Avoid These Top 5 Backup Mistakes that May Cost You Your Data
Backing up your data isn’t just a “best practice” it’s a necessity for any business. With most files – from accounting data to employee files to customer records – being stored in digital format, not having a reliable data backup can mean disaster for your business should anything go wrong.
Often a business owner thinks everything is being backed up, then finds out once a data loss incident has occurred and that their data wasn’t being copied like they thought.
Managing backups regularly is the best way to avoid a costly data loss incident, but unfortunately many offices are making a few key backup mistakes and they don’t even realise.
What Things Put Your Data at Risk?
There are several ways that data can be put at risk of loss, and not all of them are related to outsiders breaching your network.
Data loss can occur through:
- Data breach
- Accidental or intentional deletion
- Hardware or software failure
- Natural or manmade disasters
The average cost to businesses for each lost data record is AU$221.
According to IBM Security, the average cost for each lost data record is $150.00 US (AU$221). The average number of records lost in a data breach is 25,575. So that would be an average cost for data loss due to a breach of over 3.8 million US (AU$12.2 million).
Are You Making One of These Critical Backup Mistakes?
Backups often are a “back burner” IT issue. Something that we don’t always think about until something goes wrong and we need to recover our files. Yet, the cost if something goes wrong and your data is lost, make it something that should be a high priority for any business, no matter the size.
Here are some of the top backup mistakes that people make and how to avoid them.
1. Not Checking Your Backup Regularly
Do you just plug in your external hard drive or click on the cloud backup then assume all is going well month after month? Do your employees do the same? Big mistake!
There are any number of things that can go wrong with an automated backup process, and if you’re not checking it regularly, you might find out during a data loss incident that the last successful backup was done 6 months ago due to a software glitch.
You and your team should be checking backups regularly to ensure they’re still activated and backing up properly, so you’re not left with any unpleasant surprises.
2. Only Backing Up Locally
If you’re using an on-premise backup only, if a natural disaster, flood, or fire strikes, your files and your back up of them could all be lost. Too many offices have a false sense of security with a single local backup, then find out too late that it wasn’t enough to protect them from data loss.
You should additionally be backing up remotely via a cloud backup to ensure you files are safe, no matter what. A good rule of thumb is to use the 3-2-1 backup rule, which states:
- Keep at least 3 copies of all your data
- Ensure 2 of those copies are on different backup media
- Make sure 1 of your backups is kept offsite
3. Not Testing Data Recovery
Just because you’re backing up, doesn’t mean that recovering that data will be fast or easy. Not all backup methods are designed for automatic data recovery, and you don’t want to find that out when you need to restore your files.
It’s a good idea to test data recovery from your backup systems regularly, so that you’ll know if that component might be lacking from your current backup system. This will also ensure that the first time you and your team are implementing a data recovery isn’t during an emergency.
4. Not Checking File Space on Backup Media
Both hard drives and cloud-based backups can run out of space. If you’re not keeping an eye on the amount of space your backup is taking up, your backup might look like it’s working fine, when it’s actually hit its limit and isn’t backing up new files.
Cloud backups are typically easier to expand by simply adding space onto your backup plan, while a hard drive backup getting full may require purchasing a larger drive.
5. Not Paying Attention to Which Folders are Being Backed Up
When you first initiate a backup, you’re usually asked which folders to include or if you want to do a whole system backup. A common mistake is accidentally leaving out an important folder and set of files because of trying to save on space.
The safest backups are those that copy your entire system, files, folders, and applications, basically they take an entire mirror image of your computer. While this may require more space on your backup media, you’ll ensure nothing is accidentally left out and they also generally ensure a faster data recovery process.
Prepare for the Unexpected with GKM2
GKM2 offers a worry-free Managed Backup Service that protects your critical business data and minimises the risk of data loss and business disruption.
Contact us to get a handle on your company’s data backups today! Request a consultation online or call +61 2 9161 7171.