Being in the tech industry for 13 years, I have seen the good and bad of data backup. One of the most vital things a company should be doing is protecting their proprietary data. Below I’ve compiled a list, from my experience, of the biggest data mistakes a company could make and how to avoid them.
1. They don’t test their backups
Companies ought to regularly test their data backup and have a plan in place to properly assure it’s being done right and on schedule. One way to track this is by creating a documented testing plan and communicating it to the team so that everyone is on the same page.
2. They don’t have the backups alert on successes and failures
Another big mistake I’ve seen companies make is that they are not having their backups alert on successes as well as failures. Connection issues, misconfigurations, password changes, etc. all prevent your backup solution from sending alerts. If you don’t receive the success messages as well there could be a problem, and you wouldn’t even realize it until it was too late.
3. They don’t follow the 3-2-1 Rule
The 3-2-1 Rule of data backups is: 3 copies of your data in 2 different forms of media and 1 copy of it stored off-site. Have a well-documented plan in place for the storage of the data, but also ensure that the data is protected in the event of natural disasters, ransomware attacks, disgruntled employees, or other things that compromise the integrity or protection of your data.
4. The backup isn’t being done frequently
Especially in larger companies, they are constantly sharing, downloading, updating, and retrieving data. It’s no longer enough to run a backup once a day. Backups should be running several times throughout the day to minimize loss in the event your data is compromised.
5. They don’t have a compliant off-site plan
Storing data off-site is a key component in protecting it from hard drive crashes and other unforeseen disasters. Some companies allow an employee to take the backup data home with them. This creates a problem because a lot can go wrong once the data leaves the premises. The backup data could get lost, end up in the wrong hands, or get damaged from being left in a car. To avoid this, a safe and secure off-site location is the best option in protecting the data from these occurrences.