TechWhat is data backup and why is it so important?

What is data backup and why is it so important?

Woman at home unlocking external hard disk drive to print photos from laptop by using small portable printer
Woman at home unlocking external hard disk drive to print photos from laptop by using small portable printer
Images source: © GETTY | martin-dm

8:46 AM EDT, October 21, 2023, updated: 4:40 AM EDT, October 23, 2023

Data backup is a backup copy of files. Although creating duplicates of documents for security is a basis even on a private computer, in a company backup can have a particularly large importance. A backup copy of data will be useful in the event of potential ransomware attacks, which are a daily occurrence for businesses.

By a typical data backup, one can generally understand an additional copy of the same files stored possibly on another disk of the same computer. However, this is not a particularly safe solution for many reasons.

Indeed, we protect ourselves in this way in case of a failure of one of the disks, but the files are no more resistant to attacks by cybercriminals or even physical conditions - if a glass of water spills on the computer and causes a short circuit, it may not be possible to recover files from both disks. Therefore, when approaching the issue of backup correctly, it's worthwhile to consider a few aspects.

If you're going to backup data, do it wisely

First, it's crucial to recognize the purpose of a backup - it is for data protection in the event of an unexpected failure, file damage, or physical destruction of the hardware. Therefore, it's generally sensible to store the backup not only on another device, but also in a different location in the office. If the external hard drive with the data backup is lying in a drawer next to the computer, there's a high likelihood that in the event of human error and knocking over a piece of furniture for example, or - going a step further in imagination - in the event of a fire, both devices will be destroyed.

On a small scale, it may be sufficient to remove an external hard disk or NAS with a backup to another room. If we are talking about a larger scale and the amount of data that needs to be archived, it is worth considering buying space in the cloud or creating a hybrid solution - locally saved files will be more quickly accessible on the network, while another backup in the cloud will allow you to become independent of physical damage in a given office.

Regardless of the method of data backup, it is an essential element of security in every company. It's hard to imagine a complete lack of access to documents, correspondence with clients, or invoices in the event of a device failure or ransomware attack. This is a real threat that has been steadily growing for many months.

Attackers deliberately infect computers in businesses and demand a monetary payment for the possibility of decrypting files. The essence of this attack is the hope that the given company did not take care of data backup. If a backup copy exists - theoretically, there is no problem at all, and the attackers' demands can simply be ignored, and files can be recovered from other drives.

The key is automation

When creating a backup of data, it is also necessary to ensure the automation of this process. It's hard to require employees manually create backups of files that are edited daily or even several times a day - it's not only time-consuming, but also risky due to potential mistakes.

Fortunately, there is software on the market that helps take care of this process. Automation can also be introduced in the case of transferring data to a NAS or a cloud server, and even between these devices. Thanks to the introduction of backup automation, you don't have to worry about whether the data is safe - you can simply assume that it is.

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