Whether you’re a startup or global corporation, backups are an essential part of any business’ IT strategy.

Creating and storing multiple copies of your data is key to preventing file loss due to device theft, malicious attacks, or even a fire or leak in your office.

We understand that backups and disaster recovery can be confusing and that duplicating and managing files is time-consuming for business owners.

This is why we’ve rounded up some basic tips on how to set up and maintain backups successfully.

 

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

A key factor that discourages people from maintaining backups is the lack of knowledge of how to do so properly.

The standard recommendation is the 3-2-1 method; three copies of your data, stored on (at least) two different types of device, with one of these located offsite.

Many make the mistake of having only one backup of files. Of course, this is a lot better than having none at all, yet having two extra duplicates significantly reduces your chance of complete data loss.

You must ensure that these are stored on two different types of medium, such as a USB stick and an external hard drive. This protects you against device malfunction or physical damage to the storage units.

Lastly, you must always store one of your backups away from the other copies. By using different locations, you can cover yourself if there is a fire, burglary or another unfortunate event in your office space.  

 

But, there’s an alternative for SMBs.

You may be thinking “But, I don’t have access to an additional site to store a backup!”

Startups and small businesses can still use the 3-2-1 method, without having to hire out another office or storage space. Cloud services provide a more affordable – yet secure – service, which allows companies the opportunity to store their files on a remote server that is managed by a trusted company like Amazon and Microsoft.

These services are a great option for you if you are already using OneDrive, Google Drive or DropBox to store documents and data because they can be seamlessly integrated.

Just remember, file sharing sites like the aforementioned are not a backup solution and should always be used in tandem with other backup methods.

For instance, one we like to use is Spanning Backup. Hosted in AWS, you can backup all of the above vendors and set up an offsite copy. It’s also a great choice as it stores multiple copies of the files.

 

Check up on them.

It’s all well and good backing up your files, but you must make sure that you are checking them regularly.

If you do not actively monitor them, how can you be certain that they are working correctly?

Depending on what systems you have in place, We’d recommend taking a look at your backups from anywhere between each month to every six months. This makes sure everything is running smoothly and that your data can be restored in full if a disaster occurs.

 

Disaster recovery.

On a similar note, outlining a disaster recovery plan is essential to limit the amount of downtime your business will experience if data loss occurs. It’s no use having a backup of your data if you have no idea how to restore it.

 

Consider automation.

Manual backups are a great way to ensure your documents are safe whilst still keeping costs low – an excellent solution for individuals and small businesses.

However, automation is something to think about sooner rather than later. Automating your backups guarantees no file is left behind. Manually copying your files is not only time consuming but can be a hotbed for human error.

This list includes just a few tips for maintaining backups and is by no means a complete guide. If you would like to discuss your backup and disaster recovery strategy further, please get in touch today