Why Updated Data Backup Is Essential For Every Business
Should the worst possible scenarios happen (a natural disaster, serious damage to your company’s building or infrastructure, or other emergencies), whether or not you maintain a current backup of your data could be what makes or breaks your company’s ability to survive. Loss of essential information due to power loss or physical damage may mean rebuilding everything from the ground up — and losing thousands of dollars every day.
With data backup, don’t just settle for plan A. You need plans B, C, and D prepared in case the worst disasters hit.
Map Out Your Backup Strategy
Document your backup and emergency data management strategies right away. Maintain a hard copy at all times in case power loss leaves you without access to your digital infrastructure. This will be your go-to guide when things go wrong.
It should function as a roadmap of sorts, explaining your data backup process in detail. If your business operates in a regulated industry (such as health care or finance), you’ll likely be required to turn over these documents to an auditor in the future. Make sure you have them on hand and it will help keep the process of recovery more efficient.
We also recommend a “practice scenario” every so often, in which the emergency plan is acted out step by step to ensure it would actually function in case the disaster actually happens.
Key Tenets of a Backup Strategy
There’s an old saying in the computer science field — have a backup for your backup, a backup for that backup, and maybe one more backup for good measure.
If your data is super precious, it may be worth all that extra effort. Confidential transactional information or financial records, for instance, should be backed up many times over in order to ensure it isn’t lost entirely. Basic data such as end user passwords or day-to-day correspondence, on the other hand, may not be important enough to be backed up more than once daily in a single offsite location.
You’ll need to go through and characterize which information is most essential to the recovery of your business in case of disaster. Once you’ve identified this, you must then consider how you will backup this data. A typical backup strategy will implement the following:
- A Backup Server: This server will house the software and apps needed to move the data around your network.
- Network Attached Storage device (NAS): Most small businesses will buy a NAS and set it up to as a network resource. Once on the network, it acts as a central repositoy for your backup collection.
- A Tape Drive: While tape drives are slow, they provide you with an archive medium that allows you take the data and store it in a place such as a fireproof safe or an offsite data repository.
- Cloud Storage Provider: By using the cloud, your business can first encrypt its backups on its backup server and beam those backups into the cloud.
This gives you a quick and easy way to pull down an image, should there ever be something wrong with the backups stored on your NAS.
Ransomware: A Real World Scenario
When most people think of disaster recovery, they typically think of the building burning down or a tornado hitting the office. While those acts may be a one in a million type of occurrence, there are other kinds of disasters that may deliver very similar amounts of damage and are much more common.
Ransomware is becoming more prevalent in enterprises all around the world. What is ransomware? Well, it’s a form of malware that is usually picked up from opening an infected email attachment or visited a hacked website.
Once activated, the ransomware will begin encrypting data on your machines. The newest versions of ransomware use the SVCHost.exe process to begin data encryption on mounted network drives. If you store your data on network shares, this could potentially lead to nearly every user in your business becoming infected or your central data storage becoming completely inaccessible. At that point, unless you pay the requested ransom, you won’t receive the encryption key and all your data will remain locked away.
If you’ve planned for this scenario with consistent daily backups, however, you won’t need to worry at all.
Summing Up the Importance of Data Backup
Your organization should take every practical step possible in order to ensure the safety and security of its data. Beyond daily backups, providing its end users with an emergency backup plan (and plans B, C, and D) is essential. In case of an emergency (or ransomware) that could destroy your data, your business will have a better chance of recovery with a recent data backup in hand.
At BACS, we excel at data backup and disaster recovery. Whether working with an SMB or an enterprise-level business, we’re prepared to work with your needs to ensure that no disaster will take your business out for the count. You can reach us by phone at (650) 887-4601 or online today.