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Business data backup by the numbers 321

Posted by Michael Trimblett on 11 June 2018

Like currency, your business data is life-blood; and there are many ways that business data can be lost.

Why is a reliable backup process necessary? Small to medium-sized business are statistically more likely to lose data and it can be devastating. Here's why:

  • You lose a big part of your currency to operate
  • You spend a significant amount of time and money re-working important files
  • You could be unknowingly contravening the privacy act
  • Unscrupulous people or competitors could gain access to your business information
  • Your customers' details such as email and/or mail addresses, credit card or bank details and other personal information could become available publicly

There are a series of ways to help prevent the loss of business data such as having up to date anti-virus and software security plus simple procedures and cybersecurity awareness for staff. But no matter what and how much, these will not entirely eliminate the risk. Therefore, a simple but reliable backup plan must be part of any business's procedures. The backup process will then ensure that in the event of data loss, you can recover an up-to-date duplicate record of files. And just to confirm, there are many simple (and not so simple) ways that your business data could be lost forever:

  • Theft of, or an employee loses or damages, a laptop
  • Accidental (or deliberate) deletion of files
  • Loss or damage of portable storage devices (USB or similar)
  • Physical access by an individual to unsecured documents
  • Inappropriate access to personal records by an employee
  • Breaches from hacking including ransomware
  • An employee (usually without malice) changing key attributes in 'settings'
  • Non-compliance to simple procedures such as password management and email/links protocols

Chances are, one or more of these have happened to you, or you know someone who has experienced one of these.

The 321 Backup process

You probably know about it, it's been tried and proven for many years but still to this day, not everyone has a reliable backup process in their business. The 321 backup process is simply:

3 separate copies of files
2 on different local devices devices/medium
1 offsite (NOTE: Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive are not strictly backup because if you delete a file on your device, it will also delete in the offsite folder).

Here is an example of an effective 321 backup process. Your business has an onsite server with 5 onsite PC's on the network and 3 offsite laptops also connected to the server via the internet. All files reside on the server. There is a hard drive backup on site hooked to the server that copies all the files. There is also a backup "in the cloud", where the files are updated and stored offsite. In this example, there are 3 copies of the files, 2 of which are on independent onsite devices and 1 copy is offsite. There can be variations on this theme depending on the configurations of desktops, laptops and users but the ratio of 321 shouldn't change. The challenge is to configure your 321 process so that backups occur at an appropriate frequency through a mix of automation and procedures.

If you would like to discuss your computer and network security or if you would like to know more, please contact Loyal I.T. Solutions on 02-43370700 or email Michael Trimblett

LOYAL I.T.- We specialise in I.T. solutions for your business; providing software, hardware, networks, configurations, consulting and support for 15 years from their base on the Central Coast.


Author: Michael Trimblett
About: Michael has been in the information technology industry since 1998 and has a passion for everything technology. He has a technical background as a qualified network engineer and project manager and is committed to doing business in the I.T. industry ethically as prescribed by the Australian Computer Society's Code of Professional Conduct.
Connect via: Twitter LinkedIn
Tags: Services Security IT IT Consulting

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