Backups Not Working? Here are 11 Golden Tips

11 Golden Tips to Improve Your Data Backup

Backups Not Working? Here are 11 Golden Tips

Backup failures are a common problem, even for organizations that use the best software. These failures can lead to data loss, which can be costly and time-consuming to recover.

To learn more about how to prevent backup failures, we interviewed dozens of backup administrators, implementation experts, and industry consultants. We also worked with top-performing companies that have backup success rates of 98% or higher.

This blogpost provides insights into the most common reasons for backup failures, as well as best practices for preventing them. We hope this information helps you achieve and maintain a high backup success rate.

Some key points to start with:

  • Backup failures are a common problem, even for organizations that use the best software.
  • Data loss due to backup failures can be costly and time-consuming to recover.
  • There are a number of factors that can contribute to backup failures, including human error, software bugs, and hardware problems.
  • The best practices that can be followed to prevent backup failures include testing backups regularly, using multiple backup copies, and storing backups offsite.
  • Top-performing companies have backup success rates of 96% or higher.

Data Backups That Are Bound to Fail

These are backups that rely on a single medium, lack off-site storage, and are not regularly tested. They are bound to fail when faced with any kind of cyber threat or disaster.

Common backup mistakes include a lack of a clear plan, not utilizing multiple backup options, neglecting regular testing, failing to train employees on cybersecurity and avoiding automation.

So, understand these potential pitfalls. Implement a comprehensive backup strategy and you’ll easily protect your critical data.

Relying on a Single Backup Medium:

Depending on just one backup medium exposes your data to unnecessary risks. For instance, using only external hard drives or relying solely on cloud storage can lead to data loss in case of physical damage, theft, or data security issues. To mitigate this risk, it’s essential to diversify your backup solutions and store copies of your data on at least two different types of media, such as cloud storage and physical drives.

Not Having an Off-Site Backup:

Storing all backups on-site puts them at risk in the event of a disaster that affects your primary location.

To ensure greater data resilience, follow the 3-2-1 backup rule…

  1. Maintain three copies of data (original and two backups).
  2. Save backups on two different types of media.
  3. Have at least one backup stored off-site, such as in the cloud or a remote data center.

Forgetting to Test Backups Regularly:

Having backups in place is not enough; you must regularly test the backup system to ensure that it can effectively restore lost data.

Regular testing helps verify compliance with regulatory requirements and your recovery objectives. Conduct full tests on a monthly or weekly basis and more frequent smaller-scale tests for critical systems and data.

Common Backup Mistakes

Failure to Have a Clear Plan of Action:

A lack of a clear data backup strategy is a common mistake that can leave your business vulnerable to data loss.

Having a well-defined plan is crucial to ensure you know what data needs to be backed up, how often backups should occur, where backups will be stored, and who will be responsible for the backup process. Without a clear plan, you risk ignoring data safety which is certainly not recommended.

Not Having More than One Option:

Relying solely on one backup method can lead to potential data loss if that particular method fails.

To increase data resilience, you should utilize multiple backup options, such as flash drives, cloud storage, and physical backups.

Implementing a hybrid approach ensures that even if one method fails, other backups can still be used to restore data effectively.

Failure to Test Your Backups:

Neglecting to regularly test backup systems can be a critical oversight. Regular testing helps identify issues with backups and ensures that data can be retrieved when needed.

It is crucial to check backups immediately after system changes, upgrades, or outages, and perform full tests monthly or weekly, depending on the volume of data.

Not Training Your Employees:

Employee training is often overlooked but is essential to prevent data breaches and accidental data loss.

Employees should be educated about cybersecurity threats, such as phishing attempts, and taught how to handle sensitive company information securely.

Proper training empowers employees to avoid actions that could compromise data security.

Avoiding Automation:

Failing to embrace automation can be a mistake, especially for small business owners with limited resources.

Automated backups streamline the backup process, ensuring backups are performed consistently without relying on manual efforts. Automation saves time and minimizes the risk of human error in the backup process, allowing business owners to focus on core business activities.

 

11 Tips to Ensure Secure Backups

 

Tip #1: Use a Reputable Backup Software Solution

When it comes to choosing a backup software solution, reliability and reputation are the most important factors.

Although the provided URL could not be accessed, it is essential to consider well-known backup software solutions from reputable providers.

Some reputable options can be Veeam Backup & Replication, Dell Data Protection Suite, or Cohesity, known as the “Ferrari of Backup Systems,”, etc.

Renowned for its ease of use and scalability, Veeam offers a powerful disaster recovery platform. Similarly, Dell offers efficient backup transformation and performance gains, significantly reducing backup windows and optimizing storage and network bandwidth. Cohesity, on the other hand, has impressed users with its time-saving capabilities, intuitive GUI, and outstanding customer support, making it a top choice for organizations.

