Data backup is a term commonly used in business, but not many business owners tend to do much about it. Did you know that most businesses backup their data at least once a year. Yes, once a year! Think about how much data you process within a year in your business, and you will quickly see that this really isn’t an acceptable level of data backup.
If your systems crashed today, and you hadn’t implemented a backup since last year, imagine the mess you would be in! Data recovery would be impossible, and data loss would be incalculable… you simply wouldn’t know what you had lost. Even backing up your data weekly or daily might still not be enough to ensure your business could perform a 100% file recovery. It all depends on the types of data backup you perform, so let’s have a look at those in further detail.
The Four Types of Data Backup
The four types of backup methods are:
- Full backup – all selected files and folders are backed up, it is the most comprehensive process. This method does take longer and uses up more space than other methods. Data is cloned and copied to another location, making data restoration a quicker process.
- Mirror backup – this is where you create an exact copy of the data source. So if a source file is deleted, this will be deleted from the mirror during the next backup. This method saves storage space as unwanted files are not backed up.
- Incremental backup – this replicates only changes to the data since the last backup. File restoration is slower with this method, and if the backup becomes corrupt then this can prevent complete file restoration.
- Differential backup – this is a halfway house between a full backup and an incremental backup. It records all changes between the current data and the last full backup. These take up much less space than full backups.
Your Backup System
You may be thinking that your data backup program is sufficient, and that you would easily be able to recover any files if you needed them. However, unless you have a full data backup solution, managed by a professional third-party company that takes full responsibility for the data, your business is likely to still be at risk.
While best practices can help put off hackers for a bit longer, they can’t completely prevent your data from being stolen. They can, however, help you recover your data easily should the worst happen.
It is worth mentioning that any company can be a target of hacking, not just the multi-million pound businesses. Businesses that manage and store Personally Identifiable Information (PII) are more at risk, as they are more attractive targets. They will also experience a greater loss in terms of penalties if their data is stolen or damaged. If you are in this category, having a third-party backup and restoration solution could save your business, so choose a respected provider to aid you with this.
Evaluating Your Backup System
It is essential to check whether the data backup solutions you have in place meet the current needs of your business. Here are a few tests you can carry out to confirm the scope of your backup needs:
- Conduct an inventory and analysis of your hardware and software
- Identify all of your data stores (both physical and cloud-based)
- Confirm whether any users rely on backup solutions out of your control, e.g. employees storing data on Google Drive, or USB drives
- Evaluate your current backup program – think about the frequency of backups, storage locations, backup methods and target restoration times
- Think about how your business would access backed-up data if needed, would you need to completely restore everything?
- Is your backup solution being replicated to an offsite, high-security data centre?
Data Backup Providers
If the thought of managing your data backups is quite overwhelming, you may be better off outsourcing this task to a reliable, experienced company like Reality Solutions. We work with businesses to create the best backup solution for their individual business, to ensure that should the worst happen, all the data can be recovered with the lowest downtime possible. Our offsite backup solutions are stored in UK data centres, and are encrypted for added peace of mind. If you would like to find out more, get in touch today by calling 01482 828000.
*This article contains general information in order to assist all of our customers and is meant for guidance only – there are no guarantees that the information we provide will be suitable for your particular needs. If you require specific assistance, we recommend that you seek professional guidance on your individual circumstances. Reality Solutions are in no way responsible for any loss or damage arising from any information contained within our articles.
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