Is Your Data Safe: Essential Practices for Data Backup Services
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Is Your Data Safe: Essential Practices for Data Backup Services

Understanding Essential Practices for Data Backup Services

Having a solid backup strategy is crucial for businesses creating a proactive plan for protecting and retrieving data. Our goal is to help company leaders manage data protection and backup. Simply put, here at 4BIS Cyber Security, our goal is to protect your company’s data and to keep your staff working.

Managed Service Providers (MSPs or IT companies) provide regular backup services, protect company data and make data accessible to employees. We aim to educate and aid clients in proactively creating lasting solutions for company data backup.

The Importance of Data Backup

Data backup is more than a precautionary measure; it’s a proactive approach to preserving the business continuity plan of a company. A robust backup strategy aids businesses in preventing downtime, preserving their credibility, keeping customer confidence, and averting monetary damages.

Data loss is never planned and can occur during the most inconvenient time. What would be the worst time for you to possibly lose data? Imagine you’re an accountant and losing data during tax season. Losing data when you are up against a deadline, in front of a new client, etc.

Establishing a strong data backup plan protects company data from unforeseen incidents. It provides businesses with security, enabling data recovery to swiftly restore regular operations during a crisis. Companies can reduce risks of data loss and protect their data and resume operations by ensuring their data is being backed up.

Common Data Loss Scenarios

Companies lose data because of hardware failure, malware attacks, human error (i.e., deleting files accidentally), and natural disasters. Email hacks, malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks are serious cyber threats. These threats can harm a company’s data and are usually the worst-case scenario.

Data loss consequences can be devastating, leading to monetary loss, privacy breaches, and business disruption. A reliable backup system managed by qualified professionals is essential for ensuring the longevity of a company. Data backup is a fundamental aspect of data protection.

Hackers may demand money for data. However, paying them does not guarantee they will return the data instead of selling or sharing it. Cyber criminals after all, care about what serves their own interests. Floods, fires, or earthquakes can harm company equipment and lead to data loss if not backed up correctly.

By identifying vulnerabilities within a company’s infrastructure, companies can implement backup solutions to mitigate the impact of unforeseen events and keep businesses working.

Types of Data Backup Solutions

At 4BIS Cyber Security we have a dedicated staff person whose sole responsibility is to ensure backup data copies are made, regardless of the type of backup solution your company chooses. Our staff person ensures the backup is usable. Meaning that a copy of data can technically occur but be a corrupted file. Best practices include the MSP hiring a staff person to manually ensure data is usable, and the backup file isn’t corrupted or damaged.

Most of our clients have an hourly data backup that occurs daily. If a file is deleted or if a server crashes, data can be restored from a backup made earlier that same day. For example, if a power outage occurs at 9:45am, the last backup that occurred for the company was at 9am. Anything after 9am will be lost, but data saved up to 9am from that morning can be restored.

After a week all the hours from the week are “collapsed” into one backup file. Meaning the restore will not be as specific to one day or hour. After a month, all the week’s backup files are “collapsed” into a month.

Backup Options

Multiple methods exist for backing up data and each possibility has pros and cons. A discussion with your Managed Service Provider (MSP) is the first step to understanding what will work best for your company.

Cloud-based Backup

Cloud-based backup solutions have gained popularity because of their accessibility and scalability these solutions provide. Leveraging cloud storage services, companies can securely store data offsite, reducing the risk of data loss from localized incidents. Additionally, cloud backups offer integration with various platforms enabling data syncing and recovery. Learn more about cloud storage by reading our blog content, What Is The Cloud? Demystifying Cloud Computing.

Local Backups

Data backups stored at a company office are referred to as on-premises backups. On-premises backups can be secure, and easy to recover as they are onsite. These backups generally have a faster restore time RTO due to not faster data transfer. Backups can be moved offsite to be archived as needed. The downside of an on-premises backup is potentially losing critical data due to natural disasters such as floods, fire, human error, etc.

Offsite Storage Options for Data Backup

Offsite storage options offer an added layer of safeguarding against localized incidents and physical damage. Offsite storage of the backups provide an extra layer of security should a company’s office location experience a natural disaster. By having multiple backup storage locations, companies enhance the recoverability of the company’s critical information.

Hybrid Backups

Hybrid backup solutions combine both on-premises and cloud-based backups, offering a balanced approach to data protection. This provide flexibility and redundancy, allowing companies to tailor backup strategies to suit their specific needs.

Immutable Backups

What are immutable backups? Immutability simply means that it cannot change. You want to have immutable backups to protect against hackers. If a hacker gains access to your backup infrastructure can they delete data? With immutable backups this is not possible. Many backup vendors offer immutable backups that stay on their networks for 30 days. Even if you cancel services they cannot delete the data off their systems for a month.

Best Practices for Data Backup

Best practices include regularly reviewing and updating company backup policies and processes, which is a fundamental aspect of keeping an effective data protection strategy. MSPs who are up to date about advancements in data security measures means they can better adapt backup strategies. Cyber criminals try to corrupt or delete backups. Your MSP needs to be aware of the tactics they are using in order to secure your data integrity. The results are company owners (and stakeholders) having a sense of calm about data protection.

