Cybercrime is surging. Despite the efforts of governments and businesses alike, an estimated 33 billion records
will be stolen in 2023. It illustrates why data backup is important for your business and the need to implement a recovery strategy into your overall data security plan.
But business continuity requires more than understanding the risks. It requires planning and a commitment to implementing organizational best practices to enhance privacy and achieve compliance.
This guide discusses the issue of data protection and the need to protect your business should the worst happen.
Understanding Data Vulnerabilities
Your data is vulnerable. While cybercrime is three times likelier
to hit small businesses than larger ones, and so few entrepreneurs are prepared to confront the threat of cybercrime, this is not the greatest risk to your data.
According to the University of Stanford, human error accounts for 88% of all data loss
. Data loss can happen in many ways, whether it’s a corrupt file, using incompatible software, or accidental deletion.
But on the cybercrime side, most attacks aren’t sophisticated productions. Cybercriminals usually gain access to data via weak passwords.
In other words, proper employee training, strong security policies, and proper enforcement are often enough to provide comprehensive data protection. Failing to understand potential vulnerabilities and the need for a solid corporate data backup can mean:
- Significant loss of revenue.
- Drop in consumer confidence.
- Excessive downtime.
- Lack of workplace efficiency.
In the worst-case scenarios, businesses that sustain a disaster can find themselves closing their doors for good. According to Cybercrime Magazine, 60% of small companies
go out of business within six months of a successful cyberattack.
Importance of Data Backup
A reliable business data backup is pivotal for reinforcing your resilience as a company. If you rely on a single source of truth and it becomes compromised, you risk everything you have worked for.
Regular data backup and recovery protects your business from threats, including:
- Accidental deletion
- Hardware failure
- Software corruption
- Employee crime
Discovering why data backup is important for your business is crucial to protecting the future of your business. Let’s discuss some of the threats to your company that data backups can help with.
Preventative Measures Don’t Work
Even the most well-prepared company can be hit by a cyberattack. Although you may think your organization’s data security policies are unbreakable, all it takes is one mistake.
Unfortunately, this reality is leaving businesses vulnerable. In a study by Nationwide Insurance
, 68% of SMBs have no disaster recovery plan.
Did you know that the average small business lost $100,000
in 2017 due to cyberattacks resulting in significant downtime?
Getting online may be the priority, but recovering encrypted data can be difficult. And cyberthreats are becoming even more significant, with attacks ranging from classic DDoS attacks to ransomware and zero-day exploits.
A proper business data backup provides a clear plan B if you’re hit.
Cybercrime isn’t your only issue. You also have to worry about the impact of natural disasters. Natural disasters can still strike anytime, even if you’re in a relatively safe place.
After all, no county in America has ever experienced some form of catastrophe, such as floods, earthquakes, and fires.
Unseen Insider Threats
Finally, the other advantage of possessing a corporate data backup is your ability to defend against insider threats.
Disgruntled employees are likelier to threaten your business than you think. According to one study, 56% of cybersecurity experts
said regular employees are the biggest threat to today’s companies.
Data backups ensure you are provided with an exit strategy if an insider threat strikes.
Data Recovery and Business Continuity
Most cybersecurity plans focus on preventing breaches in the first place. This should be the priority, and companies that invest in data protection strategies mitigate their chances of becoming a statistic.
However, intelligent cybersecurity agencies know that planning for the worst is as vital as strong firewall configurations.
Backups enable you to recover lost or corrupted data and resume regular operations ASAP. It often allows you to function even when an unexpected event would have ordinarily taken you down.
With a cost as low as $1 per GB of data
, this investment can save you thousands in direct and indirect losses if a disaster hits your firm.
Backup Strategies and Best Practices
How should you approach the issue now that you know why data backup is important for your business?
This section discusses some of the issues and most common queries people have about creating reliable backups.
Full vs. Incremental vs. Differential Backups
Three types of backup exist for your digital assets. These are:
- Full Backups – The most basic type of backup where all data is sent to a particular location.
- Incremental Backups – Only provides backups for the files that have been altered since the previous backup.
- Differential Backups – Often confused with incremental backups, differential backup operations only create backups of files that have been changed since the last full backup.
Only some organizations can support all backup types. It depends on your strategy and network capabilities. Ultimately, your choice of backup depends on balancing the best level of protection without putting too much strain on your network.
How Often Should You Perform a Backup?