 

Tip #2: Create a Backup Plan

To ensure a robust data backup strategy, creating a comprehensive backup plan is essential.

The plan should identify critical data that needs to be backed up, such as databases, files, and configurations. Regular backups are crucial for up-to-date data protection; therefore, it is advisable to schedule backups at appropriate intervals, depending on the data’s volatility and importance.

For instance, critical data may require daily backups, while less critical data may suffice with weekly or monthly backups. The location of backups is equally important; storing backups in a different location from the primary data is crucial for disaster recovery.

By utilizing offsite storage, organizations safeguard backups from unforeseen events like fires, floods, or ransomware attacks. A combination of cloud-based (https://windowsmanagementexperts.com/cloud-infrastructure/ ) and on-premises backups can provide an extra layer of security and flexibility.

Ensuring that the backup plan aligns with the organization’s specific needs and risk profile is key to a successful backup strategy.

 

Tip #3: Test Your Backups Regularly

Once backups are in place, the journey to a secure data protection strategy does not end.

Regularly testing backups is critical to ensure their integrity and reliability. Without proper testing, backups may be incomplete or corrupted, rendering them useless when needed the most.

IT administrators should conduct periodic recovery tests to validate that backups can be successfully restored. Testing can reveal any potential issues with the backup process or data consistency.

Ideally, automated testing processes should be established to reduce the risk of human error and ensure consistent testing practices.

By adopting a proactive approach to testing, organizations can have confidence in the effectiveness of their backup solution and its ability to recover data promptly in case of a disaster or data loss event.

 

Tip #4: Use Multiple Backup Copies

Diversifying backup copies is a best practice to enhance data protection.

Relying solely on a single backup copy can lead to data loss if that copy becomes corrupted or compromised. Organizations should implement multiple backup copies stored in different locations, preferably using a mix of onsite and offsite storage.

On-premises backups provide quick access to data for faster recovery, while offsite backups offer protection against physical disasters or cybersecurity incidents that could affect the primary location. By having redundant copies, IT teams can maintain business continuity and reduce the risk of permanent data loss.

 

Tip #5: Store Your Backups Offsite

Storing backups offsite is crucial to safeguarding data from disasters that might impact the primary location. Natural disasters like fires, floods, or earthquakes, as well as cybersecurity threats like ransomware attacks, can render onsite backups inaccessible or damaged.

Utilizing offsite backup storage, whether in a remote data center or cloud-based repository, provides an additional layer of protection.

Cloud-based backup solutions, in particular, offer the advantage of scalable and flexible storage, making it easier for organizations to adjust their backup capacity according to their needs.

Regularly verifying the integrity of offsite backups and ensuring that they are in compliance with data protection regulations are essential steps to maintain the security of data copies.

 

Tip #6: Encrypt Your Backups

Encryption plays a pivotal role in safeguarding sensitive data during the backup process and while at rest in storage.

By employing encryption protocols, data is transformed into unreadable code, protecting it from unauthorized access. Modern backup software solutions often provide built-in encryption features, allowing administrators to enable encryption for data protection.

That said, some solutions offer the option of encrypting data at the source before it is transmitted to the backup repository. Employing strong encryption algorithms and securely managing encryption keys is critical to ensuring the confidentiality of backup data.

 

Tip #7: Monitor Your Backup System

Monitoring the backup system is vital to identify potential issues or anomalies that may affect the backup process.

Regularly reviewing backup logs, notifications, and system performance metrics allows IT administrators to detect and address any backup failures or errors promptly. Automated monitoring tools can proactively alert administrators to any abnormalities, ensuring swift action.

Continuous monitoring of the backup system enhances its reliability, ensuring that critical data is protected and accessible when needed.

 

Tip #8: Use a Cloud-Based Backup Solution

Cloud-based backup solutions offer numerous advantages for organizations seeking an efficient and scalable data protection strategy. These solutions leverage cloud infrastructure to store backups securely offsite, reducing the reliance on physical hardware and eliminating the need for costly on-premises storage infrastructure.

With cloud-based backup, organizations can easily scale their storage capacity based on their needs, making it a flexible and cost-effective option.

That said, cloud-based backup solutions often come with built-in redundancy and data replication, ensuring high availability and data durability.

The cloud’s distributed nature provides enhanced data resilience, reducing the risk of data loss due to hardware failures or natural disasters. Moreover, cloud-based solutions typically offer user-friendly interfaces, making them easy to set up and manage, even for organizations without extensive IT resources.

 

Tip #9: Consider Using a Hybrid Backup Solution

Hybrid backup solutions combine the benefits of on-premises and cloud-based backup, providing a comprehensive data protection approach.

These solutions offer the flexibility to perform backups both locally and offsite, ensuring quick access to critical data for faster recovery. Organizations can store recent backups on local infrastructure for immediate recovery needs, while older backups or long-term retention data can be securely stored in the cloud. The hybrid approach caters to varying data recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs). Furthermore, hybrid solutions enable seamless data migration between on-premises and cloud storage, facilitating data archiving and disaster recovery scenarios.

