Data is the backbone of many businesses and keeping files safe and accessible is a crucial part of making sure a company is functioning well.
As there are so many different ways that data loss can occur, having a well-thought-out data backup strategy is so important for businesses.
Whether big or small, businesses are vulnerable to all sorts of cyberattacks, such as ransomware attacks, that steal and hold data at a cost.
Additionally, businesses are vulnerable to human error or physical damages to servers that can cause a loss of the data that they contain.
One small slip-up could result in a costly data disaster for any company that hasn't backed up its data correctly.
Deciding where and how data is stored is a necessary step for all businesses, and there are a few different ways you can do this securely and successfully.
Deciding where and how data is stored is a necessary step for all businesses, and there are a few different ways you can do this securely and successfully to protect data.
How often should you back up business data?
Often! Businesses should perform regular backups of their data, ensuring that their data is backed up daily or once a week at most, to avoid losing valuable information and protect data.
Though this might sound a bit excessive, backing up your data once a week means that if something should happen to your data, you would only lose a week's worth of work, as it has been backed up and stored a week ago.
The more regularly you backup your business data, the less you would lose should something go wrong.
Some methods of data storage, such as cloud storage, also allow you to back up your data automatically.
Types of data backup
Not all methods for backing up data are the same, and different types of data backup have varying lengths of time it takes to both backup, and subsequently restore, the files.
There are a few types of data backup, such as:
- full backup,
- incremental backups or
- differential backups.
The full backup is the most robust method for backing up data, ensuring that every single file is completely backed up.
A full backup can be quite time-consuming, but it means that any lost data from your files are easily recovered once backed up.
Incremental backups update changes in data since the last backup that took place, whether it was a full backup or just the last incremental backup.
This is much faster when backing up the data, but a lot slower when data needs to be recovered.
Unlike incremental backup, differential backups update changes in data since the first initial full backup.
Types of data storage
The type of data storage used to backup files is an important element to consider, as choosing the right data storage for your company will ensure that you can access your protected data safely and efficiently.
You can do your data storage:
- off-site or
Local data storage is when data is stored on the business's own server or hard drives, ready to be accessed whenever needed.
However, this type of data backup is not protected if something happens to the server, such as the devices being physically damaged.
Off-site data storage is creating copies of the data away from the main storage. This could be in the form of physical copies in a separate location from the server.
Remote data storage, such as cloud servers, backup business data so that it can be accessed online from anywhere.
With remote working becoming more popular, this kind of storage solution is great for teams accessing data from different locations.
To give yourself peace of mind, remote/cloud data storage can also be set up to update automatically.
How long should you store data for?
Once your business has a strategy for backing up protected data, it is now time to consider when you are going to delete it!
This may sound counterintuitive but ensuring that old data you no longer use is an important factor to consider.
Though your company has no use for the data anymore, it could still be harmful if it gets into the wrong hands.
Storing unusable data unnecessarily could put your company at risk.
How many backups should a business have?
Along with backing up your data regularly, it is often a good strategy to use multiple different data backup solutions, such as a combination of off-site and remote data storage.
To ensure that data is kept safe and secure and accessible, having it stored in more than one type of storage unit, means that if there is a failure in one of the units, there will be another backup with the files and the data you need.
For an additional layer of security, files could also be encrypted before they are backed up, giving businesses full security and access control of their data.