Having regular backups will keep a company or organization’s sensitive data safe and readily accessible in case of unexpected data loss. A backup database could be the difference between being able to seal a deal even after a data-related incident or losing out on big opportunities because of operations grinding to a halt.
Regardless of the industry, it’s common knowledge that backing up business data should be your top priority. However, some miss the part where the backup process should be done right. There’s no use spending on hardware and training if the backup itself ends up being faulty and unusable.
If you want to make sure you have reliable backups, you need to minimize making mistakes not just during the backup process, but also when handling storage. Here is a quick rundown on the most common backup blunders, and what you can do to avoid them.
- Relying On A Single Employee
With a significant part of your company’s operation and reputation on the line, it’s too risky to put the responsibility of backing up data to a single employee. You can have the most competent person in charge of the backup process, but if that person slips up or is absent during an emergency, then you still risk losing data.
To avoid such a scenario, you need to involve multiple key employees. Having a backup team as a part of your IT department will ensure that there’s always at least one person available that can facilitate file retrieval at any time.
- Keeping All the Backup In One Place
Some businesses keep backups in dedicated drives, but they’re usually placed at the same area as the main files. If something like a fire or a break-in happens, there’s a good chance that both your main and backup files could end up getting destroyed or stolen at the same time.
The best way to avoid this is to opt for off-site backups. The approach will ensure seamless recovery of data because you can retrieve your backup from somewhere safer. Your best option is to hire service providers, or, if you have the budget, have a separate facility dedicated to backup storage.
If you’re using Microsoft 365, it would be best to utilize a reliable Microsoft 365 backup. Doing so will ensure your Microsoft 365 data stays secure, readily discoverable, and accessible, along with backups to ensure the best level of protection.
- Putting Off The Task Of Data Archiving
If your company’s backup storage space is constantly filling up, you may be overlooking the archiving task. It’s important to remember that archiving data is not the same as backing it up, but many businesses overlook the importance of the task.
Data archiving is typically done on non-changing data, such as files that are no longer in use but must be kept safe. Data that hasn’t been used in over a year should be archived.
If you archive data routinely, you have more storage space to accommodate data that requires regular backup. In the long run, the task will organize both backup and archived data and save money by eliminating the need to purchase additional storage space.
- Failing to Back Up High-Priority Data
You can’t fully recover from a data loss unless you have a complete backup of your data. Unfortunately, it’s common for backups to end to being incomplete. Data could get omitted during the transfer process, either by virtue of being overlooked or a network/hardware-related issue. In some cases, companies skip backing up files deemed unnecessary to speed up the backup process and end up ignoring crucial files that got mixed in.
To avoid this mistake, you need your IT team to develop a more intuitive file organization system. Segregating data based on their priority minimizes the risk of accidentally deleting important files. If you can’t afford to lose any data, you also have to make sure you have enough storage space, either by buying more physical drives or looking into cloud-based options.
- Unable To Audit The Backup Processes
Most businesses install and configure backup systems and then assume everything is fine. However, as IT professionals make changes to file formats or even add new programs or folders some data may end up being inaccessible or even unusable.
The old backup scripts are already obsolete or useless by the time you need them. It’s a common blunder made by many businesses. If you fail to conduct periodic backup audits, it’s likely to go unnoticed. With this in mind, you need to test the backup system, ideally every three months.
When your business suffers a cybersecurity attack, a backup system can mean the difference between a smooth flow of operations and a complete shutdown.
When you test your backup system, you’ll know if there’s a need to reinstall your data. Routine testing will ensure that your backup systems are functional and that you understand how to use them properly.
- Not Utilizing Automation Features
Today, backup systems have a feature that automatically backs up data via the cloud or off-site storage. Besides the automatic backup feature, the other option is relying on an employee to perform manual backups of the data.
Unfortunately, most data breaches and data loss happen due to human error, with some cases of failures attributed to staff forgetting to properly back up data. Aside from being prone to failure manual data backups take a lot of time that could’ve been spent working on something else.
Automating the backup process ensures that data is backed up on a regular basis, which is something to consider if you want to guarantee that all of your vital data is safe and secure.
Companies and organizations should prioritize proper data backup procedures to ensure the security of critical business data. As cybersecurity threats continue to evolve, no one is safe. Regularly backing up data can minimize the downtime your business has to endure if a breach occurs. If you find yourself guilty of one or two of these mistakes, consider giving your backup processes an overhaul to ensure safety.