World Backup Day 2019: A Little Planning Can Pay Off Big Time

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 those quoted in today’s article plus Code42, Intronis, iDrive, Nero, OpenDrive, Seagate i365, Carbonite, EMC Mozy, Jungle Disk, Veritas, Zetta, Druva, Asigra, Box, Veeam, Dropbox, Egnyte, Ftopia, Barracuda, SpiderOak and others.

Here are some good pieces of advice from people who know all about this topic.

From W. Curtis Preston, Chief Technologist, Druva:

"Securely storing and backing up data has never been more critical. Not only are we collecting exponentially more data, but due to stringent compliance and regulations like GDPR (EU's General Data Protection Regulation), the way that data is managed and handled is under greater scrutiny than ever before. Despite businesses understanding the importance of backing up data, their data management continues to be extremely fragmented, with 79 percent of businesses using at least three or more backup solutions.

"What’s clear is that although businesses are beginning to recognize the advantages of cloud-based backup over traditional hardware and software, the fact remains that if your organization is still using external hard drive as a backup, it’s at considerable risk. Cloud-based backup can provide a holistic approach to an organization’s data and offer visibility not possible with traditional backup architecture. Cloud-based backup provides an immediate solution for data recovery, removing the management issues of storing data in offsite locations, hiring specialist resources and the continuous heavy investment in additional storage.

"Businesses need additional assurance for the management and protection of their data. Backing up to the cloud is more secure, faster, easier, and cheaper than the alternatives. At Druva, we see more than 4.1 million backups every single day; it’s clear the future of backup is in the cloud."

From Penny Gralewski, Solution Marketing Lead, Commvault 

“World Backup Day is a great time to celebrate what you’re doing to protect your enterprise’s data today – and plan for how you will continue to protect it in the future. Planning is important because tomorrow’s backups may look very different than the backups you are doing today. Unforeseen or unexpected business changes – M&As that bring in new types of IT infrastructure or much larger amounts of critical data to protect, or new corporate leadership demanding implementation of cloud-first IT strategies – might require you to radically change your data protection strategy. 

“While your data protection strategy might seem robust on this World Backup Day, if it does not provide you with the flexibility to burst to the cloud, scale resources, and recover data to and from a variety of on-premises and cloud locations, you might find it lacking when World Backup Day 2020 arrives next year.” 

From Adrian Moir, Lead Technology Evangelist at Quest Software’s Data Protection business unit:

“There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to backup and businesses need to take a smarter approach.

Customers and employees continue to demand seamless access to data, and internal stakeholders want the business to achieve this while being cost-conscious. Therefore, businesses need to take a long hard look at their current backup strategy and decide whether it can not only ensure the level of service internally and externally in the event of a disaster, but that it is as streamlined as possible and able to keep up with the scale of growing data volumes. If businesses take one thing into consideration this World Backup Day, it should be a fundamental switch in thinking. Don’t view backup as an afterthought. Build comprehensive data protection into every new development in the business.”

From Lynn Lucas, Chief Marketing Officer of Cohesity:

“It’s not surprising that 50 percent of organizations are looking to replace their legacy backup infrastructure. Legacy backup infrastructure is siloed, which creates mass data fragmentation challenges that are expensive, impossible to manage, and raise major compliance risks. It’s critical that enterprises demand more from their backups with a modern approach that:  

  • consolidates silos and reduces recovery times from hours or days to seconds and minutes; 
  • offers security against growing cyber threats like ransomware and helps enterprises meet complex compliance requirements like GDPR; 
  • enables businesses to easily run apps on the data which can unleash new opportunities to derive insights from data; and 
  • seamlessly integrates with hybrid and public cloud environments.”

From Matt Tyrer, Senior Manager of Solutions Marketing, Commvault: 

“On this World Backup Day, IT professionals would do well to remember that chances are they are not as protected as they think. To make sure they are as protected as they think they are, they should follow these three key backup commandments: 

  • No. 1:  If you don’t know what it is, back it up.  
  • No. 2:  If you don’t know if you’ll need it, back it up.  
  • No. 3:  If you know what it is and understand its value to you and/or your business, back it up.  

