Every business should have a backup system in place so that if the worse should happen, all of the company and client data is retrievable. Unfortunately, it is often not the case and it is only when something goes badly wrong that a backup system is integrated within the business. By that time it is too late, as the business has been reactive instead of proactive.
Just take a second to imagine if your business lost its data, and hadn’t backed it up for over a year. Data recovery would be nearly impossible, and data loss – well you may not know what data you had stored in the first place!
Even backing up your data once a week doesn’t necessarily mean that your business would be able to perform a 100% file recovery. Think about solicitors, for example, who are dealing with important legal documents on a daily basis. If data is added to their system on a Monday, by the time a backup is carried out a week later there could be a whole caseload of data missing in between. There are four main types of backup which we will explore in detail.
The Four Main Backup Methods
1. Full Backup
This is traditionally what most people think of regarding data backups. It is the most comprehensive process, whereby all files and folders are backed up. This is quite a time-consuming job, and depending on the number of files you have it also requires a lot of storage space. The one main advantage of a full backup is that data restoration and retrieval is much quicker using this method.
2. Mirror Backup
A mirror backup is where an exact copy is created of the source data. What this means is if a source file is deleted, when a mirror backup is next performed the file will be deleted from there too. This data backup method is great for saving space and keeping files up to date as any obsolete files are removed regularly. The only downside is that if a file is accidentally deleted, and not picked up before the backup is run then it will be lost forever.
3. Incremental Backup
This is where the backup only replicates changes to the data since the last backup. Therefore, this method is much faster and less storage space is required. The downside is that the file restoration process is a lot slower, and if you end up with a corrupted backup 100% file restoration won’t be possible.
4. Differential Backup
A differential backup is a halfway house between a full and an incremental backup. It records changes between the existing data and the last full backup. They are therefore much faster than a full backup, yet don’t leave you with the exposure risk like an incremental backup does.
Does A Backup System Reduce Your Risk?
One thing you need to realise is that businesses of any size can be a target for hackers. In fact sometimes they target smaller businesses in order to progress onto larger organisations. If you store personally identifiable information (PII) about your customers or clients, you become a more attractive target for hackers. It is therefore essential that you have a third-party backup solution and restoration process in place should the worst happen and your data becomes compromised.
If your business does have a data backup solution in place, it is a good idea to make sure it is up to the job and meets your current needs. Here are a few things you can do to check your backup system is performing well enough:
- Conduct an inventory of your hardware and software.
- Identify where your data is stored – on-site or in the cloud.
- Check whether users rely on external backup solutions e.g. hard drives, USB drives.
- Evaluate your current backup system – think about frequency of backups, storage locations, and target data restoration times.
- Think about how back-up data would be accessed if required.
Partnering With IT Experts
Data is the foundation for many businesses, so it is vital that you have strategies in place in order to protect it. If you are considering choosing a backup provider like Reality Solutions, you need to have trust and confidence in the company. A few questions you may like to ask a potential backup firm are:
- Can the firm accommodate your needs, and how long are backup/restoration times?
- Are they able to provide the level of support you require e.g. 24/7 coverage?
- Does the provider have the correct certifications to handle your data?
- Will data be secure (encrypted) at all times?
If you are considering outsourcing your data backup and recovery, the team at Reality Solutions are on hand to help. At an affordable monthly cost, we provide off-site data backup services so you can continue running your business without the additional worry. To find out more, please contact us today.
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