The annual World Backup Day on March 31st always provides good reason to consider one’s own approach to creating backups, as well detecting any possible weak points. For many people, making a backup is just a tedious routine. However, it can be very reassuring – for both private individuals as well as for companies – to know that a functioning backup exists if an emergency should strike. The results of the global survey conducted by Kroll Ontrack once again demonstrate the importance of this issue.
Despite the high outlay involved, two-thirds of respondents stated that they perform a complete backup. Only a quarter opt for a more economically incremental storing of data. Cloud data storage is also popular. In comparison to last year, the number of those using cloud services to backup data has doubled to over 30 percent. Tape is still a popular backup choice. The number of users who are storing their precious data on tape doubled compared from last year’s results. An overwhelming proportion of users (44 percent) do a daily backup, while more than 18 percent of the survey participants revealed that they secure their data once a week, with 16 percent doing so only once a month.
Nonetheless, around one-third of the 1,000 customers taking part in the survey from Europe, North America, and Australia had reported a data loss during the past year. However, 35 percent of those affected admitted that they did not have a fully updated backup available. The numbers look a little brighter though for the rates of recovery: 67 percent of those who had suffered a data loss were able to almost fully recover their data and 13 percent could recover three-quarters of lost data. Unfortunately, things were not so positive for the 12 percent whose backups were corrupted and whose data was no longer retrievable.
One possible explanation for data being lost despite the existence of backups is the system involved. Data can be lost if not all devices are integrated in the process. In order to ensure that data is being stored in a reliable way, mobile devices such as phones or laptops also need to be integrated into the backup routine.
“Storage media is processing an ever-greater amount of data within systems which are continually becoming smaller and more complex – this means that IT teams not only have to spend a huge amount of time on the actual backup, but on checking that the backup is functioning correctly as well. This effort means that a considerable balancing act is needed on behalf of the IT team,” says Peter Böhret, managing director of Kroll Ontrack.
Backups do not protect against data loss
Despite the increased awareness for the necessity of a complete backup regimen, unforeseen data losses can still occur. Kroll Ontrack recommends the following steps to achieve optimal results when performing a backup:
Choose a suitable backup solution
You should take the time to invest in a suitable backup solution and to create a backup plan for all the selected devices.
Automatic data backup
It’s advisable to perform a backup at least once a day. The loss of sensitive data created on a single day or within a few hours still can cause huge damage.
The use of a software tool that automatically emails a report when a backup has been created successfully is a particularly secure step to take and allows checks to be conducted quickly and simply.
Backups should be checked for completeness and functionality on a regular basis in order to ensure that data can be recovered in an emergency. It should also be tested that data has been captured correctly and that your files are intact.
Don’t forget mobile end devices
Always make sure that any mobile end devices are also integrated into your backup routine so that your precious data isn’t lost when you are on the go. Locally saved data should be regularly included in the backup process.
And if something still ends up going wrong in the event of a data loss or damaged backup, it’s best to immediately get in contact with a data recovery specialist. In the most cases, you only have one chance to retrieve your data.