Most experts agree that your most valuable data should be backed up every 24 hours or at least once per week.
Doing so ensures that you lose minimal changes if you need to access your backups.
This is why most companies will opt for incremental or differential backups during their day-to-day activities.
Note that you should be aware of retention periods. How long you store data largely depends on the data type and whether it’s in use. Consumer protection laws like GDPR, HIPPA, and the CCPA, will tell you more about retention periods.
What Type of Backup is Right for My Business?
Backups must come in various forms to ensure maximum security. This is why businesses often leverage several mediums to create an ironclad recovery plan. Unfortunately, many people become confused over issues like cloud vs. local backups, which is why so many brands are left unprepared.
Generally, you can split backups into three categories:
- Offsite – Physical backups are kept in another location.
- Cloud-Based – All data is stored in the cloud.
- Hybrid – A combination of the two.
Recording data onto magnetic tape provides one extra level of safety that you may not have considered, but it’s one that frustrates nearly all attempts at hacking and data piracy. Because tape can be stored independently of any machine or any network, it is essentially impossible to reach. It has a physical space between it and the internet called an air gap
or air wall. Even if your servers become infected by malware or ransomware cuts off your access to your files, your data is still safe on tape, and whatever you’ve saved is fully recoverable. The air gap leaves no routes to your data from the outside, and that makes tape one of the safest and most effective ways to protect sensitive data.
Ideally, your business will have data stored using all three methods. Only keeping a single type of backup is better than not having a backup, but it’s far from a foolproof strategy.
Data Encryption and Security
Like your day-to-day data, all backed-up data requires the same level of security. It makes little sense to go to the trouble of backing up your data only to find that it’s been stolen or corrupted when needed.
As a minimum, you should consider the following protocols when protecting said data:
Data encryption is the gold standard for all data. Data becomes impossible to read or decipher without the appropriate encryption key, even when accessed by a malicious actor.
The level of encryption you require will depend on your operation and capabilities.
The principle of data security is that only those who need access should receive access. Granular access controls will ensure that your most valuable data has a limited number of entry points.
Industry standards and general compliance requirements can direct you toward an appropriate level of security. Although every business must comply with international data protection and privacy regulations like the GDPR, your industry may have enhanced requirements.
For example, healthcare providers must adhere to a beefed-up HIPPA. This legislation imposes additional requirements to protect the anonymity of patients.
By understanding and running regular audits within the framework of relevant standards, you can familiarize yourself with what you must do to ensure your backups’ integrity.
Automation and Monitoring
Even the best disaster recovery plan is useless if it isn’t constantly managed and monitored. Your business may have something as simple as automated backups or a cybersecurity tool that scans, measures, and audits the data you have backed up.
However, even with automation technology, you must initiate a policy of proactively addressing issues while optimizing backup performance.
Some of the best ways to manage this part of the process include the following:
- Creating a clear backup schedule for your company.
- Setting a calendar for auditing existing backups.
- Limiting and reinforcing network endpoints.
- Regular testing of backed-up data.
- Determining a retention span.
Likewise, you must have a plan for disposing of unneeded data. With companies like Corodata, you can set up a clear destruction plan and get the peace of mind of knowing that you are doing your part to prevent breaches during the backup destruction process.
Backup and Recovery Planning
With all this in mind, you should have all the tools you need to implement a transparent backup and recovery plan for your business.
But how do you go about implementing a comprehensive plan that’s right for your business?
Develop, Plan, and Tailor
All backup and recovery plans are unique to the business that formulated them. Take the time to understand your needs and what you hope to accomplish from your backup and recovery plan.
Bring together a team comprised of experts and key decision-makers within your firm. Provide clear objectives and responsibilities for a transparent chain of command. This step is essential because all security and disaster planning forms must have buy-in from every corner of your company.
Simultaneously, you should outline clear metrics, such as Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs).
Review, Test, and Update
The final step in backup and recovery planning is to document every aspect of the plan and produce a calendar outlining how often you need to test your plan and examine it for potential flaws.
Disaster and backup recovery planning requires regular care and attention to ensure it remains relevant to the current security environment and your firm’s needs.
In this guide, you have received a broad overview of why data backup is important for your business and the steps you need to take to implement one.
If you need a reliable data protection company
to simplify fulfilling your legal obligations, Corodata is the company for you. Our friendly, professional team comprises experts who can help your business handle your data compliantly. To learn more, contact us