Cloud backup is the “go-to” solution for data security in 2016. According to a study, 70% of IT professionals benefit from some form of cloud-based cyber security.
That means they all get to enjoy secure data all year round, right? Well, that would be the case if there weren’t some easily preventable mistakes being made.
Cloud providers such as Applied Innovations can only provide the quality service and technical support. Cloud backup practices are left at the mercy of business managers.
Luckily, we can still offer some valuable advice from time to time. To help you prevent some extremely costly mistakes, read on.
1. Not Backing up ALL Your Data
You might be thinking: “Why would I back up all of the data on my systems? That would require a larger cloud backup plan.”
And you would be right. But far too often do business managers back up only a fraction of critical data – only to later realize that they’re missing valuable pieces of information.
For example, you shouldn’t only think about the info present on your server or computer. If your employees use any kinds of mobile devices, that data must also be backed up.
The most overlooked type of data seems to email. Services such as Microsoft Outlook only save emails on your and your employees’ workstations.
What does that mean? Well, they’re not being archived for later use, of course. If you have any crucial information on those emails, they get lost whenever someone decides to clean up their inbox.
The best solution is to have the emails stored on a server and then backed up to the cloud.
2. Not Getting a Good Retention Policy on Your Cloud Backup
A retention policy represents a company’s agreement to retain data for a certain amount of time. This data is kept because:
- The company using a cloud computing solution needs it for their operations
- To comply with regulations (such as PCI DSS for businesses that accept credit cards, HIPAA for healthcare, and others)
Before choosing a service to store your data, make sure their retention is suitable for your business needs.
That is to ensure you don’t find out down the road that their option is either too little or too much.
For example, we offer a 30 GB daily retention on all of our Windows Server plans. Regardless of which plan you choose, you get a monthly bandwidth of 3 TB for all of your free daily backups.
3. Backing up Frequently, But Not Having a Weekly or Monthly Backup Plan
There are systems nowadays that can back up your data every 15 minutes. Are they any good? After all, you can never be too safe with your corporate information.
The answer is: Not really. Here’s why:
- It uses up too much space (you would need multiple cloud providers for so much storage).
- There’s lowered system performance during the backups.
- Backups take a lot of time. A full system backup every 15 minutes would essentially stop your company from working.
The best way to perform your cloud backup is to do it on a daily basis when your stations are inactive. As we’ve mentioned before, we offer free daily backups with all of our plans.
There is one other aspect to keep in mind, however. You should keep a weekly or monthly backup in case of emergencies.
One such emergency would include finding out one of your important Excel files was overwritten one week ago. And you’ve kept that same version every day until now.
If you have a monthly backup, you can restore that file immediately. If not, part of your work may be gone.
4. Not Closing Any Apps That Might Interfere with the Backup Process
Not every cloud backup service offers the possibility of backing up your files while they are open.
That means that if you leave your “in progress” spreadsheets and documents open overnight, your file may not be present in the backup.
Now, a single document may not be such a problem. But what if you forget an entire database (such as those used in accounting)? Basically, your system has skipped a crucial backup.
So remember to go the extra mile and close such apps.
5. Having an Improper Folder Structure
Cluttered data may not have any impact on your cloud backup process. But it will sure turn into a nightmare when it’s time for a restore.
Why? Keep in mind that you will rarely need to do a full restore of all your data – unless something catastrophic happens that would require this.
No, most of the time you will restore several key files. Thus, you need to be able to find them promptly.
As such, you need to sort out your information in easily manageable clusters. The less complex, the better. You need all employees that have access to the backups to find everything as easy as possible.
It may also be a good idea to set access privileges on a folder-by-folder case to prevent any unwanted information leaks.
And, since we’ve mentioned the restore process, let’s move on to the final segment of this article.
6. Incorrect File Restoration
The advancement of cloud computing has worked highly in your favor. It is now easy for everyone to learn how to back up their vital information.
Unfortunately, tech advancements can’t fix human error. You could say this is our “watch out” warning.
One too many times, a client wished to restore a week-old version of one or multiple folders – only to do a full system restore instead.
The ramifications of that don’t need to be explained, we’re sure. We would like to offer you a couple of tips to manage such situations:
- Restore data to a separate location, then copy it to its original one. That way, you avoid writing over any unwanted documents.
- Interrupt online backup options while restoring. That prevents the software from doing the same backup twice.
Back up all your data, no matter how inconsequential. Do it frequently, but don’t forget to keep an “overall” backup once a week, or once a month.
Make sure your cloud provider offers a good retention policy, suited to your needs. It also helps to keep your files structured and orderly.
Most importantly, don’t forget to close any apps that might interfere with the operation. That, and paying attention to all steps of the restore process will ensure your data is safe and sound.
If you’d like to read more useful information on cloud computing, check out our other blog posts on the subject.
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