Blog: New Year Backups

New Year Backup

It’s that time of year. February is the new January, and now that the hype of New Year’s resolutions is finished, it’s time to set some real goals. We’re rebranding it from change to improvement. If anyone else like us is trying to improve some of their practices in business moving into the new year then we have a good place for you to start.  

When was the last time you backed up?

Picture this. 

Over the weekend you see an email on your laptop which looks like it’s from one of the companies which run one of the subscriptions you pay for to help do your weekly jobs in the office. You have a quick look and file it away in your inbox to deal with later. 

What you don’t realise is that email wasn’t from the company you thought it was at all, and actually contained some ransomware which set out to encrypt the data on your computer. 

You don’t realise this until you get into the office on Monday when you can’t access any of your files, and there are demands for huge amounts of cash to get your data back. 

As a small business you can’t afford this price, so it’s all lost. What if the worst did happen? What if you get over-excited with the delete button and delete something you shouldn’t, or overwrite that proposal your client is screaming for? 

What is a backup?

At its simplest a backup is the process of creating copies of data. These backups can then be stored in a variety of places: both cloud-based and physically. Having a backup means, that in the case of an emergency, you can restore the data you need to to run your business. Cloud-based storage solutions like OneDrive and DropBox allow you to access your data offsite, though are NOT recommended for backup (they overwrite documents). Hard drives and network attached storage systems are simple and efficient to use, and offer options like encrypting your backups – you really wouldn’t want all your nice backed-up data falling in to the wrong hands would you?

How do I backup?

The 3-2-1 Strategy is one which we always advocate when businesses or individuals are considering backing up their data. Firstly, however, it is important to know and track where any data is so that anyone who needs to can easily access it when required. For example, you can do this by naming files obviously and creating folders which group similar files. Once you have this covered, it’s time to work through the backup strategy: 

  • 3 – Have three copies of the backup
  • 2 – Store the backup in two different media (a hard drive, tape, DVD etc.)
  • 1 – Have one copy of the backup stored offsite. 

An example of how this looks would be a backup strategy which includes an encrypted copy of the backup on your laptop or server, a copy on an external hard drive and a copy in cloud-based storage. Remember, it’s just as important to be able to restore your data after the backup as it is backing up in the first place. 

So, why not use the New Year as an opportunity to retune your thinking about your IT, and implement a new strategy around your data? If you would like to discuss how to get started with backing up in your business, give us a call now. 

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