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World Backup Day 2019 – how your business can backup better

Sun 31 Mar 2019

In recognition of the important message World Backup Day conveys, a variety of IT experts give their advice on how businesses can protect the asset most essential to modern-day business success

Today marks World Backup Day, a day that seeks to highlight the issue of data loss and encourage the proactive backing up of files. Although the day is a call-to-action for consumers, data loss is just as prevalent an issue for businesses and is the stuff of nightmares for many CDOs. In our data-driven age, losing information to the ether means lost time and money spent on restoration or recovery. If data is essential to your business – read ahead.

Maintaining trust

As data becomes an increasingly valuable commodity, the importance of protecting it grows. Jo Blazey, global data governance Officer at Commvault, says this protection is implicit to retain customer trust.

“Companies today are collecting more data on customers, partners and markets than ever before. With this exponential growth comes enormous responsibility, so organisations must work to ensure they retain the trust of those whose data they hold. It has been shown that businesses who are seen as ‘trustworthy’ outperform their sector by an average of 5 percent – so this is not something to be taken lightly.”

Trust is a crucial element of brand reputation, so knowing how to protect it is vital. Jo says that the way to create and maintain levels of trust is with a proven track record of keeping data secure.

“Achieving this requires organisations to take a hard look at how they manage, store and protect data, including backup policies and processes. Backup needs to be continuous, reliable, accessible and recoverable to pave the way for success. On World Backup Day 2019, organisations must remember that backup isn’t just about protecting data, it’s about trust too.”

Prioritising backup

Backing up data should be a business priority, yet, as Jon Lucas, co-director at Hyve Managed Hosting, observers, every year there are stories about lost revenue, lost reputation and even lost jobs because backup hasn’t been there when needed.

Unfortunately, backup can drop off the IT ‘to-do’ list because businesses don’t have the time, resources or experience to manage it in-house. Jon says that this need not be an obstacle.

“The cloud computing and managed service era has created a practical and affordable way forward, and working with a partner that offers backup and disaster recovery solutions can be easily built into any IT environment.”

Neil Barton, CTO at WhereScape agrees that a well-formulated backup strategy is critical to business survival, and says IT teams are under more pressure to ensure protection for the data of organisations.

“World Backup Day serves as a reminder for enterprises and individuals to continue to remain proactive when it comes to managing their data,” he says.

“Not only should organisations have a backup strategy, it is also extremely important for IT teams to test it regularly. The first time a business tests their backup tactics should not be during an emergency. Data needs to be easily recoverable and accessible when needed, as a data loss can have devastating effects on a company’s reputation.”

Key actions

Data is an important asset for any business. Alan Conboy, office of the CTO at Scale Computing, lays out the ‘decisive’ steps that should be part of any IT protocol to protect their data assets.

Although it often falls by the wayside of priorities, Alan says, an enormously effective way to prevent data loss is to perform backups as frequently as possible.

“The location of your backup must also be kept top-of-mind – the closer it is to the primary data, the better. And as cyber threats like ransomware came about after many legacy backup and disaster recovery plans were created, it’s important to ensure that IT infrastructure is secure and safeguarded with a disaster recovery plan.”

“Finally, while emphasis is frequently on the recovery point of when your last backup was taken, recovery time is just as important. The bottom line is backup and disaster recovery plans must be assessed consistently to safeguard data and protect organisations from being taken off guard by the next disaster.”

Network backup

World backup day may focus on data, but it is my no means the only part of your stack that needs redundancy. Ensuring that your network is backed-up is a critical component. The implications of lost connectivity are extensive, such as lost revenue; reduced productivity; poor customer experience and reputational damage.

Jason Wells, vice president, global channels & EMEA at Cradlepoint says that as no wired connection can deliver 100 percent uptime – it’s not a question of if your business will lose connectivity, but when.

“This is where 4G LTE failover comes into play,” he says. “A wireless wide area network (WAN) failover is a cost effective and reliable solution that provides critical backup connectivity when a wired connection fails. In agile-focused IT environments, for example those deploying internet-of-things (IoT) technology, 4G LTE offers a simplified lifecycle that requires less IT resources to manage and a lower total cost of ownership. Particularly as we move closer to 5G, this is helping many organisations lay the foundation for a wireless future”.

The message of World Backup Day and the sentiments discussed here serve as a stark reminder for businesses of the importance of taking preventative, proactive measures to look after data responsibly.

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