Why Backing Up Files Now Can Save Major Headaches Later

Start backing up everything you create now, if you haven’t already. Life happens, and you really don’t want something out of your control happening to all your personal digital property.

WorldBackupDay2018

How important is safely backing up all your digital property—photos, documents, videos, financial records, software, social network remembrances, and so on? Imagine for a moment losing all of that personal information to the wilds of nature following a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, flood or earthquake.

What would you do? You’ve spent a lifetime up to now making decisions on a day-to-day basis on what emails, images, documents, notes, videos and apps to keep; how long would it take to replace all of that property in its entirety? If you said another lifetime, that would be logical.

However, you don’t have another lifetime to do this. Start backing up everything you create now, if you haven’t already. Life happens, and you really don’t want something out of your control happening to all your personal digital property. Companies have disaster-recovery strategies; so should individuals.

Each year at this time eWEEK seeks out advice and perspectives from people it respects in the storage business. Here are their comments about World Backup Day 2018, which is tomorrow, March 31:

Quest Software:

From cybercrime to natural disasters to shadow IT, businesses today have a lot to contend with in order to mitigate data loss and keep their systems and data up, running and available at all times. Disruption these days is no longer a matter of ‘if’, but 'when', and companies who fail to have a backup and recovery plan in place when disaster strikes are quite literally putting their business on the line. In fact, it's estimated that unplanned application downtime costs the Fortune 1000 up to $2.5 billion per year (AppDynamics).

World Backup Day serves as an important reminder to businesses to stop and think about their data backup and recovery posture and ensure they're employing the right data protection plan, processes and solutions. The goal should always be to have the ability to instantly and cost-effectively recover all data across on-premises, virtualized, cloud and hybrid-based systems and applications with zero impact on the end user. If businesses are not meeting this goal, it's time to reassess those plans, processes and solutions -- and there's no better time to start than today. -- Adrian Moir, Quest Software

Nexsan:

In 2018 backup and data recovery is critical, and it's not enough for it to simply, well, back up. Evolved options like archive storage solutions can help to eliminate data loss as well as provide added layers of security from tampering,  corruption and ransomware – business necessities in today’s threat landscape. Archive storage can also help drive cost and performance benefits by allowing for greater long-term retention of data. A fully comprehensive data backup strategy should include business continuity, data protection and enhanced security features on top of fast and efficient storage. --Gary Watson, CTO and Founder, Nexsan

WhiteHat Security:

Research by Ponemon in 2017 shows that the average total cost of a data breach reached $3.62 million, with a 27.7% chance of the likelihood of a recurring material data breach over the next two years. With the overload of data being created by devices and apps, that number will soar over the next few years. But what can companies do to secure their digital business? They can proactively address the security challenge, and World BackUp day can be the perfect reminder for individuals and businesses to secure the applications that are the lifeblood of their business: back-up, patch-up, and remediate vulnerabilities.

To address this challenge, however, we need to encourage security education across all teams responsible for developing and maintaining secure apps. It’s on us—security vendors—to help organizations bridge the divide between the security and development teams so that they’re all working together towards the safety of the business, and the safety of everyone navigating the digital ecosystem through applications.  --Craig Hinkley, CEO, WhiteHat Security

Cradlepoint:

We all appreciate the importance of backing up our data, but a backup plan for the network is usually given less thought. The question is not whether your business will lose Internet connectivity, it’s when. In some areas Internet connectivity can experience service disruption up to several times a month, which exposes businesses to risks of lost revenue, reduced productivity and customer experience issues. One possible solution is upgrading to a more robust wired connection, but it’s expensive and still susceptible to outages and service disruption. An alternative option is to bridge the inevitable gap with wireless WAN failover, which is quick and easy to deploy. There are few businesses that can afford to take the risk of network connections failing, so organizations need to place a priority on backing up their network. --Ken Hosac, VP of IoT Strategy and Business Development Cradlepoint

WhereScape:

Undoubtedly, data protection is a growing challenge for IT teams, and on World Backup Day, it is important to remember that organizations should not only have a backup strategy, but also test it regularly to determine if data will be easily recoverable and accessible when needed. It is no secret that data loss can have devastating effects on a company’s brand reputation and customer trust, making the ability to recover data quickly after a disaster critical to business survival.” --Neil Barton, CTO of WhereScape

U.S. Signal:

Data has become an integral component of our personal and professional lives, from mission-critical business information to personal photos and videos, with an estimated 1.8 zettabytes of data generated per year. So it’s surprising that only four in ten companies have a fully documented disaster recovery plan in place, and 30 percent of respondents have never backed up their data.

