Data Backup | Infinity Group

Exploring the different types of data backup

DISASTER RECOVERY

Business Disaster Recovery – different types of data backup2019-07-31T14:43:58+00:00

Modern day robust IT systems are generally reliable; however they can easily go wrong and there will be a time when your IT Infrastructure setup will be at risk due to a user or technical error, a Malware attack, the system being hacked or even a natural disaster, such as a flood. Without a solid disaster recovery plan in place as part of your business continuity plan you could be putting precious business assets on the line.

Planning for business disaster recovery ahead of these technical eventualities will save valuable time and money, plus give you added peace of mind that your business can continue to function efficiently and effectively.

What is business disaster recovery planning?

Disaster recovery planning forms a part of your business’s continuity strategy, and while modern day robust IT systems are generally reliable; however they can easily go wrong and there will be a time when your IT Infrastructure setup will be at risk due to a user or technical error, a Malware attack, the system being hacked or even a natural disaster, such as a flood. Without a solid disaster recovery plan in place as part of your business continuity plan you could be putting precious business assets on the line.

Planning for business disaster recovery ahead of these technical eventualities will save valuable time and money, plus give you added peace of mind that your business can continue to function efficiently and effectively.

Data loss within your business can come in many forms and can strike at any time, so it’s vital that you implement a multi-faceted approach. Whether this is from power failure, fire, flood, theft or Malware attack it’s imperative that your business systems are up are back up and running without delay. Having a robust disaster recovery plan in place means that all of your important business documents are sufficiently backed up via the Cloud, onsite or using a hybrid backup solution to ensure that data is never lost and can quickly be restored.

What’s more, now that the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation is now in play, there is no better time to ensure your business data is safely backed up and sufficiently protected from cyber attacks in order to maintain GDPR compliance.

Whilst even with enhanced security protection in place, it’s impossible to fully protect a server. Which is why sufficient and secure server backup is critical, we explore the four main types below.

How can business data become compromised?

Surprisingly, there are a lot of ways in which your business data can become compromised.

Data stored on external hard drives are not securely stored and many things can cause them to be either temperamental or stop working entirely or be mislaid. Their internal systems are sensitive to heat, condensation and being moved around as well as being susceptible to wearing out over time so a regular maintenance and replacement schedule is imperative. There is also the risk the hard drives can be stolen and you’ll have no trace of the data on there.

Human error is also a very common way in which business data can be deleted or go missing – even if it is something as simple as misnaming or even a spelling mistake in file name. Liquid damage from a spilt coffee on a laptop keyboard can destroy a machine on the inside due to the acidity. If the data stored on the device isn’t backed up – it may not be possible to recover it.

Theft, whether it’s the unintentional loss of equipment from a company device left on a train, taxi or intentional theft from an external source or disgruntled employee is a major threat to data security. To avelliate this risk, your company devices can be managed remotely using an enterprise grade mobile device management solution such as Microsoft EM+S which enables remote monitoring and the ability to delete data shared on those devices remotely should they get stolen.

Power outages, fire, viruses and Malware are also common ways that your organisation can lose valuable business data.

What are the four main types of data backup?

Local backup of server without drive rotation

The simplest form of business data backup where a physical device is in your office without additional drives. Local backup of a server without drive rotation has the advantages of a quick recovery of data in the event of single file loss or entire server being encrypted by Malware. However, if you suffer a catastrophic event that destroys the server and local backup such as fire or flood, all your data on this device will become compromised.

Offsite backup via hardware

Offsite backup via hardware works in the same way as local backup of a server. However, instead of storing your businesses data onsite, physical device in your office with removable drives/tapes that can be stored offsite.

Should a disaster happen within your organisation, having an offsite backup via hardware means that your business data can be recovered quickly via drives and tapes that have been stored offsite.

This will take some time to manually perform daily backups and as this process isn’t automatic, there is a risk that staff can forget to manually backup data which could mean there is no backup over a period of days. You must also ensure that any backup devices taken off site are encrypted in case of theft.

Offsite backup to the Cloud only

Instead of keeping all of your business data in the office, an offsite backup to the Cloud is where all of the data is sent to a remote Cloud-based datacentre – there is no physical onsite backup facility enabled.

Backups of your data to Cloud can be conducted automatically at intervals. The pathway the data takes from your business to the datacentre is encrypted and secure. Then, the data itself in the datacentre is secure in a heavily fortified Cloud server.

Data is automatically backed up at your scheduled time with no manual intervention, and in the event of full Disaster Recovery in case of catastrophic event in the office. We use backup tools such as Altaro, one of the leading backup suppliers and store the data in Microsoft Azure, which is highly secure. However, there are several options available in regards to Cloud backup depending on your needs.

Combined local backup and cloud offsite backup

A combination of local backup and Cloud offsite backup means that your organisation is backed up by a physical device in your office and also has the implementation of a Cloud backup service.

Should a disaster happen to the backup that’s local to your office, the Cloud backup will be there to keep your data secure and the proximity of data is able to be restored quickly to keep your business operations running smoothly. Full disaster recovery protection from the cloud backup in the event of a catastrophic incident and quick recovery from local backup in case of accidental deletion or server being encrypted by Malware.

Where do I start with business disaster recovery plan?

Your business can begin to construct your business disaster recovery plan by evaluating the core elements of your system setup and determining the importance of each one. You can then easily establish the likely implications should an element of your IT Infrastructure failing.

Instead of writing a large and complicated document, write your disaster recovery plan in the form of an easy to understand flow chart for each element so the core team know what to do in the event of a disaster situation which will save valuable time and reduce stress at a time of crisis.

Our top considerations for your business disaster recovery plan

Switch to a Cloud solution

To improve overall security and reliability consider what business applications you could move to the Cloud. Cloud Computing solutions are very reliable and offer a 99.99% service level uptime so you don’t have to worry about downtime disruption plus they have added security.

Implement virtualisation

Some businesses will need or prefer to keep certain business applications on-premise. However, to remove the reliance on any single piece of hardware you could consider implementing the latest virtualisation technologies such as Hyper-V. Hyper-V is a cost-effective piece of technology that enables you to create high performing and failsafe business solutions. (Hyper-V is now shipped as standard with Server 2012.)

Improve your business connectivity

A strong internet connection is the backbone of a modern-day business, slow connection speeds or downtime risks can be costly in the long run. With an increased amount of business applications and services now provided online or accessible via the Cloud, you could consider implementing Leased Lines which are direct fibre connections to your building and offer 99.9% financially backed service level guarantees but always back these up with a range of new technologies such as Fibre Broadband, 4G and EFM (Ethernet First Mile), these are fast, reliable and now affordable for all sizes of business.

Migrate to Hosted Telecoms

Aside from the cost saving benefits you can provide better quality and resilience by switching your phone calls from ISDN to over the internet using SIP Trunks or a Hosted Telephony solution. Hosted Telecoms technologies offer greater flexibility and are easy to manage from a web portal should a disaster strike as it is easy to setup call forwarding to company mobiles as a backup.

What is Backup Encryption?

If you do decide to implement on or off-site backup via hardware, we strongly recommend you ensure that whatever device you are using has 256 bit encryption to prevent the data on it being accessed should it get lost or stolen.

A robust disaster recovery plan should include a combination of both local backup and Cloud backup. We never recommend that a businesses data is solely backed up using a single solution, as should that solution fail, backup will be compromised which could also result in data loss or a potential data breach.

Infinity Group are IT Security and GDPR Consultants and if you would like to speak to us about a Disaster Recovery and Backup solution for your business please get in touch.

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