On World Backup Day, Learn How to Protect Your Data  

Author LOQR

March 31st is World Backup Day, and the initiative aims to bring awareness to the importance of regular backup. Business continuity is an essential aspect of LOQR’s data security, and backups are a critical aspect of that practice. Data backups ensure we have a complete copy of our systems ready to restore in the case of a potential data loss.  

Statistics show that 21% of people have never made a backup and 29% of data loss cases are caused by accident.  

Considering that “data is the new oil”, it is essential to ensure that all data is safe. So, we talked to our Security team to understand a bit more of the importance of the topic.  

What is backup? 

A backup is a copy of all your important files — for example, your photos, videos, documents, and emails. Instead of storing it all in one place (like your computer or smartphone), you keep a copy of everything somewhere safe.  

Why should we backup?  

There are several scenarios to illustrate that having a backup of your data would be useful:  

  • Your phone gets stolen, and you lose all your pictures and videos. 
  • An external hard drive crashes, deleting your home videos. 
  • You forget your laptop in a cafe, and you’ve lost all your work. 
  • A virus holds your data hostage until you pay to remove the restraints. 
  • You accidentally delete something important. 
  • Sudden system shutdowns.  
  • Hardware failure.  

These are examples of troubles that could be minimized or avoided if you have a backup of your data.  

What to backup? 

It usually depends on the use case and the constraints it imposes (E.g.: backup sizes vs storage medium available space), and it can be quite “fluid”. A backup of a personal computer may not be as comprehensive as a backup of the core business information of a company.  

What are the common types of backup solutions? 

The most common types of backups are cloud backup services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive; using an external hard drive; computer backup (Windows Backup and Restore Apple Time Machine); smartphone backups (Google One, iCloud); NAS backup, and others such as magnetic tapes.  

And the types of backup strategies? 

  • Full backup: captures a copy of an entire data set. Usually takes a long time, depending on the amount of data. 
  • Incremental backup: offers an alternative to full backups by backing up only the data that has changed since the last full backup.  
  • Differential backup: copies data changed since the last full backup.  

Note that all backups must be encrypted. 

How long should we keep backups?  

There is no general rule we can apply that would make sense for everyone. Clearly, the first few days are important. Things like lost files or malware are often discovered quickly, and typically you’ll need to go back only a day or two when that’s the case. 

When should we backup? 

Given the increasing likeliness of disasters, data loss or destruction from cybercrime, and physical device loss and theft, backing up should be part of your regular digital life routine. Doing so will spare you the trouble of scrambling to replace your important files.  

What are the best practices regarding backups?  

  • Store a backup in a secure environment. The main source of the data and the respective backup must never be stored in the same location (E.g.: A notebook and the external hard drive that stores its backups must never travel together in the same bag). 
  • Test your backups. Never assume that a backup is valid and will work without testing it in some capacity. 

To know more about LOQR’s security-focused activities, read this article.