Why Data Backup and Disaster Recovery is Critical

Why Data Backup and Disaster Recovery is Critical

In the current digital economy, data is king. It’s one of the most valuable assets for a business and losing control of it can cause catastrophic damage to an organization’s productivity, revenue, customer satisfaction, and reputation. Data backup and disaster recovery ensure that even when the worst happens you’ll have a plan in place to minimize the damage and get back on track quickly.

The goal of every backup and disaster recovery plan is to provide protection in the event of a catastrophe — specifically related to the data your business uses, collects, or stores. The biggest threats to data today can be divided into three general buckets: systems and hardware can crash or malfunction, human error can lead to misplaced or deleted data, and natural disasters or cyberattacks can cripple your organization completely.

When such circumstances occur — whether accidental, malicious, or otherwise — a robust data backup and disaster recovery plan can mitigate the damage done and get your business up and running again more quickly. With the right tools and processes in place, you’ll be protected against the threat of one event potentially shuttering your business or crippling your operations for an extended period of time.

Let’s explore backup and disaster recovery more in-depth, including showing how having a system in place offers more than insurance in case calamity strikes.

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What is Data Backup and Disaster Recovery?

Backup and recovery is the process of copying or duplicating data and then storing it in a secure location to protect it from loss or damage. When needed, that data can be restored to a location — either its original one or a stable and safe alternative — so it can again be used in business operations. Preferably, this backup (or snapshot) is immutable; it cannot be changed after it is created to act as a save point against attacks (like ransomware) that could alter the data. In the event of data loss, this backup ensures your information still exists somewhere. You can restore mission-essential data and return to business as usual.

While backup and recovery are often tied together and one is rarely mentioned without the other, it should be noted they are distinct processes. The backup is a representative copy of data and includes all essential elements of a database, such as control files in addition to data files. Recovery, meanwhile, is the process that restores your database to its correct state if a failure occurs. It allows the database to reset to a consistent state after a sudden failure, disaster, or attack.

Backup Types

The concept of data backup and recovery isn’t difficult to grasp. But putting it into practice, in an efficient and effective manner, can be difficult. A wide variety of software applications have been developed to reduce the complexity, but working with a managed IT services provider will offer businesses the best implementation options for this critical function.

Remember, simply backing up data isn’t the endpoint. It’s a means to a goal, which is offering your business the protection it needs from an event that results in the loss of your data. There are many methods and types of data backup possible; here are three general approaches that every method will fall into.

Full Backups — This is a bank vault approach. Essentially, you’re taking all of the data stored on a production system into a backup system for safekeeping, isolating every bit of it from a single server, virtual machine, or data source connected to the network. This is the longest backup method — taking hours or even days — but with more modern data management solutions this time (and the frequency of backups performed) is reduced.

Differential Backups — In this case, not all the data is copied except for the altered, created, or updated information since the last Full backup. After an initial full backup, subsequent differential backups are performed to back up all the changes that have happened to the data since then. While differential backup is much faster and takes less space than full backups, too many differential backups being performed between full backups risk differential backups growing larger in size than the original full backup.

Incremental Backups — This method only stores data that has changed since the last backup, whether full, differential, or incremental. The major advantage here is that it takes the least time to complete and uses storage space effectively. However, data restoration can be difficult if the chain of incremental backups isn’t efficiently managed since data must be compiled together from various backups.

Why Data Backup and Disaster Recovery Matters

Backing up data, and restoring it when the need arises, helps your business recover quickly from an unexpected event, whether that’s an act of nature, a deliberate cyberattack, equipment failure, or a simple accident. There are many variables involved in planning how this process works for your organization, but here are some general best practices to employ:

  • Storing a copy of your data on a separate medium is necessary to prevent corruption. This could be cloud storage, a tape drive, external hard drives, or something similar.
  • Your alternate medium could be at the same location or stored remotely. If weather or environmental events are a concern, a remote location deserves strong consideration.
  • Consistent backup processes minimize the amount of data lost between cycles
  • Retaining multiple copies of your data gives you the flexibility to restore your systems to a point in time that was not affected by the event.

A strong data backup and disaster recovery plan also helps impart other advantages beyond having a stable form state to return to after a data loss event.

Data Security

Protecting data is the name of the game in today's digital world. Consistent backups prevent the loss of anything in your day-to-day processes that could be crippling to how your organization operates day-to-day, including the loss of sensitive IP material and/or customer information.

Business Continuity

Backup and recovery are key components in an efficiency strategy as well. Having business-critical data readily available in the event of a data loss, even for relatively mundane reasons, helps eliminate downtime. It also ensures you return to normal as quickly as possible in the case of a serious breach.

Reputation Enhancement

Losing customer data due to a cyberattack, or system failure, can be a critical hit to your business’s reputation and will be sure to be mentioned by potential competitors. With a strong backup and recovery plan, you can signal your commitment to doing everything possible to safeguard such data.

Compliance Management

Beyond ensuring your data is available for recovery, backup and recovery processes also assist in complying with industry regulations and security audits. With more scrutiny on vendor partnerships in digital supply chains, maintaining compliance with such standards can be a difference-maker, and help you avoid fines and penalties associated with failing to meet such regulations.

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Safeguard Your Data With Arnet Technologies

No one wants to think about worst-case scenarios, but planning for such occurrences offers businesses peace of mind in knowing that one incident, one mistake, or one attack can be dealt with efficiently and expeditiously. At Arnet Technologies, we’ve put the concerns of businesses at the forefront of all of our premier managed IT services. For more than a decade we’ve delivered IT solutions to businesses in Columbus and all across the state of Ohio, allowing them to focus on the things that matter most to their growth — and not IT issues.

Our portfolio of data backup and disaster recovery services includes everything you need to plan for any contingency.

  • Get your physical and virtual backups off-site to a hosted, secure cloud repository
  • Backup your on-site servers and replicate off-site with recovery assistance and support
  • Backup and restore your Microsoft 365 applications and user data
  • Get a free disaster recovery assessment to get answers to your critical questions

Never worry about the unexpected again with critical data backup and disaster recovery services. Connect with our team today to learn more.

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