In this age of digital transformation where enterprise data security is of utmost importance, it’s quite shocking to find out that about fifty percent of SMBs are still not prepared for data loss. There are still a number of enterprises that do not have cloud-based backup and recovery systems despite the known risks of data disasters.
In a survey done by Storagecraft, it appeared that hardware or system failure is the main cause of data loss, followed by human error, malware, and ransomware. And though there are best practices that can be followed to avoid these disasters, there is really no bullet-proof solution that will totally eradicate any of these. It is better to prepare for the worst-case scenarios, which is why having backups is important. But even then, there is also the case of backup system failure.
There are instances when victims of data loss were not able to recover all of their data from backup. Barkly conducted a survey of ransomware victims and found out that only 42% of them were able to recover all their data from backup. The common reasons were “unmonitored and failed backups; local, accessible backups were also encrypted; loss of between 1-24 hours of data from last incremental snapshot”. The 3-2-1 backup system (3 data copies in 2 different locations with 1 copy located off-site) is therefore strongly recommended as part of the countermeasure. But most importantly, you have to make a regular assessment of these backups. Make sure that all computer backup systems are updated and are working perfectly.
This is because, as Barkly puts it, “you’re only as good as your last tested, secure backup.”
Here’s how you can assess that your computer backup systems are in good condition.
1. Check your backups on a daily basis – This may be time-consuming but there’s just no shortcut to ensuring that your data are backed up daily. There are solutions like an enterprise backup software that can be used to speed up the process. Cloud-based backups may also be preferable since they offer day-to-day backups and can even back up an entire application context which goes beyond files and folders. The essential thing here is to make backups a daily habit to minimize data loss in case of a disaster.
2. Test the recovery process- Other than having copies of your data for safekeeping, the main point of having a backup system is so to avoid impairment due to data loss. Hence, the recovery time must be fast enough to get the business run normally. Traditional computer backup systems might not be the fastest in this case since you would have to locate and re-upload them one by one. If you cannot afford to lose at least one business day, confirm that your backup and restoration system is compliant. This can be done through simulation tests performed once in a while.
3. Know who can get your data – Enterprise backup software usually encrypts every data that you copy. This is part of the reason why some data restoration can take longer than desired. And so it’s also crucial for company executives to know who among the team, as well as the service providers, are authorized to access the backup files. Needless to say, the encryption keys cannot fall into the wrong hands.
Data backup is nearly as important as data collection. With the current state of cyber security, one cannot be complacent enough to think that there’s an immunity to data loss. There’s also the natural disasters that can cause severe impairment to business operations. And so data must be secured as with all other company assets.