People delete files by mistake all the time! The most common request we receive for recovering files is due to someone trashing a file. Trashing a file falls into two categories:
- “I thought I moved a file, but instead, I deleted it!”
- “I was working on the file and overwrite some data inside it!”
Both of these are easily recoverable depending on how frequently you wish to backup your data. Keep reading…
What should I backup?
EVERYTHING! If you are worried about losing it, you should back it up. In reality, though, everything doesn’t mean you really need to back up 100% of your files. You probably don’t need to back up your system files, but all of your documents, files stashed in weird locations, should be backed up.
When reviewing what to backup, you may also consider tidying your current filing system. Many users stash files in locations that are not easily backed up (i.e. throwing files in C:\ when they have a network folder that is backed up).
Typically this is a backup schedule that works for most companies:
- Servers – back up at VM/system level (i.e. the whole system).
- Workstations – have a quickly restorable image that can easily be redeployed when needed.
- Laptops – backup user files and train users to save files in the right locations, so backups catch them.
- Databases – special backups for files that need exporting from live systems. Accounting systems fall into this category as they often require a user to save a backup from the system, which is then copied into the backup system or a shared folder for backup.
- Special cases – configuration for routers etc., are saved for disaster recovery (usually hardware failure).
How often should I backup my data?
The answer to how frequently you should back up your data depends on what you need to backup. A daily backup is sufficient in most cases, but you may wish to back up some data more often.
Data you might consider backing up more frequently:
- Your accounting system – probably every couple of hours.
- Your e-commerce website database – probably every 4-6 hours, depending on how busy it is.
- Files that are updated frequently or by different users – think spreadsheets that get used for core business operations.
How far back should I keep my backups?
We keep most client backups for 90 days. This is long enough for a client to remember they lost something but short enough not to worry about storage costs. Most systems today have smart backups that only store differences between each backup. This makes the frequency and length of backup less of an issue than 5, 10, 20 years ago. There is no excuse not to have backups running in ALL organisations.
Risk to your business without a reliable backup
Recovering from a cyberattack should be a good enough reason, but here are a few more:
- Disgruntled employees (or corporate sabotage).
- Users make mistakes all the time; having backups available means, you can restore files, FAST!
- Stolen hardware.
- Natural disaster.
These should all be good reasons to help you decide that have a reliable backup solution is a must-have, not a nice-to-have.