Data backup is a crucial step in IT security that can help bail an organization out from any emergencies. Given how valuable data is to hackers and other cybercriminals, safeguarding them from external attack – or in this case, internal failure – is an essential part of data security. While the value of data backup can’t be disputed, there can be some confusion about how often a business needs to do it.
So how often should you perform a data backup? In general terms, as often as you can. Depending on your industry, the type of data that you have, and the speed of how data comes across to your organization, a frequent schedule of data backup is the best possible process that an organization can have. And while data backups must be made as frequently as possible, it’s also just as crucial that these goals be met realistically.
What “Frequent” Data Backups Mean
While some organizations may still use paper documents as their primary repository of data, the majority of data has now moved online: digital copies of paper documents, digital-first records of customers, and even the very code that helps websites and businesses run. Data backups ensure that all of these can be retrieved in the event of a cyberattack or a catastrophic system crash, and acts as a safeguard for a business and its clients.
Frequent data backups vary between businesses, but perhaps the best definition of this term is “a schedule that can frequently back up data when changes are made, but without straining the resources or the system of the business.” Security goalposts aside, being realistic about your organization’s ability to keep a consistent data backup schedule is the key to getting started to making a consistent backup schedule.
What Are The Factors That Affect The Frequency Of Data Backups?
In an ideal setup, data backups should be performed every few minutes, especially when changes are made to entries in that data. But if this can’t be reached, an organization needs to determine the frequency of their data backups based on the kind of data that they have.
Here are the things you should consider when figuring out how often should you be backing up your data:
While cybercriminals and thieves have a broad range of potential targets to disrupt and steal data from, some sectors are more vulnerable – or more appealing targets – than others. Financial services, SAAS companies, and other sectors that have large repositories of data are frequent targets of these criminals, so the demand for data backup with these organizations is more crucial.
What Type Of Data Do You Have
Another consideration is the kind of data you have. For example, any financial data, personal data of clients, sensitive data like medical information require consistent data backups to keep both secure and private. Given that these types of data also exist outside the storage system that you use for your business (or physical copies exist elsewhere) data backups can also function as a record-keeping depository.
How Frequently This Data Is Changed
Some types of data can change rapidly compared to others, and keeping data backups of frequently-changing data is critical for a business that relies on real-time access of their data for their operations. The faster the data changes, the more crucial it is to keep track and copies of the different changes for cross-referencing later in case previous versions need to be consulted for any changes.
If you’re keeping your data on an on-site server, then the physical makeup of your servers can also determine how often your system can back up data. A general rule of thumb is that older systems and larger amounts of data mean there’s more load for your data backup schedule – so make sure that your hardware can physically handle the strain for your backup schedule. Otherwise, it may contribute to faster wear and tear – and in some cases, system failure.
If your data is stored off-site or with a third-party provider, you need to check the conditions and configurations of their data storage system to ensure that they’re properly accommodating your concerns and needs about data backups. By default, your initial agreement with them should already include a clearly defined clause about the status of their data backup schedule. But if you feel like you need an extension of terms or a change in their schedule, don’t be afraid to negotiate or find another provider.
Keep in mind that these factors are a general checklist that you can consult with your data backup needs – each business is different compared to its size and speed of growth. If you’re unsure, hiring a professional to manage your data for you is one of the best ways that you can protect your data without putting too much strain on your business to do it yourself.
Protect Your Institution’s Financial Data With Abacus Managed IT Services
Data determines everything crucial about businesses today. For banks and other financial institutions, protecting this data is more than a responsibility to your clients: it determines how well you’re able to keep up with the competitive nature of the financial world. Performing backups are a regular yet crucial part of your operations that should always be on point at all times, no matter how insignificant the data.
Abacus Managed IT Services has extensive experience in the security, maintenance, and improvement of IT systems for financial institutions. As a partner of many financial businesses, we take great pride in our comprehensive suite of security services that can help improve your operations and make your data more secure. Contact us today for more information about our services.