By implementing a hybrid backup strategy, organizations can tailor their backup processes to their unique requirements and optimize their data protection efforts.

 

Tip #10: Automate Your Backup Process

Automation is a key component of a reliable and up-to-date backup process. Manually managing backups can be error-prone and time-consuming, increasing the risk of data loss due to oversight or neglect.

By automating the backup process, organizations ensure that backups are performed consistently and according to the defined schedule. Modern backup software solutions offer automation features that enable administrators to set up automated backup jobs, monitor their execution, and receive notifications of backup status.

Automation also extends to backup verification and testing, ensuring the integrity of backup data. Regularly validating backup copies through automated processes allows organizations to proactively address any issues and maintain a reliable backup environment.

 

Tip #11: Educate Your Employees About Data Backup

Human error remains a significant risk factor in data loss incidents. Educating employees about the importance of data backup and their role in the process is crucial to reducing such risks.

Training sessions and awareness programs can help employees understand the value of data and the consequences of data loss. Employees should be made aware of backup policies and procedures, emphasizing the significance of following established protocols for data protection.

That said, training on recognizing and reporting potential security threats, such as phishing emails or suspicious activities, can contribute to preventing data breaches.

Creating a culture of data protection and involving employees in the backup process can significantly enhance the organization’s overall data security posture.

Leveraging Third-Party Backup Services

While some organizations may consider managing their backup infrastructure in-house, there are significant advantages to considering third-party backup services.

Expertise and Technical Support:

Third-party backup service providers bring a wealth of expertise and technical support to the table. With their in-depth knowledge of data protection best practices and industry regulations, they can ensure that data is backed up, encrypted, and securely stored. Moreover, these providers offer round-the-clock support, reducing the burden on internal IT teams and allowing organizations to focus on their core business operations.

Significant Cost Savings:

Building and maintaining an in-house backup infrastructure can be costly, involving significant upfront investments and ongoing operational expenses.

On the flip side, such backup services typically follow a subscription-based model, allowing you to pay only for the services you need.

This scalability ensures that businesses avoid over-provisioning and can adjust their backup needs as needed.

Enhanced Security and Protection:

Third-party backup service providers offer robust security measures, including data encryption, replication, and secure cloud storage capabilities.

This additional layer of state-of-the-art security can be more cost-effective than implementing such measures in-house.

That said, using multiple data centers across various geographical locations enhances data protection against natural disasters and ensures rapid data recovery in emergencies.

Flexibility and Customization:

Managed backup service providers can provide customized services to suit the specific needs and preferences of organizations.

You can choose on-demand or scheduled backups, data deduplication, and retention options, among others.

This flexibility allows for quick adjustments to backup strategies as data storage requirements change.

Reliable Data Protection:

Security is a top priority in data backup, especially in the face of cyber-attacks and data breaches.

Third-party backup service providers take data security seriously and provide encryption and access management capabilities. Cloud-based storage solutions from reputable providers also guarantee high levels of data reliability, further strengthening the overall data protection strategy.

Business Focus and Efficiency:

Outsourcing backup services to a reliable third-party provider allows organizations to concentrate on their core business operations.

Automated backup processes, troubleshooting, and management of backup procedures are handled by the service provider, freeing up valuable time and resources for other critical tasks.

 

Why Windows Management Experts (WME)?

We aim for a 99.99% successful backup.

Achieving a 99.99% success rate for backups is difficult, even for large organizations. This is because there are many factors that can contribute to backup failures, such as power outages, network problems, and human error.

Many companies get by with success rates below 75%. However, it is important to have a consistent and reliable reporting system in place to track your backup success rate. This will help you identify areas where you can improve your backup performance.

WME has backup and storage professionals who have managed to optimize several clients’ backup systems to minimize failures. They are experts in mitigating challenges, such as:

  • Managing large data sets
  • Backing up over slow networks
  • Dealing with legacy systems
  • Ensuring that backups are secure.

By following these tips, you can improve your backup performance and get closer to that 99% success rate.

Wrapping it Up:

While working with the merits of third-party backup services, one can ascertain seamless and impregnable access to their data, even amidst potential problems or cyber hazards. These services ensure not only economic gains but also strengthen security, remarkable flexibility, and adept technical support, making them highly beneficial for your enterprise.

Within the realm of WME’s Backup & Security Services, we extend superlative managed backup solutions that suit the distinctive data preservation needs of businesses. Our all-encompassing services bring data encryption, meticulous disaster recovery blueprints, and seamless cloud integration, leading to a secure data environment ensuring its accessibility during moments of need.

Safeguard your critical data and guarantee the unbroken continuity of your enterprise.

Contact us today by clicking here:

 

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