#3 – Backup

Michael AguSafer ComputingLeave a Comment

According to the CyberEdge 2019 Cyberthreat defense report from cyber edge, 78% of networks were breached last year while nearly half of ransomware victims succumb to paying ransoms.

While data loss due to ransomware can be devastating to a business, data loss can also occur in other forms:

Drive Failures
According to a Google study of hard drive failures, disk drives over a year old have about a 1 in 10 chance of failure each year. At this rate 1 of every 2 drives will fail every 5 years. A person that has a hard drive in their computer and an external drive for that period is nearly guaranteed to have one die.

Computer Theft and Computer Loss
15% of households annually experience burglary or theft according to the Bureau of Justice. While statistics are not available for what was stolen, when a home is burglarized, a computer is a likely target. According to the Ponemon Institute, 637,000 laptops are lost at airports across the country every year. How many more in taxi cabs, coffee shops, and at vacation destinations?

Viruses and Software Corruption
Various surveys across the web have shown that viruses cause 4% – 7% of all data loss. Add software corruption to the mix, boot sector issues, registry issues, etc. and this starts becoming significant.

Flooding, Fire, Earthquakes, and Other Disasters
According to FEMA, about 1 in 10 households that have flood insurance suffer a loss each year due to flood damage. Half a million buildings catch fire every year based on USFA statistics. Nearly 200 earthquakes with a magnitude of 6.0 or greater occur worldwide annually according to the USGS. Computers are sensitive devices and don’t like to be wet, hot, or shaken.

Human Error
“Oops” is the #2 most common cause of data loss (after hardware failure) according to data recovery specialist Ontrack. Is the delete key too big on the keyboard? Blame it on that…but all of us have done it and wished there there were an undo key that was just as big.

Losing data doesn’t always mean a hard drive crash. Sometimes it just means we deleted a folder (with our kids photos) or our dog knocked over an external drive (with our music library.) Whatever the cause, based on the actual needs of our customers, the various causes of data loss compile to require 1 of every 2 customers to restore data each year.

Backing up your data

There are a ton of ways to backup your data. Each is going to have its own different procedures depending on what the data is, however, there are 4 main ways we can store our backed up data.

  • USB Drive: Backing up isn’t an “all or nothing” proposal. Using devices such as USB sticks and external hard drives to make an external copy of your files and recent important documents is a good way to quickly safeguard your files from potential data loss. There are several software available to make backup and recovery to external hard drive an easy process.
  • Network Storage: While using external hard drives might be a good way to make a copy of your files for safekeeping, whether manually copying the files or using a backup software, network storage devices make it easier to backup multiple computers to a central storage. Often times, network storage devices also offer protection against data loss from failed hard drive due to wear and tear by making use of more than one hard drive to replicate the backed up data allowing you to replace a failed hard drive without losing any data.
  • Cloud storage: This offers a number of advantages over network storage. For example if your house or business is flooded your backup will likely be gone, unless you stored it in the cloud. While this might offer great benefits, recovering data stored on cloud storage can take a considerable amount of time depending on how much data being backed up as well as the internet speed at the location where the data backup or recovery is  being done.
  • Hybrid Storage: This offers the benefits of cloud storage and network storage, generally, a network storage is used to backup data from computers locally at the office, this offers advantage of making several backups throughout the day the providing you with ability to make more frequent backup and restoring within minutes of an incident occurring, while copying the backup to a cloud storage providing you with the ability to restore your files in those rare cases where such as flooding or other natural disasters.

Keep multiple backups

If you’ve ever plugged in a flash drive to your computer or external hard drive and either discover that either some pictures are degraded, some files are no longer readable or the entire hard drive is not usable, you would have realized that most electronic storage devices, including hard drives have a limited lifetime. The lifespan of hard drive today is around 5 – 10 years, depending on the type and manufacturer, and it rapidly declines if the drive is subject to strong variations in temperature, humidity, and motion. As a result, it is important to keep your backups on more than one storage.

Managed Backup

While maintaining a healthy and usable backup might seem like a difficult task, managed backup services provide a more efficient way to backup your files as well as test and verify that the backup was successful. This helps prevent those oops moment when you realize your hard drive has crashed and your backups hasn’t worked in two months!

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