Losing critical data can spell the end for any business. That’s why it’s imperative to implement a data backup and recovery strategy that will allow you to retrieve and restore data in the event of a breach or loss, enabling you to carry out operations as normal.
Unfortunately, humans are prone to making mistakes. And when individuals and companies fail to adopt the correct approach to data backups, the consequences can be catastrophic. If you want to make sure that your data remains safe, your business should avoid making these four biggest data backup mistakes.
1. Relying on inadequate data storage solutions
There are different data storage solutions that you can use to store your electronic files and documents, from memory cards to magnetic tape drives to cloud storage. However, age-old data storage devices such as compact discs and flash drives are no longer enough to keep proprietary data protected. Meanwhile, physical backup devices like external hard drives are often at risk of physical damage and theft. Cloud backups are better protected against physical risks, but they aren’t immune to other data security issues.
That’s why it’s crucial to never depend on a single backup method. Using multiple storage and recovery solutions is necessary to protect and preserve your data in almost any case of failure or disaster.
2. Not having off-site backups
Storing all your backups at your main place of business exposes these to the same dangers as your primary files. You need to keep a backup copy of your data in a separate physical location to ensure that important files are safe from local incidents, like fires, floods, and robberies.
The 3-2-1 backup rule is the best approach to keeping your data safe in any scenario. It states that you should always have three copies of your data — one being the primary and two backup copies — stored on two different media, with one of the backup copies stored off-site. The off-site location must be at least 200 to 300 miles from where your primary copy is kept.
The 3-2-1 backup rule states that you should always have three copies of your data — one being the primary and two backup copies — stored on two different media, with one of the backup copies stored off-site.
3. Failing to test backups
Just because you’ve successfully set up your system to regularly back up your data doesn’t mean your backups will always be foolproof. For instance, there could be a misconfiguration in the software and your files could become corrupted. It’s therefore imperative to periodically test the integrity and validity of your backups.
Testing your backups not only lets you verify that your data is accurate and can be recovered, but doing so also helps you discover any issues that may arise during recovery. If a backup test fails, you can easily take corrective action to ensure your business doesn’t lose valuable information. Furthermore, a trial run of your backup and recovery process can reveal any flaws in your data management system and recovery time.
4. Using RAID as backup
Many organizations believe that using a redundant array of independent disks (RAID) is a good way to keep proprietary data safe. Basically, a RAID system replicates data among multiple hard drives, protecting files against the failure of any individual disk.
Although using RAID reduces the risk of data loss due to drive failure, it cannot prevent data loss due to malware, user errors, and natural disasters. For example, if you accidentally delete a file, it will automatically be removed from all mirrored copies. Similarly, if one drive is corrupted by a software bug or becomes infected with a virus, the corruption or virus will also be copied to the other RAID drives.
While RAID technology improves redundancy, backups can do a better job of ensuring disaster recovery and business continuity, as an ideal backup system is actually redundant by nature. Sure, RAID will enable you to mitigate most system failures, but backups will allow you to restore or recover your files when failure can’t be prevented. Instead of choosing one solution over the other, you can implement both to ensure your data remains safe no matter the situation.
Ensuring a functional data backup system can be a full-time job. That’s why you should leave it to the experts at outsourceIT — we’ll take this burden off your shoulders while improving the security and integrity of your data. Call us today to get started!