an array of protections as well as availability). The data is accessible from anywhere and on any device. One example of cloud storage is Google Drive. Google Drive is an online storage folder that allows you to store data off of your hard drive and on a series of hard drives which are protected by world-class security and redundancy mechanisms.
Onsite Server– A much more traditional approach to backup is simply keeping a secondary device (a computer, external hard drive, or an on-location network storage device (NAS- Network Access Storage) in the same location as the original data. This approach is low cost and has the benefit of being managed by the data owner. The downside is that if something goes wrong in the original location, (fire, flood, theft, blackout) the data may be destroyed along with the original data. This option is low cost when applied using a flash drive, and data could easily (and cheaply) be backed up to multiple locations (physical flash drives, stored in multiple locations).
Managed Cloud– Think iCloud from Apple or Samsung Cloud. These services are frequently offered at no cost (or pay when you reach a data limit) and are built into the device. Under settings for your device search for iCloud or Samsung Cloud. You’ll see what’s currently being stored, what data limits you have, options to expand those limits (for a cost) and you have the option to pick what is backed up.
Before You Begin: Keep in mind that backup solutions must take into account any and all data protection laws or regulations (such as CMMC, federal/state supply chain contracts, or HIPPA) which are required of your organization.
How can CREG Systems Help?
CREG Systems can automate backups on-site and in the cloud. As part of our managed backup service, we will copy and backup your data, creating a snapshot of your systems that can be used for recovery and restoration in the event that something goes awry.
For example, if malicious code found its way into your network and corrupted files before they could be removed, we can use our backups to restore your system to the way it was before. By backing up data daily and storing them on on-site servers, at a separate location, or on the cloud, we can provide you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your information is safe – even if the unexpected happens. Simply put, a data backup is just a copy of files from your computer or device. Keeping a backup of your important business files and data is essential for several important reasons.
For optimal protection, it is best to defend your data using what we at CREG Systems call the 3-2-1 rule. Put simply, the 3-2-1 rule states that you should:
- Keep at least three copies of your data (so no single event will destroy all copies).
- Store the data in at least two different formats (i.e. disk, tape, cloud, etc.).
- Keep one copy offsite to protect against fire, flood, theft, and other physical disasters.
In honor of World Backup Day this year, make a pledge to ensure at least one backup exists of your most critical data. Start small if this is a new endeavor, such as using a flash drive to backup records. Or go for something more ambitious if you feel comfortable, for example, you can head to Microsoft OneDrive or Google today and sign up for a free account. Although the storage limits are low for free accounts you can quickly get the hang of backing up your data. Good luck and go back up those valuable files!