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The Crucial Ways to Have the Ultimate Backup Plan

We always hear negative stories about backup plans that have gone wrong. Whether that’s a company not backing up at all and losing their data to malware, not checking the backup’s validity and finding they’re corrupted, or keeping their backups in the same place as their primary data, it can be easy to think that most people fail at backup.

However, there are many companies who run perfectly smooth backup plans. Here are some of the crucial ways that you too can achieve that.

1. Use the 3-2-1 Backup Rule

There’s a reason why so many data professionals bang on about the 3-2-1 Backup Rule and why it’s listed as number one here. It’s because it’s important and your data backup strategy is useless without it.

The rule says that you must store at least three copies of data, on at least two different media, with one of those being off-site.

By following this rule, if your main data source is hit by a natural disaster, malicious physical attack, malware, or anything like that, your backup remains secure. You could use something like the cloud or tape for your off-site solution.

2. Constantly Test Your Backups

It’s all well and good thinking that you have the best backup plan, but how do you know that’s true if you don’t regularly test the backup?

You need to check that all your data is backing up as expected. Ensure all of it’s there and ensure none of it has been corrupted.

You should also periodically check the effectiveness of your recovery plan as a whole. Even if you have stable backups, their value diminishes if you can’t actually use them to restore effectively. Be careful not to disrupt colleague’s work when running these tests, though.

3. Security is Paramount

Businesses often have strong security on their primary data, but forget about their backups. It’s equally important to secure your backups – it’s the exact same data and it poses the exact same risk.

Keep all your applications updated. Do comprehensive reviews of your vendors to check that their practices are decent and that your data remains encrypted during travel. And only give access to the backups to those employees who need it and keep logs.

4. Centralise Your Backup

It might be that you have different applications producing different data – perhaps from SaaS or virtual machines. Perhaps this is happening across the world in multiple offices. Your backups are not good if they are not consistent. Data has different value, but automation can help bring everything together.

5. Promote Best Practices

You can do everything in your power to have the best backup plan around, but what’s the point if you’re not capturing all the data your business creates? You need to instil best practices in your users so they know where to store their data. If someone is storing financial spreadsheets or meeting notes on personal drives, that data is at risk – not only from being stolen, but also from not being backed up.


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