Data is the lifeblood of a business.
The amount of data collected on a daily basis is growing exponentially, yet we continue to hear about disasters in the news, where organisations, such as MySpace, still aren’t looking after their data properly.
World Backup Day (March 31st) serves as a reminder of the importance of a solid backup system. As data plays an increasingly important role in our everyday lives, World Backup Day exists to remind businesses everywhere the significance of maintaining reliable backups.
With this in mind, five spokespeople from renowned industry vendors share their thoughts on why backing up your data is absolutely crucial, along with some golden advice on how to choose a backup system that works best for you.
Why backup should be top of the agenda in business, as well as for the consumer
Hyve Managed Hosting co-director Jon Lucas discusses the risks of forgetting about backup in business.
“World Backup Day was created to remind consumers about the need to backup their most important digital files. But, taking a business view on March 31st is just as important. Few companies would argue that backup isn’t worth the effort, but every year there are stories about lost revenue, lost reputation and even lost jobs because backup hasn’t been there when needed.
“One of the ways it can drop off the IT ‘to-do’ list is because businesses don’t have the time, resources or experience to manage it in-house. But the cloud computing and managed service era has created a practical and affordable way forward, and working with a partner that offers backup and disaster recovery solutions can be easily built into any IT environment. So, while awareness of its importance is – for many – improving, understanding its urgency and where to go for help remains a key message for every World Backup Day.”
How to spot if you need to update your backup system
Owning a backup system is one thing: Ensuring it’s up to date is another, as Leaseweb UK managing director Eltjo Hofstee explains.
"World Backup Day is a perfect opportunity for businesses to ask themselves the following questions: How much time am I prepared to have mission-critical functions unavailable? How much data am I prepared to lose? How much money will it cost while these services are not available?
“If these questions are raising concerns, then you need to address your backup strategy now. The most valuable assets should be prioritised and organisations need to be demanding about the quality, scalability and reliability of backup solutions. The process of backing up data is pivotal to a successful disaster recovery plan.”
How to avoid disaster
There is surely no worse nightmare for a business than losing precious data, which is why backup is essential to avoiding disaster. Scale Computing CTO Alan Conboy shares his advice on how to prevent this scenario.
“Mission-critical data fuels the speed of today’s businesses, which is why it’s essential that backup and disaster recovery plans are made a top priority. World Backup Day is an important reminder of this reality, with many organisations forgetting a few essentials to a solid backup plan. First, performing backups as frequently as possible often falls by the wayside of priorities, but this is a very effective way to prevent data loss. Moreover, the location of your backup must be kept top-of-mind, the closer it is to the primary data, the better.
“In addition, cyberthreats like ransomware came about after many legacy backup and disaster recovery plans were created, so it’s important to ensure that IT infrastructure is secure and safeguarded with a disaster recovery plan. Finally, while emphasis is frequently on the recovery point of when your last backup was taken, recovery time is just as important. The bottom line is backup and disaster recovery plans must be assessed consistently to safeguard data and protect organisations from being taken off guard by the next disaster.”
The backup war against ransomware
Six Degrees cyber security and compliance director Shannon Simpson gives some advice on why backing up will protect your business against paying ransom should the worst happen.
“Backups aren’t just for data recovery: they are an essential element of an effective cyber-security strategy. Ransomware attacks, through which cybercriminals extort businesses by encrypting files and demanding payment for their recovery, have become the most popular form of malware worldwide today. And the bad news is, they work - the global cost of ransomware attacks is due to reach $11.5 billion this year.
“One of the best ways to protect your business from suffering damage as a result of a ransomware attack is to implement an effective backup strategy. Taking regular backups, and storing them in a secure data centre, will allow you to recover encrypted files without paying a ransom to cybercriminals should the worst happen and your business become infected with ransomware.
“But don’t rely on antiquated tape backups stored to disks that are left gathering dust in a corner of your office; the latest backup technologies are more reliable, more secure and easier to recover from than traditional backup methods. Speak to a technology partner with experience in deploying and managing effective backup platforms. If cybercriminals target your business with a ransomware attack, you’ll be glad you did.”
Backup your network as well as your data
Most people acknowledge the necessity of backing up data but few remember the advantages of backing up their network. Cradlepoint's vice president and general manager EMEA Jason Wells explains the risk of forgetting this
“On World Backup Day, many organisations will benefit by shifting their focus from backing up data to backing up their network. No wired connection can deliver 100% uptime – it’s not a question of if your business will lose connectivity, but when. It’s a serious risk: lost revenue; reduced productivity; poor customer experience and reputational damage are just some of the potential issues a business can be exposed to when a wired connection fails. This is where 4G LTE failover comes into play.
“A wireless wide area network (WAN) failover is a cost-effective and reliable solution that provides critical backup connectivity when a wired connection fails. Introducing a wireless WAN link can also go far beyond backup. In agile-focused IT environments, for example those deploying internet-of-things (IoT) technology, 4G LTE offers a simplified lifecycle that requires less IT resources to manage and a lower total cost of ownership. Particularly as we move closer to 5G, this is helping many organisations lay the foundation for a wireless future.”
As these experts testify, World Backup Day should be an important date in any business’s calendar year, serving as a reminder to ensure backups are in order. Backing up can make any disasters – should they arise – so much easier to contend with.
And while the going is good, organisations will be safe in the knowledge that all data, old and new, is easily accessible and safe.