“As these commandments reveal, with more data living on a wider variety of different on-premises and cloud infrastructure than ever before, the need for them to be able to both “see” all this data and be able to manage all of it has never been greater. Which is why this World Backup Day you need to take a look at what you are doing to make sure all your data – especially SaaS and cloud data, which many people falsely assume is fully protected by their service providers -- is backed up, and that you are able to recover it if needed. 

"Backing up growing amounts of data from an ever-increasing number of clouds and other infrastructure might seem complex and intimidating, but today’s data management and protection technologies can make it easier than you think. 

“Dynamic indexing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and other technologies enable comprehensive data visibility and self-driving backup that simplify data protection and enable IT professionals to meet more ambitious backup and recovery Service Level Agreements (SLAs) than ever before. By integrating these technologies into their data protection strategies, then testing these strategies to ensure they will actually meet the SLAs they have set, on next year’s World Backup Day your enterprise will be one of the few enterprises whose data is actually protected as well as it thinks it is.  

From Angela Restani, VP of Marketing at Hedvig:

“World Backup Day is a great reminder for companies large and small to not only make sure to determine which data to back up, but also where to back it up. As we’ve seen this year with a scary amount of natural disasters, major floods, fires, or tornados can physically wipe out a business – taking all that critical data with it. Because of this, building a multi-site or cloud back up architecture can literally determine the difference between the success or failure of your organization. Today’s businesses generate mountains of data at a pace that is only accelerating.

"The digital universe more than doubles every two years, and will balloon to 44 trillion gigabytes in 2020 from 4.4 trillion gigabytes in 2013. That’s an astounding amount of data that must be backed up and protected in case of hardware/software failure, malicious actors, human error, or natural disasters. Companies of all sizes from small businesses to large enterprises need to have a backup strategy that can keep up with this data explosion and sustain any kind of disruption. “

From Nigel Tozer, Solutions Marketing Director, EMEA, Commvault: 

“Are you finding backup painful this World Backup Day? Then chances are you are doing it wrong.  

  • New Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), dynamic indexing, scale-out infrastructure and cloud technologies are increasingly making it possible for IT professionals to take the pain out of backup.  
  • From AI-powered self-driving backup that automates basic data protection care and feeding tasks, to scale-out backup appliances you can just plug-in as your data backup needs expand, to data activation solutions that streamline data privacy and governance compliance while expanding the business value of data, there is no reason for IT professionals to be pulling their hair out over data protection. 
  • However, to actually make use of these technologies, and make backup less painful, they need to invest time and resources in developing a complete, simplified data recovery readiness strategy. 

“Given today’s tight market for data backup and other IT talent having a complete, simplified data recovery readiness strategy is a necessity.  

  • Like the Avengers, the chances of you finding up to half of your team gone (leaving for another, higher paying job, not disappeared by a mad Titan snapping his fingers, thank goodness) is very real.  
  • However, with a complete, simplified recovery readiness strategy in place, you can continue to protect your enterprise’s critical data with a smaller team -- if perhaps not able to seize the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos.” 

From Neil Barton, CTO, WhereScape:

“A well-formulated backup strategy is critical to business survival, and IT teams are under more pressure to ensure protection for the data of organizations. World Backup Day serves as a reminder for enterprises and individuals to continue to remain proactive when it comes to managing their data. Not only should organizations 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.”

From Trevor Daughney, VP, Product Marketing, Exabeam:

"In an age where ransomware poses a very real threat, on World Backup Day many organizations will be considering the most effective ways of keeping their data safe in case of attack. But ransomware attacks can have a much larger impact than temporarily denying access to certain files or systems in exchange for payment—the demanded ransom amounts often pale in comparison to the collateral damage and downtime costs they cause. This includes the destruction of data on backup disks, such as records being kept for compliance, corporate governance and other business reasons.

