World Backup Day: Best practices for small to mid-sized companies

Thinking of best practices for data backup, we constantly hear phrases like ‘data is the new oil’ — and just like oil it needs to be stored carefully. According to research commissioned by Arcserve, 52% of mid-sized companies that have experienced data loss in the last five years could not recover all their data and the average loss they suffered ranged from $120,000 to $1.24 million.  

What is World Backup Day? 

While there are plenty of ways to lose your data (malicious software, technical failure, and good old human error) when it comes to shoring up your defenses, the underlying principle remains the same — back up your data and test your backup recovery. There’s even a day to remind you to do just that—World Backup Day is observed on March 31. And, appropriately, it happens to be a day before April 1 — to remind us we’d be fools to not backup our data.   

What is data backup best practice? 

Here are some best practices for small to medium businesses to follow this World Backup Day: 

  1. Schedule and automate backups
    Automating backups can save time and reduce the risk of human error. With backup software, you can automate the process at a regular frequency, ensuring it happens without lengthy intervals between the instances. The rule of thumb would be to schedule a daily data backup or if it is a small business, a full backup at least once a week.
  2. Back it up offsite
    Off-site storage could be a cloud-based platform, or a physical server located outside of your office. In case your central server gets compromised, this will be a huge advantage in protecting your data. A natural disaster, cyberattack, or other business disruptions could destroy your onsite server, but an offsite backup will remain untouched.
  3. Put your backups to the test periodically
    Testing backups regularly is essential to verify that the backed-up data is complete, accurate, and can be restored in a reasonable time frame. Regularly testing backups helps pull up issues with backup systems, such as software or hardware failures that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. It is also a vital element in disaster recovery planning that enables the identification of gaps in backup and recovery processes.
  4. Implement encryption and security measures:
    Encrypting backup data is crucial to protect it from unauthorized access, and corruption and creates an added layer of security. Also, it makes data recovery a smooth process. Data encryption can be done by using strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, and secure transfer protocols.
  5. Develop a disaster recovery plan:
    A backup is only as good as its disaster recovery plan. Like a good insurance policy, a disaster recovery plan helps businesses get back on their feet by outlining the recovery process, backup restoration, and communication plan. It also helps businesses comply with regulations that require them to have disaster recovery plans in place to protect sensitive data. 
World backup day 2023 infographic
World backup day infographic
What can happen if you don’t backup? 

One ordinary Monday in 1998, Oren Jacob — associate technical director on the movie Toy Story 2 — arrived at work to find Woody, Buzz Lightyear and Rex wiped from Pixar’s servers. Someone had used the command rm *, deleting every file below the initial directory.  

After looking for the film’s backups, he found that the automated backups hadn’t been working for a month.  

However, all was not lost. Galyn Susman, Toy Story 2’s supervising technical director had been working from home after she’d had a baby. The film’s files were automatically sent to her on a weekly basis, and as luck would have it, she had backups on her home computer and nearly all the lost files were recovered. Appropriately, 24 years later, Susman went on to produce Lightyear, the origin story of Buzz Lightyear.  

Unfortunately, not all companies that have huge data breaches and losses have a happily ever after. Which is why it is important to make sure that your firm has the policies and protocols in place to mitigate damage. 

How can Autobahn Security help? 

World Backup Day serves as a reminder for businesses to prioritize data backup and implement best practices to prevent potential data loss. By creating a comprehensive backup strategy, selecting appropriate solutions, securing backup data, and testing backup and recovery systems regularly, businesses can avoid catastrophic data loss and ensure business continuity.   

For more advice on how Autobahn Security can help protect your business from hackers causing data breaches or loss, make sure to book some time with one of our experts