Historically, non-digital data loss was limited to catastrophic events: theft, fire, flood or acts of God. But while the digital world has brought immense gains in the quantity and complexity of data that can be stored and speed it can be processed at, it’s also exponentially increased the risk of data loss.
To list just a few ways that digital data can be lost or damaged:
- User error (over 25% of data loss in the UK is the result of user error)
- Outside attacks (hacking, phishing, malware)
- Software or hardware issues.
- Fire, flood and other natural disasters
- Inside attacks (disgruntled employees, corporate espionage)
The 3-2-1 rule of data backup has been defined over many years of failure and learning. It’s a hard-learned rule of thumb that can keep almost every system safe, which is why it’s so strongly advocated. It minimises the possibility of data loss to almost zero.
The effects of data loss are just as frightening as the ways that data loss can happen. Losing unrecoverable data doesn’t just harm your business operations, it can leave you open to scrutiny from tax authorities, and lead to client and supplier embarrassment.
Even if data is recoverable it can be a long process to restore it, which will impact on business operations. During the period that data is unavailable, applications associated with that data, such as relational databases, may also begin to break down which can cause a cascade because downstream applications depend on that inaccessible data.
Damage to reputation, lost sales, employee confidence… data loss impacts every area of business.
3-2-1 in practice
3: Have at least three copies of your data.
The 3 stands for storing your data three times – once on your system and on two backups.
2: Store the copies on two different media.
The 2 recognises that you should keep your backups on two separate media, and there are plenty to choose from: cloud storage, external hard drives, flash drives, Network Attached Storage (NAS), magnetic tape systems, vaults, DVD etc.
1: Keep one backup copy off-site.
1 means that one of these two backups should always be stored away from your company premises, such as using a cloud storage backup.
If we take the risk of losing data from any system is one in a thousand, then the simultaneous failure of that system and the second backup would be one in ten thousand, therefore the failure of a third backup would decrease risk to one in a million.
Using two different media most likely reduces this risk much further so that it’s almost negligible. Storing one set of backups offsite – assuming you can access it rapidly – ensures your business is completely protected from data loss.
DC Vault Cloud Backup and Hosting
The DC Vault is a comprehensive solution to the risks of data loss.
DC Networks can back up full virtual machines, not just data, so that they can be completely restored, if necessary to new replacement hardware. This support extends to every supported machine in an organisation, not just those containing ‘critical’ data, which protects downstream systems and apps.
This means that not only is your data backed up, but it is recoverable much more quickly, meaning less downtime and disruption of business operations.
In addition, with DC Vault we can store full server backups meaning complete recoverability, not just of data, but also of services. Laptop and PC backup is an option too, so no matter how complex, diverse or widespread your business data, we can provide and Irish solution for protecting your business data from the risk of loss.
If your business needs a reliable backup solution, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.