Tips for a Successful Small Business Backup Strategy


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In today’s digital economy, businesses can access more data than ever. As newer technologies are introduced daily, data is at an increased risk of exposure to hackers. Regardless of size or domain, almost every organisation finds meeting it’s data security and management needs challenging.

A lack of backup and recovery solutions poses numerous hazards. For instance, if the core data of the business is mishandled or breached, the damage might be irreversible. Furthermore, if the matter is decided in court, the organisation might be subject to legal action and fines for failing to comply with regulations. This will lead to spending vast amounts of money on penalties, thus directly impacting the organisation’s reputation and future sales.

We don’t have any hard-and-fast rules on how to create backup strategies. It depends on your business objectives, recovery needs, and how often you accumulate data. Understanding your business can help you determine what will work best for you. 

Three essential questions to ask before deciding your backup strategy

At what frequency should the data backups happen? 

The more often you back up data, the better. However, it completely varies from one business to another. Analysing the data flow and understanding the impact of the loss on your business operations can help you determine how often backups have to be made if your company collects millions of data entries every five minutes, every second—every millisecond—counts.

Where will the data be stored?

Data can be stored on local devices, off-site data centres, or the cloud. However, the location matters only to an extent. It’s pivotal that the solution addresses your current backup and recovery needs and is flexible and innovative enough to cover what may come tomorrow. You need to be able to account for workloads that are on-premises, in the cloud, and across multiple clouds—even your SaaS data sets. What if the backup also fails? Consider storing backups in multiple locations. Ultimately, you should have a backup to survive the loss; that’s the goal.

Should the collected data be prioritised? 

Generally, yes, certain types of data must be given particular attention. The files most important to your operations and crucial data should take precedence. Less critical (or more static) files don’t require frequent backups. 

A few tips to consider when deciding your backup strategy

  • Have a plan B: The best backup and recovery practice is following the 3-2-1 data backup rule. You must keep three copies of your data at any point: two stored locally (but on different storage media) and one stored off-site. The first copy can be kept in your data centre for a speedy recovery. The second copy can be kept in a different infrastructure to prevent a single point of failure. Then, you periodically upload the third copy to an off-site cloud. This copy can even be disconnected, thus creating an air gap that will guard against cyber hacking and ransomware. 
  • Employ reliable solutions: A robust, security-focused data protection architecture that can grow and shrink to meet changing requirements is essential. Ensure a solid plan and the necessary tools to enact it. 
  • Implement a regular backup schedule: Acquire reliable data backup capabilities within a predetermined operational time frame. Initial backups usually take the longest, but subsequent incremental backups should be easier for the backup administrators. Automated data backup solutions are the best option since manual backups are time-consuming and prone to human error. Backup automation saves time and energy while ensuring you get accurate, up-to-date data. 
  • Recovery plan: Given the world’s continuously changing threat landscape, you need to be able to recover quickly from a ransomware attack or any other incident to reduce downtime and data loss. Make sure you plan to recover rapidly to keep your business going. 
  • Evaluate the backup strategy’s efficiency: Total cost of ownership (TCO) is significant. Therefore, you require a backup solution with a tiered storage approach that can deliver high performance in line with the business value of your data, backing up the most critical data to the infrastructure with the best performance. 
  • Perform the final test: Once your backup strategy is all set, test your system to ensure the backup capability’s success and the restore capability’s accuracy and smoothness. Check that the backup and restore capabilities work with different resources, such as accounts, emails, documents, and sites. Inform your users about using the end-user backup feature if the backup service enables it. Last but not least, keep an eye on the effectiveness of your backup service and routinely examine the logs for data loss.

While the contribution of small businesses to the global market is immense, 75% still need a disaster recovery plan. Dark web data dumps have increased by 85%. Additionally, 93% of companies that suffer significant data loss and lack a recovery plan go out of business within a year. ManageEngine offers a comprehensive suite of IT security and backup solutions to make your backup journey easier.