Data backup and recovery form an important part of any organization’s disaster recovery plan (DRP) as it helps to ensure that businesses can still operate following a disruptive event. The loss of business data can cause massive damage and disrupt business operations. Global advisory firm Gartner reports that the average cost of downtime to a business is US$5,600 per minute and that only 6% of companies affected by a disaster and that did not have a DRP in place survived and continued to operate more than two years after the disaster.
With modern business operations becoming increasingly digitized, a good data backup and recovery strategy is crucial for the survival of any business, large or small. A data backup strategy is a plan for backup and recovery actions to achieve the goals of what, when, and how data, applications, and systems will be backed up and restored to a usable state for business purposes.
A good data backup and recovery strategy must have:
- Onsite Backups: Onsite backups are often faster to restore than offsite backups as they are located in the same building as the original data.
- Offsite Backups: In the event of a disaster at the primary data center, any backups stored onsite would likely be damaged. For that reason, it is always wise to have copies of backups offsite.
- Optimized Backup Schedule: Backups are not a one-time process. Critical data must be regularly and consistently backed up according to a clear and organized backup schedule.
- Backup Testing: Testing must be carried to verify that backups created can be restored effectively and efficiently. Data availability, completeness, and recovery speed are important metrics to consider when testing backups. This testing must be done regularly.
A best practice backup and recovery strategy to follow is prescribed by the 3-2-1 Backup Rule. This strategy adds layers of protection by replicating data backups to remote storage and/or the cloud, where they are securely encrypted and readily available. The 3-2-1 backup strategy recommends that:
- At least 3 copies of data are kept: This includes the original data and at least two backups. This practice improves the recoverability of lost data.
- Backed up data should be stored on at least 2 different storage media: this reduces the risk of failures related to a specific medium by using different technologies. Common choices include internal and external hard drives, removable media, tapes, or the cloud.
- 1 copy of the backup data should be stored offsite: this helps to eliminate the risk associated with a single point of failure. Offsite duplicates are needed for robust disaster and data backup recovery strategies and can allow for failover during local outages.
Given today’s data threat landscape, it’s not a matter of if, but when disaster will strike an organization. Whether it’s Mother Nature unleashing a natural disaster or cybercriminals wreaking havoc on your data, no organization can afford to wait until after a problem exists to take action. Mitiget advises that organizations ensure their data is safe and recovery is easy.