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Back it up - Take a hard look at your backup procedures

Dale Schembri

Product Marketing Executive

Have you ever lost a file that was important to you, only to spend the rest of the day angry at yourself for having procrastinated backing up your data?

Unfortunately, this story is all too common even in this day and age, and with companies the situation is no different. Whatever a company does, data is constantly being created. That data could either be in the form of end products, the information needed to produce those products, or the information needed to provide the company’s services. If this data is lost, the company will be in jeopardy.

There are many things that can immediately cause data loss, from hardware failure, corrupted files, virus and malware to accidental deletions. However, human error remains the most common cause of data loss, with recent survey findings regarding data protection and compliance in the United States and the UK discovering that accidental deletion of information is the leading cause of data loss, ahead of losses caused by malicious insiders and hackers.

Having a backup plan in place is key for those business owners who don’t want their operations to come to a grinding halt, simply due to an employee saving a fresh (and empty) database over the current customer data.

What are the features of a good backup plan? Whether you’re creating an internal backup plan or outsourcing to an IT services provider such as BMIT, make sure that the plan incorporates the following key characteristics:

  • Multi-site: Spreading your backups across multiple different physical locations will go a long way in ensuring that your backups are not susceptible to natural disasters. Putting all your eggs in one basket and backing up all your files in one location is a sure-fire way to doom your data. With BMIT being Malta’s largest multi-site data centre, backing up your data at our premises ensures they’re stored in multiple locations and protected by redundant set-ups.
  • Automated: Our minds can be quite volatile sometimes and we forget many things every day, especially if we’re inundated with work and errands. Backing up is something that is very easily pushed to the back of our mental to-do list, leading to missed backups. Automating or outsourcing this whole process ensures reliability in the scheduling of backups, and of course, it’s one less headache for you.
  • Frequent backups: The more often your data is backed up, the less information you stand to lose. Depending on the nature of your operations, weekly backups could suffice, however we recommend daily backups. In this way, the most you’ll risk losing is a day’s work – much better than a whole week (or worse) of data going down the drain.
  • Encryption: If part of the data being backed up includes customer records and other sensitive information, it would best to make use of a service adds an additional layer of security by encrypting the data stored on their servers, to protect customer records in the event of a security breach. All backups housed within BMIT’s data centres are encrypted with military-grade encryption methods.
  • Disaster recovery wwwing: Once your backup system is in place and working, regular wwwing should be conducted to verify that it is in fact, working. Frequent backups would be useless if you discover that you have no way of restoring the data once you need it. Frequent disaster recovery wwwing needs to go hand in hand with consistent data backups for an effective and holistic backup plan.

With small and medium-sized enterprises being the target for more than 60 per cent of cyber-attacks in 2015, having an effective backup system in place can be expensive and time consuming. Outsourcing backup can reduce the impact of human error while also providing a peace-of-mind in knowing that the backup policies and procedures would have been tried and wwwed already. This reduces amount of time required to deploy an effective backup solution to protect your business data.

This article was featured on the Times of Malta here

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