Cyberattacks, power outages, and natural disasters can all lead to extensive data loss. While losing a few megabytes of data may sound inconsequential, think about how terabytes of lost data can affect your business. The most common scenario is that operations grind to a halt for several hours as everyone tries to redo the hours of lost work. But in extreme cases, data loss can lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue, legal penalties, and reputational damage. That’s why savvy business owners must have a comprehensive data backup plan in place.
What is data backup, and why is it important?
Data backup is the process of replicating your data and storing it in a different location so that you can recover it if it’s lost or damaged. It is important because data is a critical business asset that can be lost due to a variety of factors, including hardware failure, software corruption, human error, natural disasters, and cyberattacks. Without a data backup solution, companies that experience data loss may be unable to recover their data and may be forced to shut down.
10 Common data backup mistakes to avoid
Data backup isn’t as simple and clear-cut as it sounds. Make sure you don’t make the following data backup mistakes.
1. Lack of a backup plan
A backup plan is a blueprint for how you will back up your data. This includes what data to back up, how often to back up your data, and where to store your backups. Without a backup plan, it is easy to overlook important data or to make other mistakes.
2. Overreliance on a single backup medium
If you store all of your backups on a single hard drive or storage device, you are risking losing all of your data if that device fails. It is better to store your backups in multiple devices and in multiple locations, such as on premises and in the cloud.
3. Not backing up all of the data
Don’t back up only what you think are the most important data, such as financial data and customer records. It’s best practice to back up all of your data, even the ones that don’t seem important at the time.
4. Unencrypted backups
If your backups are not encrypted, anyone who gains unauthorized access to them will be able to read your data. To avoid this, make sure to encrypt your backups when they’re at rest and in transit. Also, use the strongest level of encryption you can afford, such as the 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard.
5. No off-site backup
It’s not wise to store your backup solely within your premises. Should your office be damaged or destroyed by a disaster, you risk losing all of your data, including the backups.
6. Infrequent backup testing
Test your backups regularly to ensure that they are reliable and working properly. Otherwise, you may only find out they are not working when you need to recover your data.
7. Not keeping track of backups
After you’ve implemented a backup solution, it’s important to have a clear record of all your backups. The record should include the location of the backups, the frequency of backup procedures, and the types of data that you've backed up. Keeping track of your backups will prevent you from making the next mistake on this list.
8. Outdated backups
If you’re constantly updating and making changes to your files, then you need to back up your data on a more regular basis. If not, you may lose important data that has changed since your last backup.
9. Relying on RAID as backup
A redundant array of independent disks (RAID) is a data storage technology wherein data is replicated among multiple physical disk drives that are stored in a single logical unit. RAID provides good data redundancy and performance, but it cannot replace a dedicated backup solution because it cannot protect against data loss due to human error, software corruption, or cyberattacks. For example, if you delete a file by accident, it will also be deleted from all mirrored drives.
10. Insufficient employee training
If your employees do not know how to back up data properly, they may make a mistake that will lead to data loss. Make sure your employees receive proper training on data backup procedures.
By avoiding these common mistakes, businesses can ensure their data is protected and easy to recover should they experience a data loss event.
A better way to avoid making data backup mistakes is to leave it to us at Healthy IT. We offer fast, secure, and automated data backup solutions, and we have the experience and expertise in servicing the healthcare and legal industries. If your business is located on Long Island, NY or anywhere in the tri-state area, contact us today.