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The Benefits of Offsite and Offline Backups

A lot of businesses understand the need to back up their data, but some do not realise the importance of having a copy stored offsite and disconnected from the internet. Backing up to something like another computer in the office is certainly a step in the right direction, but having a copy of all your data that is stored away from everything else is much more desirable.
According to a survey carried out by B2B International and Kaspersky Lab, the most common external threat to your data is malware infection. An average of 100000 malware threats are found daily and around 35% of 3300 IT specialists surveyed worldwide said that their companies had lost data due to a malware infection.
Firstly, all systems should have strong firewalls and anti-malware software installed that check regularly for infection. This should be absolutely standard. If your data gets infected and damaged it could cause severe repercussions.
You also need to take into account your backups. Using cloud storage, for example, is a great move and it has a lot of benefits. However, it is entirely possible for the malware to affect your backups, depending on how strong the infection is. Even the strongest systems are not one hundred per cent secure. As such, having an additional copy of your data that is not connected to any network is well advised. This could be on an external hard drive or on tape. Although the latter is an old storage system, it is good because it is proven to be a reliable long term method.
Along with keeping your backups offline, you should also have them offsite. Companies exist that specialise in this. The best ones will store them in a protected facility that is climate controlled. Having your backups offsite will mean that damage to one copy of your data won’t damage the other. For example, if the office where all your backups were kept was flooded then you have potentially lost everything.
Select an offsite centre that specialises in data recovery should a disaster strike. Storing your data away from the office is all well and good, but if you need to get copies of it quickly then having a storage centre in the middle of nowhere is not useful. Try and get somewhere that is nearby enough so that you can physically visit if needs be.
Another benefit of keeping your data offsite is that your staff can invest their time in other projects, rather than having the IT team keeping track of backups. Also, data storage centres will come in handy if your data needs to be audited.
If you are transporting your backups offsite then be sure to do so securely. Simply popping them in the standard post is not really good enough. Using a reliable, safe courier is much more advisable so that you know your data is not going to get damaged in transit – then your backup is no good, despite your intentions!
Hopefully this article has helped you understand the importance of having backups that are both offline and offsite. Doing this alongside other backup methods (like using the cloud) is a brilliant solution.


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