Ignorance may be bliss, but not taking backups really is risky business. Whilst you may be operating flawlessly without taking backups, you’ll come to regret it if something goes wrong. Losing data is easy but it can be extremely difficult to rebuild it without a backup.
Are you taking regular backups of your data? Are you doing it correctly and thoroughly? If you’re unsure, you may want to read on…
Take a moment to picture this – you walk into your office one day as normal, only to find that your databases, excel spreadsheets, word documents, invoices and every other valuable document your business depends on… has vanished. Permanently. Your entire business operation has come to a grinding halt.
What are your options? Are you going to rebuild years’ worth of data in a matter of hours, days or even weeks? How are you going to fulfil your business obligations in the meantime? According to research, 90% of businesses that suffer from a major data loss disaster go out of business within as little as two years. Fortunately this disaster is completely preventable with the right strategy in place.
The first step is coming to terms that no business is invulnerable to data loss. Most SMEs don’t have backups in place simply because they are under the misguided belief that they won’t suffer from data loss – ‘it hasn’t happened thus far, so it never will’. Even those that do backup their data may only do it once a week, and that’s only if they remember. 20% of SMEs don’t even have backups In place for their servers.
Another common mistake is that backups are only taken and stored on-site. Backups are only useful if the data is accessible, and on-site backups are vulnerable to a number of factors. Fires, viruses or even malicious employees are just a few potential disasters that could affect your on-site backups. You may find yourself losing both your original data and your backup in one foul swoop.
It’s also important to note, that whilst you may be coasting along in ignorant bliss that your data is being backed up, you could be in for a shock when it actually comes down to restoring said backups. 34% of businesses that take regular backups never test that they work, whilst 77% of companies that do test their backups have found corrupt or failed backups.
With the above in mind, it’s important to get serious about backing up your data and doing it properly:
Plan your backup strategy – what data needs to be backed up, where you are going to store it (both on-site and off)
Have a backup routine in place – Include backups in your regular schedule, preferably as an automated process that you have tested
Test your backups periodically – Make sure you have a backup log available so you can spot any failed backups and test them out by restoring them to an alternate ‘test’ location
Create multiple backups – Having at least 3 backups of data is sound practice. This includes off-site physical copies as well as cloud-based backups. If you don’t have at least 3 backups, your data isn’t really backed up!
Given the risks involved in not having backups in place, and the little resource it requires, there are no excuses to not have your important data backed up. But don’t just stop at that; ignorance isn’t bliss in this case! Test your backups regularly to save you any unnecessary headaches in the future.