Disasters happen. Losing enterprise data is a real and major threat to any business. In the current Information Age, the potential for data loss is greater than ever. That is why it is important to guard against losses with sound data recovery and backup systems. This guide will give you all the information you need to choose the right backup system for you. Whether you are a sole proprietor of your own company or you are responsible for data security at a big enterprise, this article will help you secure your business’s information to help you sleep at night.
Data loss means losing information. There are many causes behind data loss, but all of them threaten your company’s ability to function and thrive. Again, the threat is more real today than it ever was.
All of the following pose potential threats to your data: hackers (cyber-attack or cyber-theft), physical theft, hardware failure, software failure, natural disaster, and human error. But of all these causes, data loss due to human error is the most common.
Data loss can be a result of accident or bad intention. And The more data you have, the more vulnerable you are to data loss events. At the end of the day, without a backup system in place, your data is lost forever. There is no retrieving it.
More alarming than the mere loss of data is the tremendous cost of data loss.
The negative effect of data loss is compounded by its impact on your money, time, and productivity. Not only does a business lose valuable information, but it loses time in trying to recover the lost data and is less productive in the meantime. Without its regular data in place, businesses must try to do without. In some cases, a business cannot function without certain data. Other times, data loss slows a business down. In every case, data loss incurs a major financial cost.
Data loss has a staggering cost of $1.7 trillion each year. In the last two years alone, the amount of lost data has increased by 400%. Small data breaches (breaches with less than 100 records lost) cost an average of $18,120 to $35,730, while large data breaches (breaches with more than 100 records lost) cost an average of $5 million to $15.6 million. These numbers are hard to fathom.
Obviously, data loss takes a huge financial toll. So it is in anybody’s best interest to take data loss seriously. Threats to sensitive information aside, data security is a wise investment even from a purely financial perspective. Though it will cost some money to implement, don’t underestimate how much money data backup can save you in the long-run.
Data recovery and backup are a form of disaster recovery (DR). Disasters can happen to anyone, so it is important to have a plan in place to mitigate them. This type of security planning involves a recovery strategy to minimize the damage done by disruptive events. Again, disruptions include building failures, cyberattacks, and natural disasters, among other events.
A DR plan has many elements. It encompasses software, hardware, power, networking equipment, connectivity, and testing. Consider the following:
The ultimate goal of DR plans is to ensure business continuity, which means businesses are able to continue business operations despite unforeseen complications. That is why they are also called business continuity/disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions. In business, time is money. So any effort to keep business from slowing down is worthwhile.
Now that we know about disaster recovery, what exactly is data backup and recovery? On the one hand, data backup refers to saving data to a secondary location to guard against data loss. It is a precautionary measure in the event of a data loss incident. On the other hand, data recovery refers to the process of retrieving that lost information and restoring it to its former location.
The processes of data backup and data recovery are intimately connected. You only backup data in hopes of being able to recover that data later. And you cannot recover data without having previously backed it up.
Digital Backup technology has a longer history than you might expect. It goes back to the 1950s with the first tape reels, which stored data on magnetic tape.
After tape reels, disk drives were introduced, which we still use today. Disk drives store information on rotating disks via magnetic, optical, electronic, or mechanical changes to the disk’s surface.
The newest form of backup technology is the cloud. People use the cloud more and more because they prefer how convenient it is. Cloud backup systems don’t require hardware or much software. For the most part, it’s a hassle-free option.
You can backup data via different strategies. The primary backup strategies include a full backup, an incremental backup, and a differential backup:
Which backup process is right for you will depend on the amount of online storage space you have. Full backups require more time and are more expensive. If you want to be as efficient as possible, consider an incremental or differential backup strategy.
Finally, another backup strategy for maximum data retention is the 3-2-1 strategy. The 3-2-1 strategy involves backing up data to 3 different places, on 2 different storage types, and having 1 extra copy stored in a different geographical location. This strategy provides the ultimate safeguard as you are backing up data for different types of disasters. Having the data in three 3 places means one backup failing won’t be the end. Performing backups on 2 different storage types adds another safety measure. And having one backup in a different geographical location will guard your data against a natural disaster that affects only one geographic region.
The Recovery Point Objective and the Recovery Time Objective are important measures for your data recovery strategy that help assess risk and cost.
The Recovery Point Objective (RPO) measures how far back you can recover data. The further back in time your RPO, the more data you will lose in a data loss event. So the shorter your RPO, the better. However, shorter RPOs are more expensive because they require backups more frequently. So your RPO depends on your budget and how much risk you want to take on.
You might also consider a tiered RPO. A tiered RPO involves different RPOs for different types of data. Important data get a shorter RPO, while less important data have a longer RPO. In other words, you backup important data more frequently than other data. In this way, you can assign different RPOs to different classes of data.
The Recovery Time Objective (RTO) measures how fast you can recover data. In a data loss event, you want to have a short RTO so that you can get back to business as fast as possible. After all, losing time is losing money in business. A shorter RTO is going to be more expensive, but it will reduce the impact of a data loss event. The industry-standard RTO is 4 to 8 hours. But the RTO you choose will depend on how important a fast recovery is to you and your business.
Not only are there different backup and recovery strategies but there are different types of files to backup. It’s important to keep these in mind to ensure you don’t miss any data vital to your business functioning. In addition to files, it’s important to backup the following:
A good backup system will ensure all of these types of data are backed up and packaged correctly. If you don’t look out for these data types, you risk your programs not running properly after data recovery. You also will not be able to guarantee your critical decision making will be effective as your data may be poor.
In addition to the backup strategies discussed so far, here are some general guidelines for backing up enterprise data:
If you follow these guidelines, you can be sure your enterprise data is as safe as can be. Don’t risk compromising your data by ignoring too many of these rules.
As you see, there are several ways to go about enterprise data backup and recovery. The important thing is to choose a plan. You have many backup and recovery systems to choose from, but here I will break down the general categories into which they fall:
Before you settle on an enterprise data backup and recovery system type, you want to make sure you can manage and maintain it properly. So look for the following features in your backup system:
Ultimately, good data backup management reduces redundancies. It saves you time and frees up space in the long-run. So don’t forget this important step in data recovery and backup.
Fortunately, the market for data backup and recovery is growing. There is no dearth of backup system options for you to choose from. The global market is expected to grow from $7.13 Billion in 2017 to $11.59 Billion by 2022 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.2%. These predictions are not surprising. The amount of data that companies collect and store is increasing all the time. Businesses collect immeasurable amounts of data via the internet and other technologies. The market for data backup and recovery is here to stay.
Let’s break down the data backup and recovery market by company, designationa, and region. Recent research suggests that Tier 1 companies, C-Level executives, and North America are the primary market participants. Smaller participants include Tier 2 and Tier 3 companies, director- and manager-level executives, and Europe and APAC and ROW.
As data security becomes increasingly important to businesses, the market for data backup and recovery is only set to grow larger.
Find an enterprise data recovery and backup system that works for you. Choose a backup and recovery strategy. Stick to the backup guidelines, and manage and maintain your backup data properly. If you follow these steps, you can rest assured that your enterprise data is safe. Though disasters may still happen, your information will be protected many layers over. You can sleep knowing that you have done everything you can. Then when a data loss event does happen, your business will continue working as if nothing ever happened.
Ryan is the VP of Operations for DEV.co. He brings over a decade of experience in managing custom website and software development projects for clients small and large, managing internal and external teams on meeting and exceeding client expectations–delivering projects on-time and within budget requirements. Ryan is based in El Paso, Texas.