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With rising malware attacks and the escalating cost of a data breach – pegged at an average of $3.92 million – cybersecurity has emerged as a top business priority. However, even with tightened security measures, breaches have increased by 67% over the past 5 years. As a result, the need to have a solid backup strategy in place has become more important than ever. To be truly protected, organizations must form a well-defined plan that can aid in the quick and seamless recovery of lost data and guarantee business continuity when all preventive measures fail.
A comprehensive backup strategy is an essential part of an organization’s cyber safety net. It can be defined as an administrator’s plan to ensure critical organizational data is backed up and available for restore in the case of a data loss event. A backup strategy, along with a disaster recovery plan, constitute the all-encompassing business continuity plan which is the blueprint for an organization to withstand a cyberattack and recover with zero-to-minimal damage to the business, reputation, and data.
Here we’ll detail four steps to develop a dependable backup strategy.
#1 Determine what data has to be backed up
“Everything” would probably be your answer. However, the level of data protection would vary based on how critical it is to restore that particular dataset. Your organization’s Recovery Time Objective (RTO), which is the maximum acceptable length of time required for an organization to recover lost data and get back up and running, would be a reliable benchmark when forming your backup strategy.
Assess and group your applications and data into the following:
- Existentially-critical for the business to survive
- Mission-critical for the organization to operate
- Optimal-for-performance for the organization to thrive
Once all pertinent data is identified, layer the level of protection accordingly.
#2 Determine how often data has to be backed up
The frequency with which you back up your data should be aligned with your organization’s Recovery Point Objective (RPO), which is defined as the maximum allowable period between the time of data loss and the last useful backup of a known good state. Thus, the more often your data is backed up, the more likely you are to comply with your stated RPO. As a good rule of thumb, backups should be performed at least once every 24 hours to meet acceptable standards of most organizations.
#3 Identify and implement a suitable backup and recovery solution
Based on your organization’s requirements, you need to identify a suitable backup solution as part of your backup strategy. Some aspects to consider:
- Types of backup: full backup, differential backups where only additions/changes are copied, and incremental backups where delta changes since the most recent incremental backup are copied.
- Where the data is backed up: Physical/Local backup where the data is backed up on-site using an external hard drive, USB drive or the like. Cloud/Remote backup, where data is backed up off-site in a cloud storage …read more
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