How Backups Create Value: The (Usually) Invisible Magic of a Backup Strategy
Thursday May 31, 2018
Why a backup strategy matters – even though it’s usually invisible
A truly beneficial backup strategy means that it will almost be invisible. It will run quietly in the background, archiving the progress of your business without impacting performance.
This is why it’s so often left to chance: in almost every case, your business can continue to function whether you have a backup plan in place or not.
But if something goes wrong—and trust us, it’s almost an inevitability—you’ll wish you had gone ahead and invested in the silent redundancy of a good backup.
There’s a real-world, bottom-line cost to failing to secure your data through backups—98% of businesses report that even an hour of downtime could cost them $100,000.
Can you afford to throw away $100,000?
The dire consequences of data loss
What exactly makes your data valuable?
It isn’t the server that it sits on. But the things that you can easily and unexpectedly lose through a data loss event include some of your most valuable operational elements.
- Meticulously created content like WordPress themes, blog posts, branding imagery & PDFs
- Mission-critical settings for software you’ve configured to meet your specific business needs
- Employee records and tools like spreadsheets, handbooks, playbooks and other operation-critical documentation
- Contracts and legally binding documents
- Email contact lists and records of important correspondence with clients
- Sensitive and private information you’ve collected about your users, employees or business practices
It may seem like losing some of these is unlikely. After all, don’t your employees keep all of their emails on their own computers—and aren’t those stored somewhere else?
Well, what if a flustered employee deletes all of their emails? This actually happened to The Alzheimer’s Association. Google’s massive cloud wasn’t enough to protect them against human error.
Even worse—what if someone accidentally deletes the big project you’re working on? It happened to Pixar, in one of the more amazing and frightening data loss events: they deleted almost the entirety of Toy Story 2 and only managed to save it because an employee had kept a personal backup at his house.
Data loss events can also take the form of clumsiness: an employee simply misplacing a laptop with access to sensitive information has cost companies like VeriSign, the Daily Mail, Bank of America and even governmental organizations like the Department of Veterans millions of dollars. Sometimes all it takes is bad luck, an unlocked car door or an opportune thief to compromise the security of your entire organization’s data. That, too, is a data loss event.
So what, exactly, should an organization look for in its backup strategy?
The solution to preventing catastrophic data loss
It’s important to build it right the first time. What do we mean by that?
Right from the beginning, you should aim to implement the best practices for creating a genuine archive of your organization’s activities, from its settings to its valuable content to its painfully compiled knowledge.
Don’t leave it to chance—seek out the advice of true backup experts and plan for a catastrophe. If it never comes, great—but if you find yourself facing a data loss event like a hard drive failure or a catastrophic natural disaster, you’ll be thrilled to discover that your backups act like a versioned history of your organization’s activities and data.
To craft your data loss prevention plan you’ll need to determine:
- What needs to be backed up.
- This requires taking a holistic view of your organization. What is mission critical? What could you never do without? What software, content, websites and data do you rely on?
- Where you’re going to keep your backups.
- You’ll need to determine whether you can safely keep your backups on-site or will need to enlist an off-site host. This guards against things like fires, floods, storms, power outages and employee error. The ideal combination is utilizing both, with your least sensitive data kept on site and your more valuable data in both locations.
- How often you should backup your data.
- Daily backups are great, but what if your data landscape changes rapidly? There are options that can allow for backup increments as fine as 15 minutes or less. Some organizations may only require backups per quarter. Determine the timeframe that’s required to secure your organization’s data.
Creating a data backup plan means insulating your organization against the tremendously expensive risk of data loss. It strikes organizations of any size, and occurs in a variety of unpredictable and unforeseeable ways–so make a plan today and don’t wind up wishing you hadn’t heeded our advice.
If this seems like a daunting task, or you need some help figuring out exactly what sort of plan to create, we’re more than happy to help you.
Why R1Soft backups are awesome
At GigeNET, we’ve partnered with R1Soft to provide one prong for our two-pronged backup services.
R1Soft is widely considered the fastest, most scalable, yet affordable server backup software. Incremental & daily backups mean that if you lose your data on Friday, you can rewind to Thursday and resume operations.
But the benefit doesn’t end with R1Soft’s archival capabilities. They’ve pioneered block-level backups that are minimally intrusive and avoid hurting your server’s performance. Essentially, R1Soft’s backups only capture changes as they occur—rather than wastefully archiving all of your data, all of the time, even when it hasn’t changed.
You can find out a lot more about R1Soft’s awesome developments in backup technology straight from the source.
Why backups equal operational security and stability
99.99% uptime is no longer an idealistic goal, it’s widely considered an industry standard. Lost time is lost money, a self-evident truism that no manager needs explained – but with data loss, the picture seems to get a little fuzzy.
Downtime does more than damage your bottom line. It damages your reputation. Preserving your organization’s goodwill doesn’t have an easily quantifiable dollar amount, but beware of undercounting the cost of a data loss event—there are myriad sources that estimate the value of data loss as running into the trillions each year.
Data loss isn’t just a headache or a pause in operations. It’s devastating.
What a catastrophe really costs: backups are actually just insurance
The value of a strong backup strategy is that it acts like an insurance policy. If something goes wrong, you call on your backups to restore operations to normalcy with minimal lost time and disruption.
Crafting your backup strategy is a proactive step toward securing your organization. With expanding security threats from ransomware to novel DDoS attacks—and organizations becoming increasingly dependent on their IT infrastructure just to function—keeping your backups up-to-date and ensuring that they’re functioning is as basic as keeping the doors locked when you leave.
Insure your organization’s data like you’d insure your home or your car. Create a backup strategy. At GigeNET, we’re experts in crafting customized backup strategies and have been in the hosting industry for more than 20 years.
Don’t wait until your data disaster strikes. Contact us for help with developing a comprehensive data backup plan.
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