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World Backup Day: Tech Experts Highlight Best Practices for Avoiding Data Disasters


As you may know, World Backup Day is tomorrow (March 31). It's no secret that data loss can cause serious implications, impacting an organization's reputation and customer trust. Shockingly, 39 percent of small and medium-sized businesses are lacking an incident response plan.

Data backup should be taken seriously, especially with the recent increase in major ransomware attacks and the sudden global increase in remote workers as a result of COVID-19.

Below, a variety of industry experts provide their thoughts on the dangers of not regularly backing up data and how to combat them with a strong backup strategy.

Amanda Regnerus, EVP of Product and Services, US Signal

"The fact that World Backup Day falls on March 31 is no coincidence - the next day may be about laughs and pranks, but the potential loss of data is no joke. With 83% of organizations having experienced a DDoS attack within the last two years and 38% being impacted by a ransomware attack in the last twelve months, it is more important than ever to ensure that your data is backed up and secure.

One of the most vital steps in ensuring data protection is a disaster recovery (DR) plan. These plans ensure that in the event of a cyberattack, natural disaster or human error that can cause data loss, you have a process in place to ensure that your data is quickly and efficiently recovered - a sort of fire safety procedure for your data.

DR plans don't need to be complicated, they just need to be implemented and tested regularly. Having said that, it is important to take into account some key components when developing a DR plan. These include the ability to roll back backups to previous versions, ensuring that you are able to stay current with data replication needs, and being able to quickly and securely retrieve your data. A third-party DRaaS solutions provider is the best way to guarantee that your DR plan is secure, comprehensive, and is tested regularly. A good DRaaS solutions provider should allow you to benefit from continuous data protection, a recovery point objective (RPO) of a few seconds, and a service level agreement (SLA).

So this World Backup Day, you should review your DR plan (if you have one) and ask yourself if tomorrow your data will be part of a cybercriminal's joke--or if your DR readiness will make the cybercriminal the punch-line?"

JG Heithcock, GM, Retrospect, a StorCentric company

"We all have an unfortunate story or know of a colleague who lost data. Whether an important file was accidentally deleted, something spilled onto a keyboard, a laptop was left behind at the airport or data was lost in a disaster - we've been there. Life is busy and unpredictable, and it's hard to maintain an efficient working environment when you're trying to recover data, but by taking the time to proactively set up a strong backup system, you'll keep your businesses' valuable data safe.

To maintain your workflow, look for a backup solution that will strengthen your data protection with AI technology, easy management, scripts, server and endpoint protection, and one that is capable of integrating with several popular cloud and email platforms so that you don't miss a beat. Accidents happen, stuff gets lost or stolen and disaster strikes when you least expect it. This World Backup Day, ensure you have the right tools in place to protect your business from accidents, failures, loss and theft."

Carl D'Halluin, CTO, Datadobi

"We are in trying times. With incidents of ransomware attacks on vulnerable file storage systems on the rise, organizations have clear directives to back up their file data to avoid disaster and a key part of that process is having a secure third copy of their NAS data in case of an attack on production or disaster recovery systems. This step provides greater security if other means of protection and proper data backups have failed.

The reality is, NAS data has not been easy to reliably back up and restore. Typical solutions have included outdated technology such as NDMP, relying on necessary but insufficient ‘snap-and-replicate,' or simply doing nothing and hoping for the best. These outdated technologies don't work because of the current scale of NAS systems and the fact that data is typically never deleted due to its intrinsic value in the current economy. However, with the proper tool, creating a third copy of NAS data, no matter how big or small, can be straightforward. Putting such an option in place-in a bunker site, behind an air gap, or in the cloud­­-gives organizations reliable data backup and restore capabilities.

Ultimately, in a world of rising threats, organizations must develop the ability to protect and back up their data quickly, flexibly, securely, and cost-effectively, so data can be backed up down to the individual file level."

Steve Cochran, Chief Technology Officer, ConnectWise

There are two major reasons why we should take backups seriously: Hardware failure and human error. Systems are not foolproof and every piece of hardware will fail eventually, so it's not a question of if, but rather when, these failures will happen. If you haven't kept up with your backups, you'll get caught unprepared. There's also a factor of human error where you might accidentally delete a file or photo. We put our entire lives on our computers and mobile devices, but we also make mistakes, and not having a backup system in place is almost silly at this point. While you need to dedicate some time to set up automatic backups, you don't have to keep up with them -- they simply run in the background.

