Data loss prevention sounds like a great idea. However, data loss prevention technologies can be costly and challenging to deploy - Poor planning can run up costs. Here are some things to think about before you spend money.
Backup is simply making multiple copies of the same data onto different storage media. It can be on 2 optical discs, or it can be saved on local server and at a data centre.
Backup is very, very easy to do and, depending on the size of your files, shouldn’t take up much of your time. In this era of digital media, people know of backup, and there are many backup solutions on the market, ranging from very cheap to the other extreme. But the main problem remains: people often think that loss of data will NEVER happen to them.
Loss of data WILL happen, and at the most inopportune of times too. It is the very nature of digital storage data, be it hard disks, laptops, mp3 players, servers, RAIDS or optical discs, to fail.
Depending on the storage medium, the reasons can range from something as a small drop of water (less than 3 inches) to something as drastic as fires and floods.
Here are some reasons to why you should backup your data:
- ALL ELECTRONIC DEVICES WILL FAIL - You can buy the best hard disk in this world, but know for a fact that one day, your hard disk will surely fail. This can be due to accidents or more commonly, a natural death such as wear and tear. And when that happens, you might have to pay a great deal just to recover your data if you do not backup your data regularly.
- LEARNING FROM PAST EXPERIENCES - Statistics have shown that among companies which suffered from data loss, 50% never re-open and 90% are out of business within the next 2 years. Hardware and system malfunction attributes to 44 % of all data loss, while human error is responsible for 32%, software corruption 14%, computer virus 7% and natural disaster which accounts for 3% of all data loss.
- THE INTERNET - If your business uses the internet, because the World Wide Web is infested with malicious viruses and worms that can attack your computer and damage your data without you knowing. Even with full fledge protection such as virus scans and firewalls, you can never be 100% sure.
- THE ALTERNATIVES - Data Recovery can easily run into hundreds if not thousands of pounds! Computer users around the world spend thousands of pounds just to recover data that takes only a short time to back up.
Choosing the best backup solution.
Before you do any sort of backing up, you need to choose what backup method you are going to use. To make the choice easier for you, choose according to these criteria:
- Type of data
- Size of data
These are the factors which will decide what you backup solution will be.
For example, if you are just saving document files, and hardly any graphics, you might as well backup your data onto optical discs such as CD’s and DVD’s. Even thumb drives have more than enough capacity to store all these files and more. These are cheap alternatives which would serve you well.
For bigger files, like video presentations, an external drive would be a good alternative too. Now there are external drives which offer a one-touch backup option, which makes backup easier.
Of course, there is the option of adding additional hard disk to your working computer, which is still a viable option. All these are mere suggestions, and aren’t rules set in stone. You really need to consider the factors above, and choose the right solution for you.
Of course there are other things you need to do after backing up. You need to check the integrity of your data, so that you can actually use the data when you need it. You also need to see if the data is the latest version. What good will it do if your backup data is 4 months old? Make sure your backup is free from viruses and other malware too.
Additional backup tips
- Rotate your backups. Let’s say you assign 2 DVD’s as your backup. Use one for backing up on odd weeks, and the other on even weeks. This guard against the occasion where the week’s data is corrupted, you can still use the previous, uncorrupted week’s data.
- Place your backups in different locations.
- There is still a remote possibility of your work place catching fire, even if it were to be located in the sea. Have one copy of the backup in the office, while the other is kept at home.
- Have it automated. Automation will save you the effort (not to mention time) of backing up everything yourself which can be tedious.