4 Essential Data Backup Practices

by | Nov 12, 2021 | Business, Cloud, Security

In today’s world, essential data backup practices are not optional. Businesses encounter threats on a daily basis that can negatively impact their business by seriously harming their data.  

St. John's bridge in North Portland, an area serviced by SpireTech IT managed services. Trees are in fall colors

These threats can strike any moment and cause unpredictable damage to the infrastructure of any corporation. Various forms of disasters including natural, accidental, cardinal mistakes or just bad luck all have the potential to cause untold damage.  

As we approach the end of the fiscal year, it is a great time for small business planning for all of our neighbors in Portland, Oregon. Whether you are starting a business, or planning team members’ retirement plans, it is essential for the ongoing success of your business that your data is routinely cleaned, updated, and maintained.

Protection and preparation are two key factors which every business owner must keep in mind when planning ahead. Many businesses include a data backup plan, but it is important to set this plan up for optimal performance.  

Often the day-to-day tasks can make it hard to focus on the larger picture. Taking a moment to pause and reevaluate your system’s infrastructure will set your business for success, but it is essential that the plan is also meticulously followed.  

Integrating these four simple practices into a data recovery plan can be the difference between a complete system shutdown and a seamless transition with no emergency.  

Encryption and Protection  

Backup copies of data are often the easiest security target, as they are often unprotected and do not always include the same level of encryption as an original copy.  

It is fundamentally necessary to use encryption on all files, particularly backup files as they are more likely to be a threat. These backup files are targeted because they are used much less frequently than original files. However, due to the nature of the file, it still contains sensitive information.  

This threat requires that every backup file remains protected by encryption at all times as well as being stored in a secure location preferably online. This does not address physical threats to files.  

Additionally, each file must be stored in a manner which keeps it safe from natural disasters. The best practice is to ensure each backup is resistant to weather, impact, and even floods or fires.  

Backup encryption keys and passwords need to be stored in a separate secure location so that data can be successfully restored in the event of a disaster.  

Create multiple backups

Security threats to a business can often times be addressed with multiple copies of data backup. One copy of backup will leave your entire business dependent on that one copy of your data. This is extremely unfavorable as that backup could be compromised as well.  

Backup data can easily be targeted during security breaches, lost in an accident or disaster, or become damaged in numerous ways. This is why it is key to have more than one copy of your data backup.  

Backing up all of your data on two external hard drives can be a great solution, but if both of these copies are stored at the same physical location this can create a problem.  Consider incorporating an annual data checkup into your monthly or yearly tasks. Try to find a time when it makes sense to be thinking about it, such as approaching December 31, or as you prepare to pay taxes.

If the location where these external hard drives are stored suffers a natural disaster it would likely wipe out all backup files. Below we cover how to make and store backups the correct way so that you remain prepared and protected.  

Follow the 3-2-1 rule to increase data protection

This rule has been identified as one of the most integral pieces of any data backup plan and it is extremely important that these three items are established for best results:  

  • 3 copies of data  
  • 2 different variations of data storage (cloud storage, external drive or internal drive) 
  • 1 off-site location for data backup (cloud backup, or different location than main office)  

Consider these rules to be a base of your infrastructure management. It is not one’s traditional infrastructure, like office space, but vital nonetheless. These rules were created in order to ensure that there are enough copies, that these copies are stored in various ways, and that the copies are also stored separately. Following these three steps will ensure that at least one of the copies will be available in the unlikely event of a natural disaster or accident.  

Storing data can often times be just as important as protecting or encrypting it. By making sure these three steps fall into a data backup plan, your business will be protected all year long against all possible threats.  

Plan for Data Recovery after Disaster

Its easy to overlook when we don’t pay attention too much, but natural disasters are a fundamental threat to any business.  

It is likely that many businesses will not recover if there is not a business continuity plan in mind prior to a natural disaster. Reopening the business after a natural disaster is near impossible but with the proper planning in mind it can be as replacing hardware or changing locations. When writing a business plan, take the worst possibilities into account. The businesses that maintain longevity are the ones who are prepared and adaptable.

Various forms of natural phenomenon can impact any business in several ways. Whether the threat is an earthquake, tsunami, flood, hurricane, or wildfire your data must stay protected and store in a secured location where the disaster is less likely to strike all locations.  

Particularly if your business is in a high-risk location which is prone to natural disasters, it is essential that there is a plan in place well in advance for data backup.  

These practices may be simple enough to implement internally but not every business has the tools or knowledge to execute the best plan.  

Outsource IT to Experts

At SpireTech we are fully equipped to lend a helping hand and ensure your business runs continuously without any hiccups. We are thrilled to continue offering managed services for small businesses in Portland. Save yourself the headache, and some dollars. We also maintain your company’s hardware and software, and provide strong infrastructure as a service. Are you feeling intimidated by adopting cloud infrastructure or cloud computing for your business? We can help with that too!

Connect with us to learn more about how we can help set you up for success for the next year and learn more about our MSP onboarding process.