It never ceases to amaze me how many businesses still take unnecessary risks when it comes to the backup and protection of their data. Not only have I come across businesses that do not store copies of their critical data off site, but I have worked with companies who do not backup their data AT ALL!
The first question I have for these organisations is why? This data is your business! without it, you couldn't function! and I have heard every excuse under the sun too! "Oh I didn't realise my data could be corrupted so I didn't know I had to back it up", or "I don't trust the cloud, it's too easily hacked!" and my personal favourite is "I haven't got time to keep saving my files in different places, it's too much hassle!".
For all of these excuses (and every other excuse there is), ask yourself if you would be happy with your choice if you suddenly lost all of your data? Gone, vanished, obliterated never to be seen again? - No, I didn't think so.
In this article, we discuss the VERY simple 3-2-1 rule for backing up your data, why each step is important, and tools you can use to make the process as simple as possible.
So, what is the 3-2-1 rule? It's painfully simple really:
3 - Maintain at least 3 copies of your data at all times. That means, one live, working copy and 2 backups of that live document. These two copies then feed into step 2 and are designed to mitigate against digital and physical issues.
2 - Keep your backups on at least 2 different devices. This means devices that are both different to where you store your 'live' copy, and different for each backup. This could be removable drives, Cloud Storage, Network Attached Storage or physical media such as tapes and discs.
1 - Ensure at least 1 of the backups is stored off site. This means in a location different to where you would usually work and store your working data. This is to protect in the event of a physical problem such as fire or flood damaging your data.
That's it! Follow those steps religiously and recovering from data loss should be a straight forward! So why do so many people still not back up their important data?
Well the most common factor is definitely the perceived effort required to backup on devices in different locations. That's where software comes in to play. There are an abundance of packages out there, some free - some paid, that automate the entire process.
You simply make a folder on your device, configure the software to backup everything in that folder on a schedule to your backup locations, and that's it. Any time you make changes to documents in the folder they are automatically replicated in your backup locations for you. So you will always be able to recover the latest versions of your files!
The second biggest reason we find people don't backup their files is simply, they have never thought about it. Data recovery from failed hardware such as hard drives and SSD's can be a lengthy, difficult and costly process with no guarantees of success what so ever. So if you have never thought about backing up your stuff, just ask yourself what you would do if you woke up tomorrow and it was all gone?
It's simple, cheap and offers the highest possible protection for your information against loss or corruption. Not to mention offering business continuity in the event of a disaster.