Can backup be as easy as 3-2-1? Yes it can.

Your data is threatened on many fronts, so it is critical you implement preventive measures.

It might surprise you to know that the top cause of data loss is not from the malicious activities of cyber criminals, but from natural disasters. From fire and flooding to earthquakes, natural disasters pose an enormous risk to your data and IT infrastructure.

Even so, there are many other threats to your data and business such as security breaches, accidental deletion, and power system failures: outages caused 35% of unexpected downtime with approximately one in three downtime events at businesses worldwide. Furthermore, every day, files are accidentally deleted or compromised by such things as human error, malware and hardware failure. Data loss is inevitable. Work is lost in progress and in worst-case scenarios, hard drives are corrupted.

In the case of natural disasters, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), up to 60% of businesses never reopen their doors after a major disaster. Of the survivors, less than a third only survived another two years before closing their doors. FEMA also showed that data loss and other IT disruptions could be the most destructive result of a natural disaster. And those businesses that “lost their information technology for nine days or more after a disaster” filed for bankruptcy within a year (cited in Rock, 2018).

These are scary statistics, but you can implement preventive measures to help you avoid major data loss. With smarter backup and disaster recovery solutions and a 3-2-1 backup strategy, you will have a basic framework enabling you to—if not prevent—greatly reduce instances of data loss and corrupted data.

Your 3-2-1 backup strategy means you are well prepared in advance, especially when you consider that backups are synonymous with data protection—it should be an integral part of your disaster recovery plan. And the rules to follow are simple:

  • First, keep at least 3 copies of your data. One copy is the original data copy; the other two copies are backups. All copies must contain the same data all the time. Therefore, an effective backup schedule must be implemented with frequency of backups defined. Such a backup system will also contribute to being in compliance with data protection standards and regulations.
  • Secondly, ensure the 2 backup copies are stored on two different storage types. The possibility of losing all your data from the same storage type is more likely than when stored on two different types of storage. For instance, when your data is stored on an internal hard drive, the alternative type of storage should be an external hard drive, optical disks, digital tape, or the cloud. And as an obvious measure, keep one of these backup copies stored onsite, as it is an easy way to have access to your data should you experience any computer problems.
  • Lastly, store at least 1 copy of the data offsite, for obvious reasons. A fire or flood and you would lose all your data; therefore, keep your third copy offsite, such as storing your data in the cloud. If your laptop or desktop’s hard drive crashes, you will be able to get most of your data back from your offsite backup copy. Most importantly, you MUST continuously update the offsite copy. In the event of fires, floods or thefts threatening your two onsite copies, you must have access to up-to-date data offsite.

Following the 3-2-1 backup strategy ensures that no matter what disaster occurs to threaten your business, one copy of your data should survive. With multiple copies in multiple locations, you have no single point of failure. That’s an absolute necessity when you consider the critical importance of data to your business.