DATA PROTECTION

Back Up Your Data Right Now. I’ll Wait.

March 31, 2023By Drew Schlussel

Back up your data. That’s the fundamental message of World Backup Day, the annual reminder that while impermanence is an essential doctrine of Buddhism, your personal and business data should last forever—or at least as long as you need those assets. Backing up your data is how you ensure that permanence.  

It’s no coincidence that World Backup Day falls just one day before April Fools Day (April 1st) 

The irony that April 1st, aka “April Fools”, is the day after is not lost on anyone, especially those that have mistakenly deleted a critical file or those that received a “all your data are belong to us” ransom message. 

As easy as backing up data has become over the past 11 years since World Backup Day started, it is still astounding that 10 to 30% of individuals and businesses DO NOT backup their critical data, depending on which survey you put your faith in. To add insult to injury, there's no doubt that the proliferation of new applications and hybrid system architectures, with datasets spread across the world, has made the “easy” task of backing up data ever more complicated.   

In the simplest case, and the one most folks are familiar with, dragging and dropping everything on a system to a USB drive provides good data protection. Doing that twice and keeping one of the USB drives at home, at a friend’s house, or in a safe deposit box, provides even better data protection. Add another copy, encrypted and protected from any accidental or malicious changes (aka “immutable”), in the cloud provides the best protection. That was a long way of explaining the “3-2-1″ strategy for backups, but you get the idea now. 

How’s that backup going? Still transferring data? Let’s keep going… 

For many companies, the list of reasons for better data protection continues to grow – system failures, financial impact, business continuance, reputational impact, government compliance, natural disasters, accidental deletion, malicious deletion, and let’s not forget ransomware. Any one of these topics is reason enough to back up business-critical data. Collectively, these reasons have created a multi billion-dollar industry made up of ISVs, storage vendors, dedicated backup appliance vendors, backup-as-a-service providers, disaster recovery-as-a-service providers, and cloud storage service providers. Whew, I’m exhausted just writing that last sentence; that’s a lot of vendors and providers! 

Given the enormity of the global datasphere (25 zettabytes in 2023) and the projected growth rate for enterprises (twice the rate of growth of the consumer datasphere, according to IDC), it is no wonder there are so many different approaches/solutions for data protection. Even with compression and deduplication, backup data will always grow at a multiple of source data, thanks to the adoption of the “3-2-1″ strategy and the relatively recent trend of retaining backup copies for longer as a hedge against long term ransomware attacks that can take months or years to wreak their havoc. 

Done with the first backup copy?  

Now’s a good time to make a second copy or push an immutable copy into the cloud… Relax, this isn’t a segue into a pitch for Wasabi Hot Cloud Storage, that’s implied. 

What’s the bottom line? We all need a not-so-gentle reminder every now and then. Aside from World Backup Day, there’s the reminder (Daylight Savings Time) to change the batteries in your smoke and CO2 alarms every time we change the clocks back and forth, as well as the reminder (Mother’s Day) to call your mother and thank her for putting up with you during your teen years.  

Having a reminder to backup the thousands of family pictures you’ve collected over a lifetime or backup the database of clients and contracts that keep your business alive feels like a pretty good idea. Not sure where to get started? We have a few friends that can help you out and provide secure, affordable cloud storage at a price you can’t beat

(P.S. – even though World Backup DAY only happens once a year, I HIGHLY recommend you backup your data every week, at a minimum, or every day if you’d rather spend your time doing the work that needs to be done instead of recreating the work you already did…) 

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