Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

1.8. Backups

ryanrori February 1, 2021

[responsivevoice_button rate=”0.9″ voice=”UK English Female” buttontext=”Listen to Post”]

An effective data backup plan consists of five parts: 

  1. Plan for data backup 
  • Decide what data needs to be backed up 
  • Decide where to keep the backup 
  • Store a full backup at another location or online to protect against fire, theft or other disaster 
  • If the data are critical it may be a good idea to have a quarterly and yearly backup as well so that you can recover files that may have been deleted, but not discovered until months later. 
  1. Begin a backup routine 
  • Make backing up a part of the normal scheduled daily tasks 
  • Don’t rely on anyone else to back data 
  • Wherever possible automate the backup process.
  1. Tailor the backup strategy to business needs 
  • To determine the best schedule for data backup, it is important to know how often the data changes. If data changes weekly, a daily backup might be overkill. If there is critical data that updates every hour, it may be necessary to back up several times a day. 
  • Full backups can be supplemented by incremental backups. An incremental backup will only back up files that have changed since the last full backup and are normally much quicker than a full backup.
  1. Test the backup periodically 
  • To ensure that backups are protecting you, periodically test the backup jobs by attempting to restore them to an alternate location. This will bring out any flaws or corrupt data before it is too late. 
  • Most backup applications also have a “backup log” or generate a “backup report” that can quickly identify any problems or skipped files in the backup job. Be sure to review these logs every time backups are complete, for anything suspicious.
  1. Have at least three different backups of data 
  • A backup is more than simply moving email, financial documents or other important files off to an external hard drive or removable disk. Simply moving data from one location to another isn’t giving you any extra protection in case disaster strikes. If there aren’t at least two separate copies of your data, it isn’t a backup at all. 
  • While a single backup may be a good start (two copies of irreplaceable files), there is still some risk for data loss, especially if both copies are kept in the same location. 
  • The best protection against data loss, especially from catastrophic events, is having at least three copies of your data (the original files, an easily-accessible backup and a protected copy of your backup). While some large companies may use dedicated off-site data storage services for this, a business doesn’t have to be big to have three copies of your data. Even something as simple as using an inexpensive online backup service to keep a third copy of the data is sufficient.

Any business that cares about the security of its data needs to have an effective backup strategy to guard against inevitable data loss. Given the overall negative impact permanent data loss can have on a company, up to and including its bankruptcy, a data backup and recovery strategy that is effective is essential.With sales contracts, accounting records, marketing materials, business contacts and emails all being stored in digital format nowadays, it has become increasingly important for all businesses to back up your business data, because, in the event of hardware failure, restoring data from the backup is a much cheaper operation than rebuilding from scratch.

A business that fails to maintain a copy its data is asking for trouble. It is extremely easy to lose data and all but impossible to rebuild that data if backups don’t exist.  

So what makes an effective data backup strategy? The first step is knowing what needs to be backed up, including any regulatory requirements that have specific backup requirements. Businesses should also determine whether data should be backed up or archived. Most businesses do both. Backups are copies of active data for short-term use and are frequently overwritten with updated versions. Archives, on the other hand, contain static data, such as inactive document files and old emails.