World Backup Day takes place on March 31st, the day before April fools, and thereby sends a key message; don’t become the fool by failing to effectively backup important data.
With the amount of outages, cyber-attacks and migration fails already making headlines, this year is a crucial time for organisations to pause and reflect on the importance of ensuring they have the necessary implementations in place for effective backup of valuable data.
In a landscape of ever-growing threats, five IT experts explain the urgent need for businesses to question their current backup solutions and processes, and share their thoughts on how organisations can improve their backup approach this World Backup Day.
Take a proactive approach
Neil Barton, CTO at Wherescape, identifies the importance of proactively assessing backup and data recovery strategies, to ensure they drive cost and performance, and provide better security.
“A well-formulated backup strategy is critical to business survival and IT teams are under more pressure to ensure protection for the data of organisations,” he commented.
World Backup Day serves as a reminder for enterprises and individuals to continue to remain proactive when it comes to managing their data.
“Not only should organisations have a backup strategy, it is also extremely important for IT teams to test it regularly. The first time a business tests their backup tactics should not be during an emergency.”
“Data needs to be easily recoverable and accessible when needed, as a data loss can have devastating effects on a company’s reputation.”
“In order to provide the utmost protection for your data, it is absolutely necessary in today’s corporate world to have the proper backup and data recovery system,” agreed Rod Harrison, VP of Engineering at StorCentric, parent company of Nexsan and Drobo.
“Luckily, archive storage solutions are available to help eliminate data loss as well as provide added layers of security from tampering, corruption and ransomware,” he continued.
“These archive storage solutions are additionally able to increase the efforts of driving cost and performance benefits by simply allowing for greater long-term retention of data.”
“For a data backup strategy to reach its highest potential, the strategy should include data protection, enhanced security features and peak performance of storage.”
Consistency is critical
For enterprises in this ever-evolving digital landscape, it is not just about the set-up, but also maintaining the standard of crucial backup and disaster recovery strategies.
“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,” stated Alan Conboy, office of the CTO at Scale Computing.
“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, cyber threats 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,” he added.
“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.”
Shannon Simpson, cyber security and compliance director at Six Degrees, added to this point of view, saying, “Backups aren’t just for data recovery: they are an essential element of an effective cybersecurity strategy.”
He makes it clear that the risks are high if companies aren’t diligent about their backup plans.
“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,” he continued.
“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.”
Make backup smarter, not harder
“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,” said Jon Lucas, co-director at Hyve Managed Hosting.
“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,” he commented.
“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.”
With advancements being made from both those protecting cyberspace, and those threatening it, there is always room for improvement when it comes to our view on backup and disaster recovery.
This World Backup Day, it’s time for organisations of all sizes and in all sectors to focus on the protection of their valuable data. Never has it been more critical to question the deployment of backup and disaster recovery strategies, and explore what could be done better.