"Unfortunately, this insidious software is almost always detected after the damage has already occurred, when the hacker demands a ransom. The key to detecting and stopping ransomware is to find attackers in your system before they begin to encrypt files or data.  One way is deploying user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA), which can detect the telltale signs of ransomware as it enters your IT environment.  A behavior-based approach baselines normal user behavior, which provides the context necessary to track any ransomware-triggered deviations, and helps you identify an attack earlier in its kill chain, such as during the infection, staging, or scanning phases—before encryption occurs."

From Eugene Trautwein, Vice President of Customer Support, Commvault:

"Today’s World Backup Day serves as an important reminder that with the risk of ransomware and other cybercrime greater than ever before, having a complete, simplified recovery readiness strategy in plan for such attacks is critical. 

  • To be effective, such plans should ensure that your enterprise has a backup of your backup software’s meta data. For resiliency they should also leverage multi-location and multi cloud backup, with alternative cloud and offline copies of critical data. Finally, they should enable you to track the location of your most up to date backup database, whether it’s on tape or in the cloud, and also support one-click failover and rapid recovery in the event of a disaster.” 

From Alex Fielding, Founder & CEO, Ripcord:

“On World Backup Day, it’s important to be aware of the risks that come with storing vast amounts of sensitive information, such as paper documents and digital records siloed on hard drives and tape drives, in file rooms or at third party facilities. In these places, data and information are not only vulnerable to being misplaced or damaged, but also face a whole host of security issues and risks. Rather than spending valuable time and effort determining which records we can afford to protect, or how to save them after trouble strikes, companies should aim to protect all their data regardless of the source. The most important thing any company can do to secure and backup its records is to digitize them and make them accessible securely in the cloud. Once records are digitized and stored in the cloud, a disaster recovery plan is automatically in place, because records are no longer reliant on the physical storage where they were kept.”

From Jason Magee, CEO, ConnectWise:

“Losing important data can be absolutely devastating to a business’s operations, customers, and even reputation. But it can be hard for internal IT teams to manage the required technologies on their own. Managed data backups are one of the most vital services an MSP can provide its clients, who depend on them to protect their data, ensure disaster recovery, and maintain business continuity. You never know when a natural disaster will strike your customer, or when they will be the target of a cyberattack. World Backup Day serves as a great reminder for MSPs on the importance of helping clients establish a comprehensive and well-formulated backup strategy that includes proactive monitoring, remediation and advanced troubleshooting. And with the ease and availability of cloud backup solutions, there’s no reason MSPs shouldn’t make it a top priority for clients.”

From David Orban, Senior Manager of Solutions Marketing and Business Development, Disaster Recovery and Virtualization, Commvault:

"On this World Backup Day it is hard to not think of the recent day-long outage that hit Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram – and the millions of people directly affected by it.  

  • This outage underscored our growing reliance on data in our lives. In this case, much of the data might be considered as non-essential, but what if it were all wiped-out, and years’ worth of family pictures and videos and communication with friends and family were gone for good?  
  • Every day, we use devices that generate tons of data, from our smart phones and our laptops to our automobiles, entertainment devices and even smart homes. And let’s not forget the data found in our financial and health records.  
  • As technology plays an increasingly direct role in our daily lives, our reliance on it, and the data it generates, has become more critical than ever before. The cloud and other new technologies have given us the means to scale the infrastructure required to store all this data, but the challenge of protecting it, managing it, and using it has become more complicated than ever before. But it’s a challenge to which we must rise, because our reliance on this data grows with each passing day. 