On World Backup Day, we are all reminded of the importance on implementing a disaster recovery and backup strategy that is secure, compliant and scalable to respond to challenging data protection demands. DRaaS solutions also use scalable infrastructure, allowing virtual access of assets with little or no hardware and software expenditures. Data backups are an essential aspect of any disaster recovery plan, because it’s always better to be prepared before a disaster strikes. --Matt VanderZwaag, director of product development at U.S. Signal.

Zerto:

For many, World Backup Day probably evokes thoughts of "gold copies" stashed away in a safe place waiting to be retrieved when something goes wrong. However, this simplistic example belies the fact that solutions for these situations are often complex and painful to execute, particularly at the enterprise level as many organizations are undergoing major IT transformations.

The truth is that, planned and unplanned disruptions are only on the rise, sometimes because of the adoption and innovation of the latest technology.  The convergence of these factors will require businesses to look outside traditional backup capabilities and develop an IT resilience strategy that’s up to the many challenges of digital transformation.

To deliver an always-on customer experience, especially while undergoing major changes to an infrastructure, businesses need to ensure they have a modern, risk-free platform in place, that utilizes continuous data protection combined with the ability to orchestrate and automate the mobility of applications to the ideal infrastructure. When these capabilities come together, businesses will have an IT resilience strategy to protect their infrastructure and reputation, and also enable innovation and transformation. --Rob Strechay, SVP Product, Zerto

CloudBerry:

The company conducted a survey to understand how internet users are backing up their data. The survey revealed:

● 51% of internet users actively back up their data

● Personal data backup has increased by 15% in 2018 compared to 2017

● 56% of respondents have only one copy of backup while 45% of business data users have more than two copies

● 33% of users have lost data more than once

● Users back up to the cloud 4% more than the year before

● 61% of personal users prefer to keep their annual backup costs under $50

Commvault:

Companies are managing more data than ever, on a greater diversity of clouds, endpoints and infrastructures. The market is demanding smarter automated solutions to protect all data types quickly. With the demand for smart protection follows the requirement for a smart and automated fast recovery.  Enterprises can no longer depend on complex and incomplete backup strategies for their data. When disaster strikes this strategy will lead to slow or incomplete recovery, and the threat of ransomware and other potential disasters are reminding us to act on improving recovery readiness every day. Given this complexity of data environments, the most urgent question enterprises should ask themselves this World Backup Day is not necessarily “are they backed up” but, “are they protected in a way they can recover fast?” --Don Foster, Senior Director of Worldwide Solutions Marketing, Commvault

Commvault:

In the spirit of World Backup Day, Commvault would like to celebrate the unsung heroes working in the trenches of their IT organizations to ward off never ending threats of ransomware, malware and other disasters. Everyone should take time to recognize the critical role data backup and management admins play in ensuring their enterprise’s success in the face of unprecedented data growth, risk and complexity. These unsung IT heroes, often found working late at their cubicle or deep in their firm’s data center, are responsible for managing and protecting one of their enterprise’s core assets – its data. They must do this even as data volumes grow exponentially and as the types of clouds and other infrastructure data is stored on proliferates.

They do it while sophisticated cybercriminals increasingly seek to steal or disable this data, and governments around the world implement new data privacy regulations. Yet not only are these backup admins protecting this data, they are activating it – enabling DevOps to employ it to launch new digital services and marketing teams to analyze it for valuable insights and competitive gain. So, as you consider how these data backup and management admins are not just keeping your enterprise’s operations running but also enabling you to achieve new, remarkable data-driven feats, make sure to pat them on the back, send them a “Thank You” email, or buy them a drink at your next company happy hour. --Bill Wohl, Chief Communications Officer

Cohesity:

Q: Are you following the 3-2-1 model? A: A common best practice in our industry is the 3-2-1 model. If you aren’t familiar with it, the concept is to store at least three copies of your data, two on-site and one off-site at all times. --Aaron Delp, Director, Technical Solutions Marketing at Cohesity

Q: Are you getting maximum efficiency from your platform to reduce costs? A: In order to be considered a modern data protection solution, storage efficiency must be considered. Does your solution offer global deduplication, compression, and flexible and configurable data storage policies to reduce the amount of data physically stored? This number is measured as an efficiency factor and is a multiplier of the logical data stored vs the physical data required. The higher the number, the less physical storage needed, further reducing solution footprint. --Aaron Delp, Director, Technical Solutions Marketing at Cohesity

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...