Data backup refers to practices and technologies that create copies of data to protect it against data loss. Data loss includes any scenario whereby information is misplaced, corrupted, accidentally deleted, altered without permission, stolen or made unavailable. Data backup is a fundamental component of business continuity and disaster recovery planning, and represents a vital cyber security safeguard in an age where online threats are growing in number and sophistication.
Here at Armco IT, we help businesses across York, North and East Yorkshire protect their sensitive data using our class-leading, managed data backup service. This creates multiple copies of sensitive information and distributes them to both on and off-site storage locations in line with best practice.
A fast, reliable, frequently tested data backup isn’t just about business continuity, it’s also the key to securing long term success and sustained growth. Cyber threats are far more prevalent than many business owners realise, with 32% of businesses reporting cyber breach activity last year. A data backup acts as an important insurance policy, ensuring that in the event of a malicious actor gaining access to your data stores, you have the means by which to recover information to a pre-breach state. With an estimated 60% of businesses ceasing to trade within 6 months of suffering a cyber-attack, failing to adequately prepare could threaten the long-term viability of your company.
Data Backup isn’t a nice-to-have, it’s a legal requirement!
While UK GDPR doesn’t specifically make reference to data backups, organisations are, in effect, legally obliged to implement comprehensive backup measures to satisfy other requirements of the regulation.
For example, under Article 32 (Security of Processing), data controllers and processors are required to implement measures that, among other things, provide…
‘the ability to restore the availability and access to personal data in a timely manner in the event of a physical or technical incident;’
In effect therefore, data backups are not an optional, nice-to-have, but a legal requirement incumbent upon any business that stores, processes or handles personally identifiable information (PII), in a digital format.
Data Backup and Recovery Best Practices
In the field of information security, there’s a widely acknowledged code of practice for the implementation and operation of effective data backups. The following best practices ensure backup and recovery mechanisms work reliably and effectively, to thoroughly safeguard information against a range of threats and risks.
At Least 3 Copies of Data Should be in Existence.
To ensure recoverability under any circumstances, 3 copies of data should exist. One of these can be the original (or primary) copy, with the 2 others being duplicates for recovery purposes. This creates backup redundancy, ensuring that if one recovery mechanism fails to operate, a secondary one can step in.
Data Should be Stored on at Least 2 Different Mediums
At a minimum, 2 different storage mediums should feature in the backup and recovery infrastructure. For example, if one copy of a file is stored in a local hard drive, at least one of the other copies must be hosted in a separate medium, such as a cloud storage service, a network attached storage device or a tape drive.
1 Copy Should be Hosted Offsite
Of the 3 data copies, at least one should exist in an offsite location. This provides recoverability in the event that your primary storage location becomes fully compromised or damaged beyond reasonable repair.
Carefully Document Backup and Recovery Procedures
Backup and recovery procedures and the systems being used to action them, should be carefully outlined in a written BCDR (Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery) policy. This policy should detail the data that’s subject to backup, the systems and processes involved in recovering the data following a breach event or disaster, and the individuals tasked with initiating and coordinating the recovery process.
Backups Should be Subject to Regular Testing
It’s never safe to simply assume that data backup processes are working as they should be. Instead, organisations should subject data backup systems to regular, scheduled testing, in order to identify issues that might impact data recoverability in advance of a real-world data loss event. Automation can often be used to simplify this process, allowing backup effectiveness to be verified without human intervention.
The Benefits of Business Cloud Data Backup
Businesses can harness a wide variety of backup mediums to store copies of duplicated information, including servers, network-attached storage devices, external hard drives, tape drives, and even USB drives for small-scale backups.
However, if there’s one data backup solution we think all businesses should deploy, it’s a Cloud Backup. Offering scalable data storage and little in the way of upfront costs, cloud backup services offer affordable, versatile protection against data loss, cyber-attacks and business-crippling disasters. Here are some of the key benefits a cloud backup system can bring your Yorkshire business:
Cloud Backups Provide an Offsite Storage Location
Cloud-based backup services copy your data to that all-important offsite location. This allows you to recover data in the event that your main site suffers catastrophic damage that renders its recovery systems inoperable. This isn’t a pleasant scenario to envisage, but it’s a vital consideration to make to ensure that your business can overcome any conceivable setback.
Take Advantage of Advanced Security Protections
Once your data is stored in a cloud backup system, it will likely be subject to a range of redundancy and security measures that could be difficult or expensive to replicate in an on-site backup.
For example, data is replicated across redundant servers, protecting it against single server failure to provide an additional data availability safeguard. Cloud backup services routinely apply end-to-end encryption to data, making data indecipherable to malicious eavesdropper, both in-transit and at-rest. Cloud backup providers also go to great lengths to safeguard the physical integrity of their data, with a 24/7 security presence, CCTV monitoring and strict building access controls providing robust protection against trespassers.
Automated Backup Scheduling
Cloud backup services routinely provide automated backup scheduling as standard. This allows you to programme full backups to run at regular intervals, in line with your compliance and data retention requirements. This removes the administrative burden of performing manual data backups, and ensures data is backed up reliably and consistently.
Scalable and Cost-Efficient Storage
Data backups activities can be extremely storage-hungry. You might be required to copy thousands of documents, tens of thousands of database entries and multiple versions of each, to your backup storage location, an undertaking that would quickly overwhelm small, on-premises storage devices. Aware of the amount of storage organisations require for their backup activities, cloud backup providers offer cost-competitive storage that can be easily scaled up or down in line with changing requirements.
Simple, Convenient, Fully-maintained Data Backup
Cloud data backup services provide a convenient, easy-to-operate data recovery option that requires no maintenance commitment from you and your IT support team. Automation ensures your cloud backup operates reliably according to your pre-defined schedule. The backup interface is designed to be intuitive and convenient, requiring no technical knowledge to use effectively. Maintenance and monitoring of the underlying infrastructure is undertaken by the backup service provider: all you have to do is choose the data you want to back up, set a backup frequency, and enjoy a fully-managed service that provides a vital data and business continuity protection for your business.
The threats facing your data are more numerous and sophisticated than ever before. Businesses need to be on their guard to mitigate risks to data, and establish a plan of action to ensure vital information and systems can be quickly recovered following a security event, data breach or disastrous occurrence.
Cloud-hosted data backups are one of the easiest and most potent ways to achieve these aims, providing scalable storage, convenient automations and leading-edge security measures to help organisations safeguard one of their most valuable commodities: data.
Armco IT: IT Support and Managed Services for Businesses Across York, North and East Yorkshire
There’s nothing we love more than seeing Yorkshire businesses flourish by harnessing the power of IT. Our team of dedicated engineers stands ready to help you overcome any technical challenge and deliver tailored solutions that help your business meet its goals and growth ambitions. From our base in Malton, we deliver proactive IT support and services across York, North and East Yorkshire. We have a strong track record in delivering impactful IT to clients across a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, design and insurance, among many others. We focus on maintaining, optimising and securing your digital estate, so you can focus on the growth and success of your business. Contact our team and let us start our journey together today.