From Alan Conboy, Office of the CTO, Scale Computing:

“Mission-critical data fuels the speed of today’s businesses, which is why it’s essential that backup and disaster recovery plans are made a top priority. World Backup Day is an important reminder of this reality, with many organizations forgetting a few essentials to a solid backup plan. First, performing backups as frequently as possible often falls by the wayside of priorities, but this is a very effective way to prevent data loss. Moreover, the location of your backup must be kept top-of-mind, the closer it is to the primary data, the better. In addition, cyberthreats like ransomware came about after many legacy backup and disaster recovery plans were created, so 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 organizations from being taken off guard by the next disaster.”

From Trevor Bidle, VP of Information Security and Compliance, U.S. Signal:

“Data has become an integral component of our personal and professional lives, and today’s organizations can never know when a disaster may strike or in what form. Cyberattackers have the ability to hack into servers and delete all saved data, but natural disasters such as fires and floods and even human error can have just as catastrophic results. That’s why World Backup Day serves as a reminder for every organization to create or revisit its disaster recovery plan and learn about what other backup options are available. DR plans don’t have to be overly complicated. They just need to exist—and be regularly tested to ensure they work as planned. To help, start with the basics—data replication copies data in real- or near-real time, giving you a more up-to-date version of your data, and typically is performed in the cloud. Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) may be the most comprehensive option by providing a recovery point objective of a few seconds or allowing you to reach back further if needed, also the ability to recover applications instantly and automatically, and a lower price tag by eliminating software licenses and hardware. While these are just a few options available, your organization should always be striving to learn more and do more to protect its irreplaceable data.”

From Ken Hosac, VP of IoT strategy and business development, Cradlepoint:

"When we celebrate World Backup Day in our interconnected age, it is increasingly important that organizations not only backup their data, but that their network has a backup plan as well. It’s no longer a question of 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. New technologies including 4G LTE failover, Gigabit-Class LTE, cloud-based management and orchestration and software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) are important to keep in mind. It is key to look for solutions that prioritize and protect many more applications during primary WAN outages, allowing enterprises to keep their operations running as usual without interruption.”

Eltjo Hofstee, Managing Director, Leaseweb UK:

"World Backup Day is a perfect opportunity for businesses to ask themselves the following questions: How much time am I prepared to have mission-critical functions unavailable? How much data am I prepared to lose? How much money will it cost while these services are not available? If these questions are raising concerns, then you need to address your Backup strategy now. The most valuable assets should be prioritized and organizations need to be demanding about the quality, scalability and reliability of Backup solutions. The process of backing up data is pivotal to a successful disaster recovery plan.”

From Rob Strechay, Senior Vice President, Zerto:

“In 2011, World Backup Day began to remind us of the importance of having a copy of our information. And while the significance of this day has only grown in the years since it was first celebrated, backup technology has barely begun to evolve. From tape, to hard drive and now cloud, which is really tape in many cases, the target and management have changed, yet fundamentally it is still based on periodic snapshots of information.

“But in an ‘always-on’ business landscape, how can an organization feel protected with an antiquated backup strategy? The answer is it can’t. Data is the primary currency and competitive differentiator, it should all be protected by continuous replication which ensures every change, update or added piece of data is always available. This World Backup Day, don’t settle for the status quo of backup, demand more. Demand continuous, with the reassurance that all data is protected up to a moment before anything disrupts it.”

From Rod Harrison, VP of Engineering, StorCentric:

“In order to provide the utmost protection for your data, it is absolutely necessary in today’s corporate world to have the proper backup and data recovery system. Luckily, archive storage solutions are available to help eliminate data loss as well as provide added layers of security from tampering, corruption and ransomware. These archive storage solutions are additionally able to increase the efforts of driving cost and performance benefits by simply allowing for greater long-term retention of data. For a data backup strategy to reach its highest potential, the strategy should include data protection, enhanced security features and peak performance of storage.”

In Summary

On this World Backup Day, let’s remind ourselves to take the steps necessary to protect our own data (phones, laptops, other devices). And let’s also make sure that those who manage data on our behalf (such as social media accounts, financial services institutions and health-care organizations) are doing the same. 

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...