In today’s world, business owners generally understand the need for backing up their company data. They know data is the lifeblood of the business and that it, therefore, must be protected, but they often don’t understand at even a high level how data gets backed up and what their particular backup method actually offers protection from. With this in mind, let’s take a quick look at the different backup methods that are most commonly in place and any particular risks they are still vulnerable to.
When data that is stored within your office is backed up somewhere else that is also located within the same office, it is considered an onsite backup. This includes backing up to a separate hard drive attached to the server where data is stored, backing up to a completely different appliance or backing up to drives/tapes that are stored in the same office. The main benefit to the onsite method is potentially having faster restoration speeds than from a backup offsite somewhere. There is sometimes also the perception that you have more control over your data when you maintain its backup onsite or perhaps even that it is safer onsite. In my experience, those perceptions are not exactly true when compared to a good offsite backup system, however. Conversely, the risks for this method are often very real and greater than those perceived benefits because any disaster that could compromise your physical location will also compromise your backup. Even more worrisome, your onsite backups could be affected by ransomware attacks that infect your live data. For these reasons, onsite backups are often exactly like the old saying about putting all of your eggs in one basket. Lastly, there is also the cost and hassle of maintaining the backup method right along with your original hardware because backup drives, devices and tapes can and do fail.
Locating your backups offsite primarily eliminates the risk of backups being compromised by physical disasters and ransomware attacks and can also take a lot of the headache out of managing an onsite backup solution. If you choose to go with a vendor that protects data as it is transferred and after it is stored on their hosted backup platform, you can rest easy knowing that your backups are even more secure. Best of all, some vendors also offer a hybrid system where they’ll simultaneously secure backups offsite and on an onsite appliance that will allow you to have both the safety of offsite backups and the faster restoration speeds of an onsite one!
With the string of natural disasters that have hit the US recently and the three large ransomware attacks that have been reported this year, it’s well worth any business owner’s time to consider their current backup system’s limitations and benefits and to ensure that their company understands and is ready to recover data from a backup in the event of any need. Disasters are costly, so there is no sense in compounding the costs by adding lost revenue and productivity to the list as the company struggles to recover data via an unknown or unpracticed procedure when it’s needed.
Our IT Consulting team is available to help answer any questions you might have about your backup and disaster recovery systems and to help you choose a solution that will meet your business’ specific needs.
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