Industry experts predict that ransomware attacks, a frequent cause of significant business data loss and downtime, will happen about six times a minute in 2021. Unfortunately, the increasing popularity of remote work will likely make things worse. This is because although the practice has been instrumental in many businesses’ survival during the coronavirus pandemic, it can also open large gaps in a company’s IT security.
And while cyberattacks are bad enough, you can also lose data if someone accidentally deletes it and if your servers are destroyed by natural disasters. To mitigate all these risks, you need to have a sound data backup strategy in place. This strategy ensures that on the off chance your company suffers a significant data loss event, you won’t completely lose access to your data. Thus, you can minimize downtime and resume normal operations immediately.
Just about any data backup plan may not be enough. Make sure your plan covers your business’s needs by following these tips:
1. Avoid a set-it-and-forget-it approach
Just because your system is set to automatically and regularly back up your data doesn’t mean you should leave it completely unattended. Backup failure can occur anytime without your knowledge — with severe consequences — so you should assign a dedicated data manager who will ensure all crucial files are copied and stored as needed.
2. Understand your risk factors
Some businesses have a greater risk of falling victim to certain cyberthreats than others. Companies in the healthcare sector, for instance, are a common target of hacking and ransomware attacks. Meanwhile, those with remote teams should watch out for coronavirus-themed phishing scams. Knowing your company’s risk factors will help you augment your cyber defenses where necessary, reducing the odds of an attack even happening.
3. Set objectives
Backups take up storage space, which, in turn, costs money, so you need to understand why you’re backing up data in the first place. Are you doing it for disaster recovery and business continuity? Or do you simply want a copy of business documents for future reference? Knowing your goals will help you identify which files should take up your company’s backup storage space and which ones you can afford to lose.
4. Take note of endpoints
Before the popularity of remote work, you only had to worry about backing up data on your office computers. But with bring your own device setups being part of many remote work arrangements, you may now have to back up data on your remote staff’s personal devices as well. Consider using backup solutions that target individual devices to address this issue.
5. Follow the 3-2-1 approach
The 3-2-1 data backup strategy is still very relevant in 2021. To refresh your memory, the rule is to keep at least three copies of crucial documents using two storage formats, with one copy saved in off-site servers. Off-site storage is crucial, as it ensures that, should your company be hit by a natural or man-made disaster, a copy of your files will be unaffected and accessible.
Among the storage options in the market, the cloud is undoubtedly one of the most reliable. Top-tier cloud service providers like SimplyClouds use multiple off-site servers to create redundancies for their clients, all of which are protected by multiple cybersecurity solutions such as firewalls and encryption. Furthermore, anything stored in the cloud can be accessed anywhere and anytime through an internet-connected device, making it a convenient and secure solution if you have remote teams.
6. Test your data backup plan regularly
How do you confirm that your data backup strategy is working as planned? Through regular testing, of course. Doing so helps uncover vulnerabilities and even possible opportunities to save on valuable resources.
To see why testing is important, consider the incident that affected the database of open source code repository GitLab. In 2017, the company lost over 300 GB of valuable data following a faulty backup process. Lack of testing was one of the factors blamed for the incident. As the company's blog put it, “out of five backup/replication techniques deployed, none are working reliably or set up in the first place. We ended up restoring a six-hour-old backup.”
An effective backup strategy is vital to protecting your business from cyberthreats. At SimplyClouds, we offer first-rate cloud services you can leverage to develop and implement a backup plan that addresses your company’s needs and meets its goals. Consult with our experts today.