What data should you be backing up, what method should you use and why is it so important?
The simple answer to that question is you should be backing up anything you can’t replace, would be devastated to lose forever or is essential for running your business.
It’s fair to say we live in a digital era with the majority of people owning a smartphone, laptop/PC, tablet and even a smart TV and/or smartwatch. The access to technology is vast and easier than ever with improvements being made faster than people can buy them.
Living in a paper free world has endless benefits but the biggest downside has got to be that people assume everything held online is backed up, safe and secure. The fact is, this is not always the case.
On an individual level, how would you feel if you suddenly lost years of family photographs – all those irreplaceable memories gone! Or all of your music – years of nostalgia and awesome tunes wiped forever!
As a business, a major loss of data could have very serious implications and could even mean the end of your company – so regular backups are the most important step you can take for preventing a network disaster. They ensure that regardless of your existing security strategy, you have secure and clean data to keep your business running in the event of a data loss, hack attack, natural disaster or even just good old fashioned human error.
It’s important to understand data loss can happen for all kinds of reasons. You shouldn’t keep your backups on-site, for example, because they’ll be protected against drive failure and file corruption but not fire and flooding.
So, what is a backup and what should you be backing up?
A backup is a complete copy of your data – whether that’s a single file or the contents of an entire drive – that resides on a different storage device to the original, ideally off-site, and allows for it to be restored if data loss occurs.
Before you start backing up data, you should give some serious thought to why you’re backing up and consider the best methods to do so.
Examples of things to backup include documents, photos, music, Outlook messages, web browser bookmarks, apps and devices.
What are the most common ways of backing up data?
One of the most common ways for home and small business users to back up data is onto an external HDD or several external drives. If you don’t want the hassle of juggling individual drives, you could consider backing up to a network attached storage or NAS device.
NAS is a simple way to share files between networked computers, usually comprising a bunch of HDDs in a RAID configuration, so it’s a more convenient and resilient choice than a regular external drive.
Alternatively, you have the option of avoiding hardware entirely and using a cloud backup service. For many businesses, the cloud has revolutionised the process of backing up. You’re probably familiar or use the iCloud. The iCloud lets you store information online and then access this information from all of your Apple devices.
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Pause for thought: some cybersecurity facts
Things change quickly in the world of cybersecurity – with new threats appearing every day and attackers continuously evolving their techniques. Here’s some stats:
- There is a hacker attack every 39 seconds
- 95% of breached records come from three industries: Government, retail and technology (2016)
- 54% of companies experienced one or more successful attacks that compromised data and/or IT infrastructure
- Worldwide cybersecurity spending will reach $96 billion in 2018
- The average cost of a data breach in 2020 will exceed $150 million
We live in a data driven world so isn’t time you gave some careful consideration to the data you use, hold and ultimately couldn’t live without?