Queen Elizabeth II in the seventies

Don't risk your data becoming a fond memory this Jubilee weekend

Lets face it, nobody wants to pay for insurance that they don’t think they need, and security solutions are really just insurance policies for your data. Like with a lot of insurance, many people will put off investing in their security until it's too late and they've experience a loss or corruption of data. Much like the car sitting in your driveway, if you take extra care with it then computing hardware may last a very long time before it fails but ultimately, it will fall victim to good ol' wear and tear. As is the way with any insurance policy, isn’t it better to pay a small amount every month rather than be struck with astronomical costs associated all at once to recover data once it’s already lost?


Why you should act now

Simply put, performing backups is the safest way to ensure that your business can continue to operate in the event of a catastrophic loss of data. Removable media such as external hard drives and USB storage has, for the most part, served us well so far, but when competition has driven down the costs of cloud storage and fuelled the race for improved features and functionality, it’s hard not to look at cloud backups. It should no longer be a decision on whether you should back up your data, but rather who you should back it up with.

While you may not yet have experienced a significant loss of data, the threat landscape is vast. Common risks range from accidental deletion as a result of human error, physical disaster such fire or flood, hacker penetration, hardware failure, software corruption… the list goes on. If you haven’t lost something important yet, it feels like only a matter of time until you will.

How to get started

The most important thing to do before you start considering solutions, is to identify exactly what you want to be backing up. What is it that you can’t live without? Assess the value of the data and systems that you have and assign them a level of importance to your business. Depending on how you operate, you may wish to consider whether you should backup onsite servers, databases, file shares and personal computers. If you only use cloud infrastructure, check what backups are currently in place so you can determine how to plug the gaps – and there will be gaps!

Next, decide how often you need to back up your data and what type of backup you need to run. Data that is changed regularly may need to be backed up more often. Here are just a few of the common types of backups available:

Full backups - a comprehensive copy in one place, longer to backup but quick to recover
Incremental backups - only backs up the data which has been changed, quick to backup but slower to recover
Remote backups – provides a high level of protection and can be backed up from any location, may take a little longer to restore and may be slightly more expensive

Take the opportunity to do some housekeeping on your file shares if you don’t already do this. The only thing worse than a cluttered, unstructured mass of documents are two cluttered, unstructured masses of documents. Spend a little time on this and you could end up saving on storage costs and recovery times. It will be worth it in the end.

Do your homework

Take your time and select the vendor that best suits your needs. At ITbuilder some of the solutions which we recommend to our customers include Azure, Veeam and N-Able Backup, depending on your current architecture and needs.
Veeam is arguably one of the biggest players in the backup game. It’s a name that has been trusted for many years and it’s easy to see why. It has a simple, clean interface, easy setup and excellent integration.
N-Able (formerly SolarWinds) also has a pretty substantial reputation and we have an excellent relationship with the vendor, the fruits of which we pass on to our customers. Integration, setup and management of their backups is made even easier as many of our existing customers are already using some of their products, such as their award-winning Anti-Virus, DNS filtering or mail filtering.

Testing and protecting your backups

An untested backup is not a backup at all. Make sure that you test your backup solution regularly to ensure it’s integrity. Sometimes things don’t always go to plan and you don’t want to find out the hard way that your data hasn’t been backing up correctly. Equally as important – make sure you protect your access to your backed up data with Multi-Factor Authentication or other suitable measure.

Don't wait until something goes wrong before you take action. Call us today to discuss the right backup solution for your needs.

Jason Abrahamse

Jason is ITbuilder's security expert and leads our information security project team. He provides consultancy and support on matters relating to cyber-resilience and data protection.

Something of an industry veteran, Jason has held various roles in the industry and combines that expertise to consult with customers on security best practices.

Jason is a native of South Africa, but is now a fully naturalised Brit except for not being accustomed to the cold. He lives locally in Hertfordshire.

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