Break out the party hats and celebrate World Backup Day on March 31. Better yet, use the coming month to implement data backup best practices to protect vital information assets and ensure business continuity. Reliable backups form a critical factor in defending your business from ransomware, natural disasters, and other hazards.
Start with the Basics
Begin with essential data backup best practices that have saved businesses for years:
- 3-2-1 rule – Simply put, the 3-2-1 rule means that you store three copies of the data on at least two different backup devices and move one copy offsite. For instance, you could store one copy in the cloud, one on a server in the office and another on a NAS device.
- Automate – Automate your backup process wherever possible to ease the workload and decrease the risk of human error. Define a backup schedule to include frequent, regular backups. Remember to back up both data and applications.
- Test backups regularly – No one wants to discover after a system failure that the backups they depended on have become corrupted. Consequently, you must test your backups. Regularly conducting a full restore as a test can prove risky. However, you can at least restore a single file and check the backup image to verify its contents.
- Encrypt – Encrypt all backups, regardless of where you store them.
- Document backup policies and procedures – Backups can get complicated, particularly with the added complexity of remote work, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and privacy regulations. Document policies and procedures for easy review and replication.
Capture the Endpoints
In the old days, the server room stored the bulk of an organization’s data. Now, however, businesses may store data in a wide variety of places, from work PCs and servers to the cloud and mobile devices. In addition, many companies support remote work and BYOD policies. These policies add potentially thousands of endpoints to the mix.
First, determine what data needs to be backed up and where it lives. Then, implement a backup solution that allows you to capture that data. For instance, if possible, install a client on laptops and home computers to conduct remote backups. And in instances where you cannot set up automatic backups, define a backup policy and train employees to follow it.
Adjust Backup Policies to Ensure Compliance
Backup policies need to work hand in hand with retention policies mandated by privacy regulations. Regulatory compliance can affect how long you retain copies of your backups and even the medium you use to store them.
Consult with your legal department and a compliance professional to determine the retention requirements that apply to your industry. Know what data needs to be kept and for how long. Keep in mind that CCPA and GDPR also include “right to erasure” clauses that require the ability to delete some data on request.
As complex as regulatory compliance can prove, it does deliver a silver lining. When you know what data to keep and for how long, you can delete out-of-date information, saving storage space.
Implement Data Backup Best Practices
As your business grows and changes, your backup strategy must keep pace. Cloud migration, remote work, BYOD policies and regulatory compliance add complexity. Additionally, the tools and data backup best practices available to streamline the process continue to evolve.
The business continuity experts at eMazzanti will help you navigate this complicated environment and implement backup strategies tailored to your business needs. From ensuring regulatory compliance to addressing data wherever it lives, we have you covered. And for customers using Microsoft 365, our eCare Cloud Backup services deliver the flexibility you need.