What is the Best Way to Backup Your Data?

Data Backup

There are numerous ways to backup, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. In this article we talk about the best ways to backup your data.

“That will never happen to me.”

“I will do it tomorrow.”

“But my computer / server is new.”

“I don’t need to back that up.”

“We don’t need to test the backup.”

These are just some of the lines we have heard when asking businesses about their backups. We get through our lives telling ourselves that the worst won’t happen to us. It’s the same with business, yet, whatever your industry you are in, a secure, reliable backup system ensures your business will continue as usual if the worst happens.

So, what is the best way to backup? Here is some help.

Why Do I Need to Backup

Business disruptions of any kind can be costly. Disasters might take one of several shapes:

  1. Employee driven (e.g. unintentional mistakes or intentional sabotage by a disgruntled employee).
  2. Natural (e.g. floods, fires or earthquakes).
  3. Cyber-attack (e.g. data breach, ransomware, virus / malware or distributed denial of service attack).
  4. On-site (e.g. software / hardware failure, power outages, inability to access your building).

Regardless of the cause, the best backup solution can help reduce downtime and any subsequent damage to your business and reputation.

Plan B: Approaches to Backup

There are several off-the-shelf backup options that you can use. Let us consider the pros and cons of some of the most popular ones.

USB Drives — Also known as “flash drives,” “pen drives,” “thumb drives”, or “memory sticks,” these small-sized devices are compact and portable. They have size limitations when  compared to hard drives and also, their size makes them easy to lose (which can actually cause further issues).

A USB thumb drive is robust when not plugged in, but open to issues when plugged in:  someone can inadvertently snap the drive or employs too much force and break either the usb port or the device itself.

The cheap ones also tend to be slow, which can make backing up sluggish.

USB Hard Drives — Portable hard drives increase the data storage available, often at a decent price and are designed to be compact and mobile.

Hard drives are less likely to get damaged than a thumb drive. If bumped or jostled, the cables are flexible. But, a hard drive is prone to physical failure. Selecting an external solid state drive (SSD) can help since it has no moving parts and the information is stored instead on microchips.

Cloud Storage — Backing up to the cloud stores data on a server located on the Internet. If thieves take your computers and USB backup, you can still download and access your data from the cloud. Cloud storage providers build in redundancy to ensure your backup remains safe.

Most cloud storage services back up to secure centers with thousands of servers storing data and they usually have their own server backups too. The providers also encrypt data during transit to ensure compliance and security.

So, What Is the Best Answer?

Don’t think disaster won’t happen to you! Research has found data loss and downtime are most often caused by:

  • Hardware failures (45% of total unplanned downtime)
  • Loss of power (35%)
  • Software failure (34%)
  • Data corruption (24%)
  • External security breaches (23%)
  • Accidental user error (20%).

We recommend the 3-2-1 backup strategy. This means having 3 copies of your data. Two (2) of these would be located on different devices (e.g. on your computer and on a backup drive). The other remaining backup copy (1) would be secured offsite, in the cloud.

Want to secure your data to for the worst? Contact us now to set this up for you.

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