Build up your backups or risk a total wipeout

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It’s crucial for every organisation, no matter how large or small, to ensure that the data they hold is secure and protected. As an example, last year saw chaos ensue across multiple industries as a result of numerous ransomware attacks. Many were unprepared for the sophistication of the threats, and they were often able to infiltrate organisations’ systems before they could be detected. These are not the only situations to worry about, however, as the likes of human error and natural disasters can also be the cause of unexpected data loss. 

Therefore, this World Backup Day it is important for IT leaders to understand and evaluate the backup solutions they have in place (or not), where their data is stored and how to recover it when required – or else risk losing it all. In this article, seven technology experts emphasise the need for backups, and suggest solutions that organisations should be considering. 

Dave Ricketts, Sales and Marketing Director at Six Degrees

"According to findings from the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report 2018, cyberattacks are the third most likely global risk this year. This statistic should make all organisations feel a lot more precious about their data and conscious of their backup processes. 

“However, for many businesses, the cost of investing in data backup systems can be high, not to mention being operationally intensive and a long-term investment. One option that can alleviate these issues while still providing a high level of protection is, Backup as a Service (BaaS). A good BaaS provider is designed to offer a cost-effective off-site backup solution that is secure, compliant and scalable. 

“Whether you opt to backup internally or outsource it to a provider, take the pledge this World BackUp Day to protect mission-critical data. The day will come when you'll need to be able to restore it." 

Matt Bryars, CEO and co-founder at Aeriandi

“With less than two months to go until GDPR comes into force, World Backup Day this year holds a particular significance. Storing sensitive customer data will soon be a more complex issue, and companies will be facing wider management and reporting responsibilities. We’re going to see a greater appreciation of RegTech – technology specifically designed to help companies meet compliance requirements. RegTech is already showing its worth in complex compliance areas. The voice space is a great example. For companies that manage huge volumes of call recordings and 'card not present’ customer payments, RegTech has become the only effective way of achieving compliance. 

“GDPR will give people new rights to access, view and delete their personal data. How will companies ensure they can offer this capability? How will they even know what data they hold? RegTech solutions will likely be the only way many organisations will be able to address the storage, backup and access challenges they’ll be facing in just a few weeks time. Those that fail to take securing this data seriously will not only be risking the safety of their customers’ most sensitive information, but also gambling with their own business reputation." 

Rob Strechay, SVP Product at Zerto

“For many, World Backup Day probably evokes thoughts of "gold copies" stashed away in a safe place waiting to be retrieved when something goes wrong. However, this simplistic example belies the fact that solutions for these situations are often complex and painful to execute, particularly at the enterprise level as many organisations are undergoing major IT transformations. The truth is that, planned and unplanned disruptions are only on the rise, sometimes because of the adoption and innovation of the latest technology. 

“The convergence of these factors will require businesses to look outside traditional backup capabilities and develop an IT resilience strategy that’s up to the many challenges of digital transformation. To deliver an always-on customer experience, especially while undergoing major changes to an infrastructure, businesses need to ensure they have a modern, risk-free platform in place, that utilises continuous data protection combined with the ability to orchestrate and automate the mobility of applications to the ideal infrastructure. When these capabilities come together, businesses will have an IT resilience strategy to protect their infrastructure and reputation, and also enable innovation and transformation.” 

Steve Wainwright, MD EMEA at Skillsoft

"Data storage has changed quite dramatically in the last decade. The typical data server in many companies has evolved from a single physical server into arrays of virtual servers and cloud-based storage. It’s important that any IT team has a broad understanding of new storage technologies and capabilities to know how best to select the right solution to meet the company’s business needs. 

“As data integrity is of key concern for all companies, ensuring backups are securely stored and immediately accessible if a restoration is needed requires IT staff to be routinely trained. Choosing a training route that provides a current in-depth understanding of storage configuration, disaster recovery solutions and resilience will ensure the skills are in place to keep data safe, secure, available and recoverable." 

Jason Collier, co-founder at Scale Computing

“Backing up business critical data is more complex than many people realise which may be why backup and disaster recovery plans fall apart in the hour of need. World Backup Day is an important reminder of this reality, and many fall short with a few common missteps. The closer your backup is to the primary data, the more likely it is to suffer the same fate as your primary data. 

“Additionally, performing backups as frequently as possible often falls by the wayside of priorities, but this is a very effective way to prevent data loss. Lastly, while emphasis is frequently on the recovery point of when your last backup was taken, recovery time is just as important. The bottom line is that we all need to take some time to review backup plans and find out if you need to be doing more to prevent the next data loss event lurking around the corner.” 

Hubert Da Costa, VP and GM EMEA at Cradlepoint

“We are all familiar with the need to back up our data, but often a back up plan for the network is given less thought. No wired connection can deliver 100 per cent uptime. The question is not whether your business will lose Internet connectivity, it’s when. 

“So how do you protect your organisation from loss and disruption when it happens? When your wired Internet connectivity experiences a service disruption (in some areas this happens several times a month) your business is exposed to risks of lost revenue, productivity and customer experience issues. Upgrading to a more robust wired connection is one possible solution – but it’s expensive and is still susceptible to outages and service disruption. An alternative option is to bridge the inevitable gap with wireless WAN failover. This option is quick and easy to deploy. 

“Ultimately when network connections fail, there will be a loss of productivity, brand credibility and revenue. In my experience, there are few businesses that can afford to take that risk.” 

Jake Madders, Director at Hyve Managed Hosting

"Company data is one of the most valuable assets for any organisation and should be at the forefront of your business agenda – yet for many, that just isn’t the case. World Backup Day is a great opportunity to reflect on where yours is stored as well as what the consequences might be should you lose control of it. That means it’s absolutely vital to have a backup solution in place to ensure that your data and systems are consistently available.

“Good managed service providers, for example, should offer a range of solutions that protect data and applications as part of a wider IT strategy. The best enterprise-class backup options are often designed specifically for use with multi-platform environments, meaning greater flexibility and choice for you. What’s more, using a securely managed cloud for offsite backups means that you only ‘pay for what you use’ so offer great value for money, so what’s not to like?”

Image source: Shutterstock/scyther5