World Backup Day 2015: A Reminder of the Pain of Lost Data

Thinking ahead and taking the time and attention needed to ensure the protection of data valuables is well worth it and doesn't cost that much.

March 31 is World Backup Day, which reminds all of us that we need to back up all our personal and business-related documents, photos, videos—anything else digital that we value.

Those of us who have lost important files in the past know what a pain it is—and how much valuable time it takes—to re-create them or make new copies, if it's possible. Thinking ahead and taking the time and attention needed to ensure the protection of data valuables is well worth it and doesn't cost that much.

There's really no excuse anymore not to do this: Automated backup into the cloud or to onsite storage is simple to set up and inexpensive. And there are so many vendors willing to bend over backwards for your business that you shouldn't have any problem finding one that fits what your needs exactly.

Successful backup providers include Code42, Intronis, Acronis, iDrive, Nero, OpenDrive, Seagate i365, Carbonite, EMC Mozy, Jungle Disk, Symantec, Zetta, Druva, Asigra, Box, CrashPlan, Veeam, Dropbox, Egnyte, Ftopia, Barracuda, SpiderOak and others.

Go here to see eWEEK's Cloud Backup Project Center, which offers a list of free PDF documents detailing case studies, a buying guide and product comparison charts on cloud-based backup.

Pre-empting Data Loss Should Be Standard Procedure

"When it comes to data protection, pre-empting and preventing data loss should be a company's standard operating procedure," Jaspreet Singh, CEO and founder of Druva, told eWEEK. "While World Backup Day is an annual event, market-leading businesses know that backup isn't a once-a-year event, but a continual, closely examined, closely monitored process.

"Organizations should regularly review their data protection strategy and asses their risks, factoring in the geographic distribution of mobile devices as well as relevant governance controls. Maintaining business continuity is key, so don't wait for your organization to face data loss. When it comes to backup, there's no time like the present."

Rama Kolappan, head of Information and Mobility Management at CommVault, sent these tips to eWEEK:

Choose the correct solution: Most file sharing solutions today (Dropbox, Box) are primarily used to store content that can be accessed anytime and anywhere, and for a consumer, this is the ideal purpose. However, if you're a business, the needs are different, and security, data governance and insight into data are more the priority. And remember, backup does not equal data management.

Pick the right cloud: Flexibility is key when it comes to deployment options, and today we have a few. Private, public and hybrid cloud can all offer different capabilities for data backups, and picking the right one for your file needs can impact the final result.

Watch for security capabilities: There are a few things to look for when checking to see if the backup solution you're using is actually secure. Single sign-on, two-factor authentication and robust password policies are just a few examples of boxes to check off first. Don't forget to take it a step further and think about how to keep the data secure.

Don't forget the endpoints: Even with a growing amount of data residing at the edge, backing up endpoints frequently gets overlooked. Remembering to protect them will lower the risk of data loss, improve employee productivity with self-service access to backed-up data, and enable enterprise-wide search and discovery with a more comprehensive set of data.

File sync and share (FSS) is not backup: Over the last year, the capabilities around FSS continued to improve, but backup still meets different needs such as recovery from multiple, previous points in time as well as added IT control for better data security and governance. Seeking out solutions that provide both FSS and backup can give organizations both the productivity enhancements and IT control that they desire.

Meet standards through compliance: Minimize headaches for your IT team by prioritizing data governance and compliance. Using role-based self-service preview and search and advanced compliance search can help reduce any potential problems with legal teams when it comes to backing up data.

Plenty of Data Is Needlessly Backed Up

A recent Iron Mountain customer survey pointed out that 22 percent of companies are needlessly backing up inactive data while also missing backup windows. There is software available to help IT staff decide what should be retained for business and/or regulatory or legal purposes, and what can be safely excised from the system forever.

Iron Mountain, one of the true pioneers in enterprise file backup—going back to paper and film in the early 1950s—also offered a few things to think about when enacting a smarter backup strategy:

Explore your options: Most businesses run regularly scheduled backups—often daily—to protect themselves from losing more than a day's worth of data. But which form of data storage should you choose? Disk, tape or cloud? All of them might be useful, or perhaps only one or two.

Evaluate your data security: No matter how and where you create and store your backups, the end-to-end security of your data is crucial. Best practices include a robust data encryption strategy, a verifiable chain of custody, a data center security standard compliance program, a tiered approach to data security and, of course, comprehensive testing at every step of the way.

Find the right technology blend: With the many storage options available, you can seamlessly combine two or more methods to custom-fit your specific solution. Disk, tape and cloud all have a place in the process, as do onsite and offsite solutions.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...