How often should a business back up data

Data is the single most expensive asset in an organisation – far more than the equipment you use or a warehouse full of products. This is predominantly the reason why the thought of losing data is so sobering. With an increasing number of ways an organisation can lose data, it is only right that every organisation keeps its data safe and retrievable. From hardware fails, power outages, human error, increasingly sophisticated cyber threats, natural disasters and even insider threats, the risks are endless.

Why Data Backup Is Important in Business

The average cost of each record lost or stolen in the UK is around £113. Businesses collect an increasing amount of data every day – and its value is ever increasing. As such, the reason why businesses should regularly back up their data is not only to protect their most valuable asset, but also to guarantee its security and privacy as well as your ability to survive a malicious or accidental event. Studies also show that the cost of data loss and breaches is increasing as companies collect more data.

As a small business, you might think that you are immune to such dangers – that it only happens to big corporations. Well, research has identified that theft of intellectual property is the prime motivation for data breaches that result in data loss. This means that all size organisations, including start-ups and SMEs, are susceptible to loss of data either through malicious events or mistakes. To avoid becoming a victim of preventable human error or malicious data breaches, and to maintain continuous access to your data, you need to make data backup a regular part of your IT practices. The question now becomes; how often should you backup your business data?

How Often Should a Company Back-Up Data?

Although a bit of a cliché, the answer is; it depends.

Backing up data as part of industry regulation or organisational insurance policy takes more discretion that just making duplicate copies of everything. Understandably, data backup can be exorbitantly expensive. Therefore, to design an effective and efficient data backup strategy you need to evaluate the following;

  • Who manages the data? Is it your in-house staff or do you work with a vendor?
  • What data do you need to back up? Everything or the most vital?
  • Where do you intend to store the backups? On-premise or off-site?
  • Why are you backing up your data? In-house policy or by obligation?
  • How do you intend to back up the data? Via cloud or traditional backup?

Having a clear understanding and answer to the above issues will make deciding how often you should backup your data a lot easier particularly when you are working with a vendor or you have an obligation to maintain backup data.

That’s not all, there are additional factors you need to consider when deciding how often you should backup your data.

Factors to consider when deciding how often a business should backup its data

  • How important is the data on your systems?
  • How often does the data change?
  • What type of information is contained in the data?
  • What type of equipment do you have for backup?
  • How quickly do you need to recover the data?
  • Who is responsible for your data backup and recovery?
  • Do you have/need off-site backups?
  • Does backup interrupt your business operation?

Although there are many things to consider, experts agree that how often your data changes and how important it is, are the most influential determining factors. With almost every business creating new content and collecting more data sometimes by the minute, organisations need to make sure that this data is safe and secure as soon as possible. While you might assume that you are relatively safe from cybercrime or malicious attacks, hardware failure and software corruption account for more than 75% of all business data losses.

What Should You Do?

It is important to remember that every business has unique circumstances and therefore different requirements. However, in general, the average mid-size company will be okay with a full back up every 24 hours with incremental backups every 6 hours. However, mid-size online retailers might need more frequent incremental backups of around 4 hours as well as making hourly transaction logs – to keep track of new purchases.

If you have significantly high traffic or handle more sensitive data such as large banks or enterprise online retailers, you may adopt a more aggressive approach with a full back up every 24 hours, incremental backups every 3 hours and transaction logs every half hour. However, this requires sizeable storage capabilities and resources not to slow down normal operations.

It is also important to consider whether backups will be done automatically or manually. Automatic backups will save your IT team time and focus their abilities on other tasks particularly in more frequent backups. Additionally, manual backups are prone to human error. This and other reasons makes cloud backup through a provider the best solution for most businesses.

At AdEPT, we provide you with just the data backup solution you need with the ability to scale as your business grows or needs change. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to talk to our team about your needs.

Written by Sami Malik

Marketing Campaigns Manager