People now create and generate over 1.8 zettabytes of data per year,¹ and nearly 21% of people have never backed up their data.² That’s a concern considering 29% of data loss cases are caused by accident and 30% of all computers are already infected with malware. Pixar temporarily lost some of the animated film, Toy Story 2, to an errant computer command.⁶ These statistics highlight the importance of World Backup Day today, March 31st, an independent initiative that raises awareness about backups and data preservation.
Backing up data is not just about storing much-loved photos in the cloud, it’s about all forms of electronic information, across a multitude of devices, and even across an entire workforce, being stored in such a way that it is secure but also recoverable.
“If all devices, all information, and then cybersecurity and disaster recovery are not considered, then your backup isn’t adequately planned or protected,” explains David Lees, co-founder of IronTree, which was acquired recently by Metrofile.
“We are creating electronic information faster than ever before and on more devices, so we have to keep pace with our backups. It can save a business. We have observed some real disasters for clients who weren’t backed up, and then by contrast, we also have countless examples of clients thanking us for restoring them back to normal, quickly. Our focus has been on the latest technology, speed of recovery, and human engagement. That, in my view, is a necessity.”
“There are many things that people don’t realise, for example, it’s imperative to know that ransomware can infect a host machine, and then the online backup can also be affected. An additional level of protection needs to be in place when backing up, otherwise you are backing up with a virus – your worst nightmare,” he adds.
IronTree, who won Best Service Provider in the Middle East and Africa Region at the Acronis Cyberfit Awards 2021, recommends what they refer to as the Magnificent Seven Backup Basics for anyone who wants to not only back up their data but be able to restore it after a breach or loss of information.
Lees outlines the essential seven tips:
- Backup your backup: Make sure you are backed up at a secure offsite location
- Limit all margins of error: The process should be fully automated to avoid human error or forgetfulness
- Triple padlocked: Backups must be encrypted, password-protected and verified “clean”
- Step by step, and day-by-day: Sequential daily incremental changes must be in place so that you can restore to a selected point in time
- Real support: Choose a partner that delivers high-quality, accessible human support when you need help to restore. Back up is only half the journey, recovery and restoration are the other half
- Consistency: Beconsistently alerted when your backup fails or stops transmitting entirely
- Be hygienic: Choose a service provider who offers an option to be guided through regular “health checks” to ensure that you’re still backing up ALL relevant data.
“Our SecureIT suite of products doesn’t just offer storage, we also offer cybersecurity, disaster recovery, virtual private servers, and even a compliance tool to assist companies who may be struggling to comply with POPIA. These solutions are all part of the same family and stem from the same need – business continuity. No business can afford downtime. It’s costly financially and damaging to brand reputation, and yet it’s avoidable. Please be vigilant and attentive to back up. It may be more critical than you think. Most clients think it will never happen, until it does,” Lees concludes.
World Backup Day urges those working in a business to “tell your bosses & colleagues about the importance of data backups, check your backup procedures & restores to make sure everything is up-to-date and working, and if you don’t have one, consider creating a company data backup & continuity plan.”
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