As data continues to grow exponentially, the responsibility of protecting it becomes more challenging. According to Statista, cyber incidents such as ransomware and IT failures are the leading threats facing businesses all around the world in 2022. Other prevalent risks like natural catastrophes and regulation changes also cost organizations millions of dollars and could even lead to a complete shutdown.

Nowadays, companies are increasingly relying on corporate data backup solutions to guarantee the safety and recoverability of their data. Read on to learn more about robust data backups and the reason they are essential to organizations in all industries. This article also details the best practices that you should implement to ensure data protection and business continuity.

What Is Corporate Data Backup

Corporate data backup is the process of making a copy of business-critical data and storing it in a safe location in order to restore it in case of a data loss event that hits the primary data. This allows companies to protect their information and resume their operations as quickly as possible after a disaster.

Organizations need a combination of hardware and software to successfully perform this procedure. A modern data backup solution such as this one here NAKIVO website is a necessity. Nowadays, businesses resort to different types of backup processes and storage locations based on their preferred retention policies and budget constraints.

The most commonly used types of enterprise data backup include:

  • Full backup: A comprehensive process that copies entire datasets. While this is the safest strategy, the backup process requires a lot of time to complete and it is more costly compared to other backup types.
  • Incremental backup: With this backup type, you only copy the data that changed since the last backup. This approach saves time and reduces costs since it minimizes the volume of copied data.
  • Differential backup: Very similar to incremental backup however, this process copies all the data that changed since the last full backup, and not just any backup. This is also a quick procedure but you can back up more data than you usually do with incremental backups.

When it comes to backup storage technologies, most organizations set up a hybrid system, mixing local physical storage with remote cloud repositories to eliminate a single point of failure.

Why Is Corporate Data Backup Important

Conducting consistent backups allows you to store the latest versions of your files and minimize data loss during recovery. Moreover, corporate data backups provide several benefits such as:

    • Enhanced security: Backups are one of the most reliable forms of protection against security breaches such as cyberattacks, ransomware and phishing schemes.
    • Guaranteed recovery: The more data you have, the higher the chances of data corruption or loss. Performing frequent and robust data backups can help you ensure recoverability in case of a disaster, unintentional modification or deletion.
  • Regulatory and legal compliance: Safely collecting and storing sensitive data such as customer information and financial logs is necessary to adhere to different privacy regulations.
  • Reduced costs:  With a proper backup solution in place, you can save on third-party services by conducting all operations in-house. You can also store your backups on a public cloud instead of a physical server to avoid additional storage costs.
  • Reduced workload: Most modern backup solutions include automation features that alleviate the pressure of manual work and do not impact employee performance.

What Is Data Archiving

Data archiving is the process of moving inactive data to a separate and protected storage location for long-term retention. Archived data is an exact point in time image or record of how the active data looked before archiving.

Common archived data include financial and tax records, sales documents and personnel information. This procedure provides several advantages such as:

  • Storage space management: Removing data from active storage frees up repositories.
  • Fast recovery: Archived data can be quickly accessed for reference.
  • Regulatory compliance: Various regulatory and legal requirements demand that companies have a safe data archive.
  • Reduced costs: Organizations can save money by freeing up storage spaces.

Data Backup vs Archiving

While backup and archiving have some similarities, they are two different processes and are certainly not interchangeable. In other words, you should implement both procedures due to their distinct benefits. The main difference between the two is that archived data cannot serve as a substitute in case of a disaster or data loss, it is merely a copy of the data that previously existed. Whereas backups can be fully restored and used as a replacement for affected data.

Another distinction is that backups take up storage space while archived data is meant to free up repositories. Moreover, archived data can be stored for years but it is not recommended to keep backups for more than a few months since they will become outdated.

A good strategy is to use both backups and archiving to ensure regulatory compliance and protect your data from almost any threat.

Corporate Data Backup Best Practices

Every organization should create a custom backup plan that best suits its needs. However, there are common practices that could prove highly beneficial for all businesses once incorporated into their plans.

Create a business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan

The worst time to start preparing for a data loss event is after it happens. A BCDR plan allows you to minimize downtime by specifying individual and organizational responsibilities following a disaster. It is essential that you create and continuously update your BCDR plan to ensure that operations return to normal as quickly as possible. An intrinsic part of this plan is backups that you can use to restore corrupted or lost data.

Implement the 3-2-1 backup strategy

The 3-2-1 strategy is the most important rule in data protection. It involves creating at least three (3) copies of your data, storing them in two (2) different storage media and keeping one (1) of them offsite. To further safeguard your data, you can extend the rule to 3-2-1-1 by keeping one (1) copy offline, on tape or on some type of immutable storage. The main goal of this strategy is to eliminate a single point of failure once a disaster strikes.

Conduct regular backups

It is imperative that you frequently back up your data to make sure that the latest version of your documents and files are protected. Backup frequency varies from one business to another and it depends on the quantity of data you collect on a daily basis. Large corporations tend to perform daily incremental backups with full corporate data backups on a weekly basis.

Invest in cloud backup

Using a public cloud as a backup repository comes with numerous benefits compared to on-premise and physical storage devices:

  • Powerful security: Data stored on a public cloud is less likely to be affected by natural disasters. Additionally, the vast majority of cloud repositories are known for their high security standards which makes them generally safe for cyber attacks.
    • Reduced workload: You do not have to rely solely on your internal  IT security team to do all the work. Most public clouds have built-in automation to ensure smooth backups and recoveries.
  • Scalability: Cloud data centers can adapt to your growing needs. You can easily expand your infrastructure to create more space for your data. Bigger cloud storage means a higher cost but you will also need to invest in more hardware if you are keeping your data locally.
  • Regulatory compliance: Companies running public clouds are always up to date with the changing security and privacy regulations. This is one less thing to worry about when you choose a cloud repository.
Keep physical copies of your backups

Adhering to the previously mentioned 3-2-1 rule means that you have to keep physical copies of your data. While digital and cloud backups are perfectly safe, combining them with physical copies allows you to completely eliminate the risk of losing your data in case of a disaster and ensures recoverability.

Wrapping Up

Nowadays, having a robust data backup plan is not an option but a necessity. Organizations of all sizes risk losing their data due to cybercrimes or natural disasters which could lead to detrimental consequences including financial loss, reputational damage or even complete shutdown. That said, you can protect your data and your company by implementing a strong corporate data backup strategy using the best practices detailed in this post.