The modern age has experienced the technology transformation and with this transformation, many risks came as a reward. Out of many risks, data security is the most vulnerable one. It is said that there were not as many risks to the data, as there are now. Consider a situation where a company is managing on-site storage of confidential and important data. All of a sudden, something unfortunate such as theft of storage devices or hardware malfunctioning, happens and the confidential data is lost. The consequences of such data loss are far beyond the imagination as business continuity is dependent on the availability of this data.
For long, this problem was experienced by many organizations. However, the introduction of backup and recovery strategies tends to minimize the impacts of such unfortunate circumstances. There are different type of backup mediums available today to perform the data backups, such as flash drive, external hard drive, network-attached storage, cloud backups, etc. With the inclusion of backup and restore plans in the business model, the organization can stay assured that nothing can hamper their vulnerable data. Whether it will be a cyberattack, data corruption, hardware/software malfunctioning or any human error, backups will let businesses ace through any unhealthy event. Henceforth, there is no doubt regarding the backup solutions as a blessing in disguise for smoother business operations and hassle-free business continuity.
Features of a Good Data Backup System
Just having a backup strategy is not enough as it will just be analogous to having a smartphone. But what matters is how functional and handy this smartphone is. Similarly, the only thing that matters is how good and healthy is a backup system. To shed some light on this matter, the following literature explains the different features of the good backup:
For the backup systems to be called good, it is mandatory for them to offer full coverage through full backup or incremental backup. This means that backup options should be able to cover all of the company’s programs, their data, settings and operating systems of each and every connected computer system. This coverage should be maintained in such a format where, apart from individual files restoration, a complete copy of the data can easily be recovered in case of any disastrous event.
In addition to this, backup systems should be able to cover full protection through a “bare-metal backup”. This allows the complete system imaging recovery rather than just recovering the important data.
The frequency of the data backup is what defines its effectiveness. Frequency defines the number of times the backups are supposed to occur. It can either be daily, weekly or monthly, depending upon the preferences of the organization. The more continuous are the backups, the more qualitative will they be. It is preferred to have continuous backups, but the regular frequency of the backup is also acceptable.
For backup systems to go smooth, backup data should be managed or stored separately from the normal data. To increase the likelihood of a smoother point in time recovery, multiple, off-site, on-site, and redundant versions of the backup should be managed.
For instance, if normal data is being stored or managed on the same location, where backup data is being managed, then what benefit will backups be giving? Secondly, what recourse will one be enjoying in the event of any disaster such as theft, power surge or any natural calamity resulting in data loss? Either of the situations will destroy both normal and backup data, and all anti-data loss planning will go in vain. This will happen only because both types of data are being managed in the same location or over the same storage space.
A good backup system should include many versions of the data. Backup history must span over several days if it cannot span over months. Backup history makes sense because often data loss is not immediately identified. In this case, if an available backup is an hour or day-old, then the user will not be able to recover the earlier versions if required.
Now there can be a question that why earlier versions are required when the latest version of the data or file is available? A situation may arise when a manager may notice that the latest file has an altered, corrupted or misleading version of the data. In order to correct this, he or she needs the previous version of the file.
Nothing can be made ascertained until and unless it has been tested. The same goes for backup strategies. A good backup system will ace through every test. Furthermore, in order to ensure the integrity of the disaster recovery, they should be tested regularly. The more frequent the testing will be, the more reliable will be the backup strategy. Consequently, such tests will identify the loopholes in the backups system and any remediation(s) in this regard will increase the chances of data recovery.
When it comes to data, security is the most concerned and sought question. Just as someone is curious about the security of the live data, backup data also needs to be secured. Good backup software will always be protected from any sort of unauthorized access or theft. Furthermore, backup systems should physically be protected. They must integrate data encryption techniques along with strong password protection.
It must be noted that not only backups should be protected, instead, there is also a need to protect recovery mediums too. It is so because if due to any situation, hackers are able to decrypt or interfere backups, they shouldn’t be allowed to recover the data.
To make backup systems good enough to deal with any unfortunate event, integrity should be made the main constituent. Integrity is important because backups are basically a copy of live data. These copies are as important as live data. In case live data has been corrupted or intruder has encrypted the backup data, the recovery strategy should be integral enough to address this issue.