As we continue our installment about services your business needs in regard to cybersecurity, we must cover Backups. Backups are used to create and store copies of data in other places to prevent data loss.
The need for data backup is ever more prominent with the 21st century, particularly notorious for its frequency of data breaches. It is heartbreaking and equally alarming that a hacker attacks data every 39 seconds across the globe. Some of this could be delicate data your business thrives on.
Understandably, IT disaster recovery is big business. It is anticipated that the global data (recovery and backup) market would be worth $11.59 billion by 2022. Exciting, isn’t it?
It’s essential for any business to back up their data as it’s one of these basic requirements in order to save important data that is needed and that keeps the business secure. Let’s talk about the importance of backups in your business today!
Distinguishing between data redundancy and backups
In the IT security world, it is not uncommon to come across data redundancy being mistaken for backup. Beaming more light on us, we see that data redundancy is basically a replication of existing data.
This is the same as multiplying the same packet of data across several storage destinations. To a reasonable extent, this is different from backing up data..
Let us get practical, shall we?
When you have a file on your local system and copy it to a USB flash drive upon updating it, this isn’t essentially backup but redundancy. The generality of tape solutions like external hard drives and flash drives belongs more in data redundancy.
In the case of backup, what you get is the original data being compressed. Third-party software and PCI Compliance can create and store these compressed versions.
What solutions can you leverage for backing up data?
Data should be in at least three places: on-premise backups, cloud backups, and hybrid backups.
Starting with on-premise backups
With on-premise backup solutions, you get exclusive appliances dedicated to backing up data of either the whole business or specialized sections of it.
Typically, on-premise storage solutions leverage a configured network, only finding use when a backup is needed.
They are pretty spectacular at IT disaster recovery, considering that no other backup technology boasts the speed of these dedicated devices. These are especially useful in very delicate sectors where the slightest delays in data restoration can prove heavily catastrophic.
Nonetheless, given that data losses don’t happen every day, you should bear in mind that for the bulk of time, these on-premise appliances would be unused.
What more, you would be running expenses on them regarding needs like powering them, cooling them, and even maintaining them along the line. It is also worthy to note that scaling on-premise backup appliances can be challenging.
This is not financially feasible, especially for small and medium scale businesses. Could there be a more economically appealing backup solution?
Introducing cloud backups
Yes, a cheaper resort for IT disaster recovery is cloud backups. As you can readily infer, this is storage over the cloud, essentially backing up your data on the internet.
In this case, you are outsourcing your data storage to a far larger and more sophisticated external datacenter. Cloud backups are more affordable and are remarkably scalable.
Cloud backups save you the infamous bottlenecks associated with scaling on-premise backup devices. Being outsourced, you are not directly responsible for technical details like installation, maintenance, and power, as in the case of physical backup devices.
The fact that most cloud backup solutions leverage pay-on-demand models make them even more attractive economically. This means you wouldn’t need to bother about procuring storage beforehand. You pay for them as you scale up or scale down.
Such an arrangement maximizes your investment at every point in time. Don’t you enjoy it that way?
What is hybrid backup?
Depending on your type of backup needs, you may choose to go with hybrid backup. This is a comprehensive combo of a cloud-based backup solution with on-premise backup technologies.
This enables you to simultaneously tap into the security of cloud backups and the speed of local backups, making your local server disaster recovery far easier. This implies upon failure of local backup solutions, you can still leverage your cloud-based version of critical data.
Take note that the backup destinations (in the case you use more than one of these three options) should be as disconnected as possible from each other so that infections in one can’t spread to the other.
For example, if your office gets ransomware, it should be easily jumping to your backups. if your backups are connected, then the ransomware can and will spread to it, making it unusable.
Let’s talk about recovery
Backups are not really about backups; they are actually about recovery. You must test them for it to be sufficient. If you don’t test them, they are useless. Restores must be tested, both at the individual file level and a whole system level.
Employees must be included during tests so that issues can be resolved during the tests. Better during a test, then a real event. Practice also takes the stress out of the situation during a real incident.
This was drilled into me when I worked for a mid-tier investment firm. After 9/11 we didn’t know what the next day would bring us, so we had to make sure our systems could be accessible from other locations in case communication systems continued to be down.
Similarly, we had blackouts a few years later. Our past business continuity tests gave us the confidence that not only were we able to bring up our systems offsite, but the team was able to do it while I happened to be on vacation at the time.
How Triada Networks Can Help
I brought those lessons to me as we work with small businesses. The technology available today to allow us to bring full systems online during an event was not achievable unless you had massive budgets.
Now those capabilities are available to small businesses. So, when Hurricane Fred, Irene, and Sandy rolled through in successive years, we were prepared. Sandy was the one that knocked people out, but we had the tools which allowed clients to keep running.
We can help your business have the proper steps in place for backups and recovery too! We’d be happy to discuss the steps we take to ensure your data is protected and backed up properly. To learn more about how we can help.