As tomorrow’s World Backup Day should remind us all, there is one risk mitigation measure every company should have in place and regularly reevaluate: a data backup strategy. A data backup is an archive or copy of a company’s information, sensitive or otherwise, and presents a critical part of any enterprise’s disaster recovery plan, especially in the event of a data loss. Data loss can come in many forms, including physical theft, hard drive failures, simple human mistakes, and ransomware attacks. Given the range of potential risk scenarios, risk professionals and business leaders assess their backup strategy as part of all disaster preparation and response plans.
While 93% of small businesses use cloud-based backup solutions, there are many options for risk professionals or IT leaders to consider. For example, there are also smaller storage methods like removable media like USB flash drives or external hard drives that you might encourage remote employees to use to protect their data. There are also backup services companies can use to outsource their data backup strategy altogether.
When creating or reassessing a company’s data backup approach, there are few concepts business leaders should familiarize themselves with:
Recovery Point Objectives
RPO, or recovery point objective, is the amount of time between your routine data backups. This can also translate into the amount of data that may be at risk in the event of a data loss. If you backup your company’s data once a week, for example, you potentially could lose a week’s worth of data. Choosing to back up more frequently can thus help reduce data loss risks.
Recovery Time Objectives
RTO, or recovery time objective, is the time it takes for your business to restore its data from a backup. This is entirely dependent on how robust your data backup is and how much data you need to recover from it. Generally, the more streamlined your data backup strategy is, the faster your recovery time will be. Putting all of your data in the same type of storage solution can also improve your RTO.
The 3-2-1 Backup Strategy
Whether your business is large or small, one data backup strategy is considered best practice—the 3-2-1 backup strategy:
- Create three copies of your data.
- Put those copies of your data on at least two types of data storage solutions.
- Store at least one of those storage solutions in a remote location.