Today, it's safe to presume that all IT professionals (and even some non-IT professionals) understand the importance of having a backup. Backup products have come a long way in their sophistication and ease of use, and they are certainly more cost effective - considering the horrible expense of losing your data. But there are still some 'myths' or assumptions made when it comes to backup, so let's clear the air on seven common backup practices that should not be assumed.
Don't Assume These 7 Common Backup Practices:
1. File Sync is My Backup
Yes, file sync automatically copies changes to synchronized files and it's nice to have an automated second copy utilizing Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive. But these tools should not serve as a replacement for backup. If a file or folder is infected with ransomware, it will automatically be copied to all synced versions of that file - making your 'backup', no good.
2. You Only Need to Backup Your Data (files, folders, documents)
Though backing up changed data of files and documents reduces storage space, recovery time and saves money, it's also important to have business systems backed up. In the event of a system failure, what good is a file and document recovery when there is no system for them to go to? The recovery time in this scenario would be a long one since you would need to essentially build a replacement system. Before anything is recovered, you would need to reinstall an OS, any required applications and reconfigure the environment. Having a full system or VM backup enables you to be up and running much faster.
3. Having Multiple Copies Guarantees Successful Backups
IF you are following the 3-2-1 backup rule where you have multiple copies of your data - you are off to a good start. But if you are not testing the recovery of your backups on a regular basis, your multiple copies will not guarantee a successful backup. Do they work properly after coming back online or are they still susceptible to user error or data corruption? Make it a habit to test your backups regularly or have an outsourced provider fo it for you.
4. Data Backup and Disaster Recovery are the Same
At the core of this problem is the face that many people don't understand the differences between data backup and Disaster Recovery.
The term Disaster Recovery is really talking about replicated data, not the snapshotting of data with a backup. This replication of data is granular - going to the actual point in time (within 10 seconds) before the data was compromised. Backups don't have this capability as they are done through snapshots.
Bringing backups back online is a manual process and could take days. While this is not necessarily a bad thing for applications that aren't critical to business operations, it can be for critical systems and applications. The systems and applications that DO need to come online quickly need to have a proper Disaster Recovery product installed. To learn more about the difference between backup and replication, read this whitepaper and learn which software products would best suit your business.
5. Doing a Local Backup is All You Need
Having a backup on premises is not going to cut it these days. There are too many outside variables and room for human error to depend on 1 local backup. If you haven't implemented the 3-2-1 backup rule yet, it's time - past time. The 3-2-1 backup rule encompasses 3 copies of your data (1 primary copy and 2 backup copies), 2 types of storage media (local drive, NAS device, tape device, etc.), and 1 copy stored offside (in the cloud, secondary on-prem site/co-lo).
6. Your Backups are Safe From Malware
Nothing is guaranteed safe these days, malware can now infiltrate your backups. The remedy to this issue is to give your network some space - literally. This is called air-gapping. Air-gapped backup is the physical separation of the backup from your network. To add an additional layer of security, be sure to use different authentications when logging in.
7. Stay Away From Cloud Backup - It's Not Safe
When the cloud came to the backup scene, there were many questions surrounding its security and safety. But over the years, it's proven to be an effective safety net for backups. A good cloud provider can encrypt your data while in transit - or 'on the fly'. Some cloud providers, like Net3 Technology, can offer encryption at rest too. Additionally, when data is stored in 1 single place that gets destroyed, the data is lost. Where in the cloud, the data replicates across multiple servers and can be saved/recovered.
At the end of the day, it's important to do the best you can with the resources and tools you have. Be sure to ask all the necessary questions from your C-level execs, end users, and your cloud provider so you know what is necessary for a reliable backup and recovery. Test regularly and thoroughly, and consistently stay vigilant. Net3 Technology provides cloud confidence through our 4 pillar approach to recovery preparedness. If you are looking to gain cloud confidence in your backup, speak with one of our cloud experts today!