Steps to Back Up Data

Effective backup solutions occur by working with your MSP, identifying vulnerabilities and solutions. It’s imperative to set up the company data backup system methodically and efficiently. MSPs regularly define backup schedules, select data to back up, and specify destinations for company backups for their clients.

Provided below is a general outline of steps for ensuring the security and validity of data backups.

1.    Choosing the right backup method for company needs

Selecting the most suitable backup method for company specific requirements is a critical decision that influences the security and accessibility of company data. MSPs factor the size of company data, frequency of changes, and the recovery time objectives (RTO) when managing backups. Depending on the company, companies may opt for full backups, incremental backups, or differential backups to accommodate company needs.

MSPs and clients must consider the flexibility of various backup methods with the growth of the company and its evolving business demands in mind. Scalable backup solutions empower companies to expand backup infrastructure seamlessly as company data volume increases, ensuring backup systems are still efficient and reliable over time. Also, the ability to customize backup schedules and retention policies lets companies tailor backup strategies to meet operational needs.

2.    Setting up a data backup system

Integration with the company’s existing IT infrastructure and applications is crucial to ensure seamless data backup operations. Compatibility with company operating systems, databases, and file systems is essential for achieving data integrity. Furthermore, implementing backup automation features streamlines the backup process, reducing the reliance on manual intervention and minimizing the potential for errors.

By incorporating redundant backup copies, MSPs mitigate the risk of data loss due to localized incidents or hardware failures. Setting up a robust data backup system lays the foundation for safeguarding company data and supporting operational continuity.

3.       Automating data backup processes

Encompassing routine incremental and full backups ensures company data is consistently up to date. Adhering to a structured backup regimen, companies minimize the risk of data loss and maximize the efficiency of a company’s recovery process.

Automated backup solutions offer proactive approaches to data backups, minimizes the risk of data loss and maximizes the recoverability of critical information. Automation simplifies the management of backup tasks. Establishing automated backup systems ensures company data is protected. By automating backup schedules, file selection, and data transfer, companies can streamline backup processes and minimize potential human error.

Integrating automation into the data backup process enhances the efficiency, reliability, and scalability of backup strategies. Using automated backup solutions, MSPs can ensure there is a data protection plan set up and can ensure company data is secure and accessible to the client.

4.      Testing and verifying backups

Testing and verifying backups are vital. If you don’t test your backup, you don’t have a backup. At 4BIS Cyber Security, we have a dedicated staff person who ensures data is routinely backed up and it is usable. Meaning a backup copy can be made, but the data can be corrupt. Our staff person manually ensures data backed up isn’t damaged.

Setting up a comprehensive backup testing regimen that encompasses various recovery scenarios, including full system restores, individual file recoveries, and disaster recovery simulations. By MSPs evaluating the accuracy and completeness of backed-up data, companies can fine-tune backup processes and address any vulnerabilities that allow data to be recovered and used.

Regularly conducting backup tests and verification procedures allows companies to confirm the integrity of backed-up data and confirms the recoverability of critical information. By simulating data recovery scenarios and assessing the performance of backup processes, MSPs address any potential issues proactively.

Ensuring the Safety of Company Data

MSPs safeguard company data by choosing the right backup method, setting up a robust backup system, and automating backup processes. Testing and verifying backups, as well as having offsite storage options, further enhances the reliability and recoverability of critical information.

Protecting company data through secure and reliable backups is an investment in the business continuity plan of a company. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Take proactive steps to protect company data, by implementing a solid backup strategy to safeguard data against unforeseen events.

Peace of mind about company data is achieved when there are qualified, experienced MSP managing data backups on your behalf. At 4BIS Cyber Security, we have thirty years of experience and have helped many companies recover lost data. We are experts at leading complicated processes such as data backup.

We love knowing we are keeping our client data secure and their employees working! Feel free to contact us to discuss what data strategies would work best for your company.


  • Jon Fausz

    Jon Fausz is a best selling author, Cybersecurity, and IT professional with over 16 years of experience. He is guided by a passion to continue learning and to pass that knowledge on to others. Jon is the primary cybersecurity trainer at 4BIS leading hundreds of training sessions and presentations. As the head of the cyber risk assessment department Jon has overseen the auditing of countless company networks. Jon has extensive experience in IT support and company management. This gives him a unique perspective to advise companies on their cybersecurity posture. He knows that cybersecurity is a balance between security, ease of use, and budget.

    Visit Jon's Amazon Author Page!

  • Christina Teed

    Christina is a highly experienced professional with over fifteen years of work in various fields. She holds a Bachelor's degree in English Education and Theatre, which has provided her with a strong foundation in communication. Throughout her career, Christina has developed a diverse range of skills including program management, public speaking, leadership development, interpersonal skills, education, operations, project management, and leadership. At 4BIS Cybersecurity, Christina has held several roles including working as a tech on the helpdesk, various administrative responsibilities, digital creator, and content creation. With her wealth of skills and experience, she brings a unique blend of creativity, communication, and leadership to her work, making her a reliable and effective professional. However, Christina's favorite role in life is that of a dedicated wife and mom.

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