June 28, 2015 is National Insurance Day, an observance that was most likely invented by insurance companies, but reminds us of the importance of business data insurance. In the computing world, data insurance means performing data backup to multiple secure sources in case of a disaster or data breach. When your data is backed up properly, you have insurance that no matter what life throws at you, your information is protected.
There are a few basic types of data backup depending on your information and business needs. Some businesses only use one option for all files, but most use a combination of data backup types depending on the file that is being backed up.
- Full: All files are backed up. If the file is changed, then the backup will know that it will need to update the file to the current version on the next backup.
- Copy: All files are backed up, but they are copies of files. This means any changes you make to files in the future will be saved as new versions, saving the previous backup as original.
- Differential: Copies are created of files that have changed since the last backup. This gives you a variety of backup customization options.
- Incremental: Files that were modified since the last backup are further backed up.
- Daily: Backs up files by looking at the modification date.
How do you decide which kind of backup is right for your business? This is where a data backup and recovery plan is required. This will outline which files will receive what kind of backup. It also outlines the overall backup schedule and what type of backup will be used each day, week and month. To decide this, ask yourself these questions:
- What is the level of importance for each piece of data on your system? Do you have some files that are critical and some that are less important? The frequency of backup will depend on the level.
- Will the file be changed often? Depending on how often it changes, different types of backup will be required.
- When will be the best times to schedule backups? You will want to do it during non-peak hours so servers don’t slow down and your business has complete access to data needed for task completion
- How will data backups be stored? It is always a good idea to store data in multiple places, but one of those places needs to be the cloud. Cloud computing is a secure option that allows encryption levels to access backup and gives users the ability to remote access the information from anywhere.
With a plan in place for each piece of your data, you will be able to respond quickly in case of emergencies without losing important data.