The laws of the universe dictate that your laptop will only crash at the precise moment when you’ve finished a document you’ve worked on for weeks but only saved to your Desktop. Most us of have felt this panic—be it that perfect video of your child’s first steps or an entire file server—but pretty much any kind of data we generate is too important to lose. Data loss in an age-old problem (even before computers!), but with natural disasters, ransomware, and other cyberattacks dramatically increasing in frequency and severity, failing to prepare is riskier than ever.
During a data loss crisis, having a comprehensive backup strategy will make an otherwise devastating situation a non-issue. Victims of data loss disasters almost always tell us they greatly regret ignoring their backup strategy previously and would have paid anything to go back in time to invest in backups. Fortunately, most solid backup strategies, like insurance, are relatively inexpensive—the biggest hurdle is deciding to invest a little time to choose and implement the right strategy for your organization.
Your ideal approach will depend on your risk tolerance, the financial value of your data, and the details of your data infrastructure. Organizations that live in the cloud will value continuous workstation backup systems like Backblaze or tools to sync workstation data to a cloud filesharing service like Egnyte. Those that rely heavily on on-premise servers will focus on onsite and offsite server backups with specialized tools like Veeam Backup and Replication. Regardless of the details of your environment, start by asking yourself, “what would it cost to lose this data?”
A comprehensive backup strategy includes maintaining at least three copies of your data. In a server environment, these are:
Your production server
A primary backup to a physically separate but local device—these backups are readily available and can be restored quickly in the event the production server is no longer available.
A secondary backup to an offsite location, ideally in another city, state, or even continent to account for widespread, regional infrastructure damage (many such services can automatically mirror data among server farms in different regions, creating a fourth copy). In addition, this is your best protection against ransomware attacks, which frequently target production servers AND primary backups.
If all your data is in a cloud fileshare like Egnyte, OneDrive, or Box, you’re trusting the data in that environment to the service provider, who will generally have a highly redundant collection of server farms. However, not all providers are equal when it comes to restoring data quickly easily. See our recent post for more on choosing the right one. But you also have to consider user behavior. You might be paying for a great filesharing service, but if your users don’t use it, it won’t do any good. You might want to take steps to educate your users and ensure they’re following processes, or you may want to just back up everyone’s computer since our experience is that many users do still use local folders.
It’s important to remember that prevention is not enough. You need to choose the right tools and maintain them well, but you also need a disaster recovery plan so you know exactly what to do when your systems do fail. At Kinetix, we have a great deal of experience creating custom business continuity strategies for each client, including conservative and redundant backups and documented action plans. To learn more about protecting your company, reach out to your Client Success Manager, or if you’re not a client, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our contact form.