Backing up isn't just something we should do on a personal level. Hardware failures and human errors happen on a global scale, so backups should be an important consideration for any business, large or small. When you back up your data, your business is better prepared to handle any situation, whether human error, natural disaster or global crisis. With backups in place, you're proactive, which means your data is safe and you're prepared to address problems immediately, which minimizes the impact on your customers.

Lex Boost, CEO, Leaseweb USA

"As more companies have their business live in the cloud, World Backup Day is a perfect opportunity to review your company's backup and data protection plans, to ensure they are the right fit for your organization. Nothing is more valuable to a business than their data, making the solutions that ensure its long-term integrity and availability critical to operational success.

When considering which backup solution is the right fit for your company, consider comprehensive options that offer reliable scalability and flexibility--at a transparent pricing structure. An efficient backup solution should also create frequent backups of your data, allowing you to restore any compromised data and relaunch your business' mission-critical functions with minimal downtime. Similarly, consider choosing a backup solution provider that also offers disaster recovery services for at least the most common failures, like failure of a physical disk, server, network switch, network uplink connection or power feed. While each company's needs will vary, minimizing downtime due to a data event will minimize its impact on your business' bottom line.

The process of backing up data is of the utmost importance for any business's success and is a key aspect of a robust business continuity plan. Use this day to review your backup, disaster recovery and overall data protection solutions to ensure they meet all the needs of your business."

Yev Pusin, Director of Strategy, Backblaze

"World Backup Day is coming up, and while many will folks will go with phrases like ‘Don't be an April Fool, Backup Today,' it is not the route I'll go down this year. Backing up your data is something that should be taken seriously, especially with the recent increase in major ransomware attacks and the sudden increase in the amount of remote workers we are seeing in 2020 as a result of COVID-19.

While World Backup Day serves as a great reminder of the importance of backing up your data, data backup is something that should be an everyday activity. That used to be a daunting task, but it no longer has to be one! A simple solution is having a comprehensive cloud backup platform that offers the option of backing up your data in regular intervals without your involvement, with no limits to the amount of data you have and with extended version history. World Backup Day is also a great reminder to check your existing backups because you never want to be learning a new system in a high-stress situation. Happy backing up!"

Gijsbert Janssen van Doorn, director of technical marketing, Zerto

"Back in 2011, World Backup Day was initiated in order to remind us how essential it is to have a copy of our data and information. But, while the day has only grown in significance over the years, backup technology has barely begun to evolve. From tape to hard drive and now cloud - which is really just tape in many cases - the target and management has changed, yet it is still fundamentally based on periodic snapshots of information.

But in our ‘always-on' business landscape and especially in times of crisis like we are currently experiencing, can an organisation still be truly protected with an antiquated backup strategy?

The short answer is - it can't. Data should be protected continuously, ensuring that every change, update and added piece of data is always available. This gives the reassurance that all data is protected up to a moment before anything disrupts it. If your organization doesn't have a solid strategy and supporting tactical plan in place, now is the time to implement one."

Dave Demlow, VP Product Management, Scale Computing

"Backup and disaster recovery plans are crucial in today's data-driven society. Faced with ever-increasing volumes of data, along with the growing threat of ransomware, malware, and a rapidly increasing remote workforce due to the outbreak of coronavirus, IT professionals are under tremendous pressure to protect everything while ensuring production systems aren't impacted.

World Backup Day serves as an important reminder to raise awareness on the cruciality of data protection, backup and business continuity plans. Data loss prevention can be achieved through performing frequent backups and should be considered a high priority to individuals and businesses alike.

Due to the increase in cyberthreats and the rapidly growing remote workforce, it's important to secure and protect IT infrastructure with a disaster recovery plan. Implementing a recovery plan allows users to proactively prevent or recover quickly from disasters, ensuring data is safe and mission-critical business applications are available.

Many only emphasize the currency and frequency of the recovery points, but the time it takes to recover information is just as significant. Backup and disaster recovery plans should be regularly evaluated to protect organizations from being blindsided by an incident."


Published Monday, March 30, 2020 2:54 PM by David Marshall
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