Data loss is a very severe event. In fact, 43% of companies go out of business immediately after a major data loss. Here are 8 reasons to do the most powerful thing you can do to protect your data — back up your files.
Table of Contents
- Data loss is unpredictable
- You don’t have to pay if you’re infected by ransomware
- It prevents your work from having to be created again
- Data can sometimes be irreplaceable
- You can still succumb to a cyberattack even if you do everything right
- Data backup is important for data integrity
- It keeps your business up and running
- It protects your company’s reputation
- Best practices when backing up your data
1. Data Loss is Unpredictable
Even though you may know the reasons for data loss, you cannot predict when it’ll happen. Hard drives can fail at any time. Disasters and theft can strike when you’re not expecting them. One particle striking the atmosphere through cosmic rays can send many particles streaming down towards our planet, and one of them might hit just the right transistor so that your file might become unreadable, corrupted, or seemingly deleted. Not to mention malware, which might permanently delete your files or make them inaccessible altogether.
In conclusion, you cannot predict when your data will be lost for good. Therefore, it’s better to keep additional copies of them. If you have at least one offline and one online backup, your chances that all storage media that stores your data fails becomes extremely rare, especially because cloud services often have backup servers in case something goes wrong.
2. You Don’t Have to Pay If You’re Infected by Ransomware
Imagine that you were looking for your family photos, and suddenly, a ransomware message appears. You were scared that you might lose all your data forever, but fortunately, you remembered that you have a backup of all your critical files. In that case, you’d probably be grateful for that.
If you encounter ransomware, backups help you access your data for free and without worrying that it will contribute to further attempts to encrypt others’ files unlawfully. Of course, you’ll have to scan the backup for malware, or the ransomware may be reintroduced in the system, creating an infinite loop that never ends.
3. It Prevents Your Work from Having to be Created Again
Suppose you’re working on a report when you accidentally permanently deleted the directory that also contains your data. In that case, if it’s too late and the files cannot be recovered, you’ll have to collect the data and write the report again, which results in weeks or months of effort going entirely in vain.
As a result, you should back it up whenever you create an important file, especially if it’s a file that you usually never change, like a database. Syncing to the cloud is a great option, but you should also take the files to an external hard drive.
4. Data Can Sometimes Be Irreplaceable
Take a look at your valuable family photos or your important voice recordings that you want to preserve. However, no matter what you do to replicate the scene, there will always be differences. Therefore, if you think that every aspect of your photo is perfect and is worth retaining, you should back it up with the policy you would follow if you are backing up confidential files.
5. You Can Still Succumb to Cyberattacks if You Do Everything Right
Even if you do everything right, your data can still be compromised. For instance, there could be a vulnerability that is being currently exploited, but it hasn’t been patched or even discovered by the manufacturers.
However, you can prepare for a cyberattack by backing up your data in case the primary copy is infected. In that case, you can wipe the hard drive confidently without any practical chance of letting the malware reinfect your system after the antivirus scan.
6. Data Backup is Important for Data Integrity
If you’re advertising that your company’s data is safe, did you back them up? Imagine that you’re making data integrity a selling point, but suddenly, an employee accidentally wipes the drive that contains confidential information, and you realize you haven’t backed them up. Customers may realize that your company is suffering data loss by knowing that the website is experiencing downtime or that the company has closed.
If you don’t back up your data, your files are extremely vulnerable to human error, disasters, theft, and all sorts of nasty things that cause data loss. By storing them in both external drives and on the cloud, the probability of losing all your data is lessened, and it ensures quick recovery and reduces downtime.
7. It Keeps Your Business Up and Running
Do you know that 43% of businesses close immediately after a major data loss event? What’s worse, another 51% eventually went out of business within two years after the event!
Nowadays, businesses mostly depend on data to work. Data is used to store the company’s website and other documents used for employees and employers, keep transaction records, provide improvements by analyzing them, and much more. Unfortunately, if all data on your business gets lost, the only solution is likely to start over, which is why so many businesses are forced to cease operations after a major data loss event.
No matter how insignificant your business is, be in the 6% that can bounce back and maintain operations with stability. It’s so simple to greatly reduce the impact data losses are on your business, and remember to back up, back up, and back up, on external drives and in the cloud.
8. It Protects Your Company’s Reputation
Suppose you’re visiting a great website that was up and running just a few days ago. Suddenly, it was down when you revisit it. In that case, you have no choice but to leave. Will you revisit this website? Some will say no. They might be worried that this website might contain malware that will infect users or just thinks that the website is unreliable because it fails after you’ve visited it just a few times. (You will use Google again even after it’s down for a while, right?)
In order to retain visitors, you should reduce downtime and other issues with your company. And the key to prevent all of these problems: Back up data.
Best Practices when Backing Up Your Data
However, it’s equally as important that you back up your data appropriately. Here are some things you should do:
- Make sure you have enough copies
- Encrypt backups
- Back up your data frequently
- Consider keeping older copies
- Test your backups
Let’s explain them.
1. Make Sure You Have Enough Copies
To deal with different types of data loss, make sure you have enough copies. There should be at least 3 copies of your data, where one is stored as the primary copy, another one is stored in external drives, and another one is stored in the cloud. That way, it becomes nearly impossible to lose all your data compared to having just one copy of each file.
For instance, if your house is destroyed in a disaster, you still have an online backup to work with. Likewise, if your cloud service provider goes offline or your online files are hacked, you can still restore your data using an external hard drive.
2. Encrypt Backups
After you obtain an external drive, ALWAYS ENCRYPT it before storing any important information on it. If you don’t, any person can easily view, copy, modify, or delete your data if he/she gains physical access to your drive.
Moreover, don’t plug in your backup drive all the time. When a data link is established, malware can make a copy on the external drive to demolish your backup, too. Therefore, the sole purpose of the drive should be to store a redundant copy of your files.
3. Back Up Your Data Frequently
You should back up your data frequently to reduce the work needed to redo after a data loss event. If you only do so annually or monthly, rethink your plan. If you lose the primary copy of your data, you might still be left with weeks or months of work to do, which isn’t ideal.
4. Consider Keeping Older Copies
In any case, you should consider keeping archives of backups. If your computer is infected by malware, you might think that the latest backup isn’t safe as well. To prevent trouble, try to keep encrypted copies of older backups depending on the resources you have. To be secure, try to keep separate backups on separate physical devices. If all backups are stored on the same drive, all copies might be contaminated if the drive is infected.
5. Test Your Backups
Last but not least, it’s important that you test your backups to maintain integrity. For instance, you have to scan your backup drive often. Moreover, you should see if files can be copied back to your computer. If you notice any issues with your backup, take action immediately. You never know when data loss strikes.
There is one thing you can do to rise to the next level of data integrity: Back up, back up, and back up. Make sure you store additional copies of your data, and your files will thank you later.
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