Insights on the importance of data backup and disaster recovery strategies
World Backup Day is March 31, a day to reflect on and reassess data backup and disaster recovery strategies. Here, several IT and security experts offer their thoughts on what the day means.
The rule on effective backup strategies: Trust but verify
“A well-formulated backup strategy is critical to business survival, and IT teams are under more pressure to ensure protection for the data of organizations. World Backup Day serves as a reminder for enterprises and individuals to continue to remain proactive when it comes to managing their data.
Not only should organizations have a backup strategy, it is also extremely important for IT teams to test it regularly. The first time a business tests their backup tactics should not be during an emergency. Data needs to be easily recoverable and accessible when needed, as a data loss can have devastating effects on a company’s reputation.”
- Neil Barton, chief technology officer, WhereScape
Your data is top priority. Backup plans should be no less so
“Mission-critical data fuels the speed of today’s businesses, which is why it’s essential that backup and disaster recovery plans are made a top priority. World Backup Day is an important reminder of this reality, with many organizations forgetting a few essentials to a solid backup plan. First, performing backups as frequently as possible often falls by the wayside of priorities, but this is a very effective way to prevent data loss. Moreover, the location of your backup must be kept top-of-mind, the closer it is to the primary data, the better.
“In addition, cyberthreats like ransomware came about after many legacy backup and disaster recovery plans were created, so it’s important to ensure that IT infrastructure is secure and safeguarded with a disaster recovery plan. Finally, while emphasis is frequently on the recovery point of when your last backup was taken, recovery time is just as important. The bottom line is backup and disaster recovery plans must be assessed consistently to safeguard data and protect organizations from being taken off guard by the next disaster.”
Data backup plans start with deciding what is an acceptable level of risk
"World Backup Day is a perfect opportunity for businesses to ask themselves the following questions: How much time am I prepared to have mission-critical functions unavailable? How much data am I prepared to lose? How much money will it cost while these services are not available?
"If these questions are raising concerns, then you need to address your Backup strategy now. The most valuable assets should be prioritized and organizations need to be demanding about the quality, scalability and reliability of Backup solutions. The process of backing up data is pivotal to a successful Disaster Recovery plan.”
- Eltjo Hofstee, managing director, Leaseweb UK
Data loss can be a crippling event for any organization
“Losing important data can be absolutely devastating to a business’s operations, customers and even reputation. But it can be hard for internal IT teams to manage the required technologies on their own.
“Managed data backups are one of the most vital services an MSP can provide its clients, who depend on them to protect their data, ensure disaster recovery, and maintain business continuity. You never know when a natural disaster will strike your customer, or when they will be the target of a cyberattack.
“World Backup Day serves as a great reminder for MSPs on the importance of helping clients establish a comprehensive and well-formulated backup strategy that includes proactive monitoring, remediation and advanced troubleshooting. And with the ease and availability of cloud backup solutions, there’s no reason MSPs shouldn’t make it a top priority for clients.”
Disaster recovery doesn’t have to be complicated, but it has to work
“Data has become an integral component of our personal and professional lives, and today’s organizations can never know when a disaster may strike or in what form. Cyberattackers have the ability to hack into servers and delete all saved data, but natural disasters such as fires and floods and even human error can have just as catastrophic results. That’s why World Backup Day serves as a reminder for every organization to create or revisit its disaster recovery plan and learn about what other backup options are available.
“DR plans don’t have to be overly complicated. They just need to exist — and be regularly tested to ensure they work as planned. To help, start with the basics – data replication copies data in real- or near-real time, giving you a more up-to-date version of your data, and typically is performed in the cloud.
“Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) may be the most comprehensive option by providing a recovery point objective of a few seconds or allowing you to reach back further if needed, also the ability to recover applications instantly and automatically, and a lower price tag by eliminating software licenses and hardware. While these are just a few options available, your organization should always be striving to learn more and do more to protect its irreplaceable data.”
- Trevor Bidle, vice president of information security and compliance, US Signal
Backup plans should include the network as well as data
"When we celebrate World Backup Day in our interconnected age, it is increasingly important that organizations not only backup their data, but that their network has a backup plan as well. It’s no longer a question of whether your business will lose Internet connectivity, it's when.
“In some areas Internet connectivity can experience service disruption up to several times a month, which exposes businesses to risks of lost revenue, reduced productivity and customer experience issues.
“New technologies including 4G LTE failover, Gigabit-Class LTE, cloud-based management and orchestration and software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) are important to keep in mind. It is key to look for solutions that prioritize and protect many more applications during primary WAN outages, allowing enterprises to keep their operations running as usual without interruption.”
- Ken Hosac, vice president of IoT strategy and business development, Cradlepoint
Data backup plans should include data protection up-front
“In order to provide the utmost protection for your data, it is absolutely necessary in today’s corporate world to have the proper backup and data recovery system. Luckily, archive storage solutions are available to help eliminate data loss as well as provide added layers of security from tampering, corruption and ransomware.
“These archive storage solutions are additionally able to increase the efforts of driving cost and performance benefits by simply allowing for greater long-term retention of data. For a data backup strategy to reach its highest potential, the strategy should include data protection, enhanced security features and peak performance of storage.”
- Rod Harrison, vice president of of engineering of StorCentric