The 5 Biggest Backup Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

by SEP Blog Team | Backup, Backup Strategy, Disaster Recovery

Miniature clay workmen adding and removing pieces from the back of a computer

It’s true what they say in information technology—often, the most common source of error in a system is the one between the keyboard and the chair. When it comes to ensuring your critical business data stays safe from the biggest backup mistakes, a little foresight on the part of the human element can go a long way. Make sure your organization is avoiding these common mistakes and oversights when it comes to your data backup and disaster recovery plans.

Not Backing Up Regularly

One of the worst offenders and, unfortunately, one of the easiest for most of us to fall prey to, is not setting up an automatic, scheduled backup system for our company data—or even our personal data! Human memory is an imperfect thing, and depending on only our memories to prompt a data backup will probably ensure we only remember to back up our data once we realize our data is missing!

Only Backing Up Data Files

It may not be enough to simply set and forget your data backup. If a major crash or even a ransomware disaster should hit, recovering your files may not be enough—you will need to make sure your operating system is backed up as well. A full-system image backup will not only save your files but also allows you to restore your system if you have to rebuild after an attack.

Not Having a Backup Plan for Your Backups

You’re savvy. You’re prepared. You’ve set automatic backups of your full system and you’re saving them to the cloud with dedicated servers so there’s plenty of space to handle all of your data.

And then those servers all die.

If you rely on a single-point backup system, you are also creating a single point of failure. When designing a backup plan for your important company data, it’s important to remember that simply backing up your data may not be enough. Redundancies should be worked into the system to make sure a failure at any point of the process will still mean your data is safe.

Not Keeping a Backup Catalog

When the worst happens and you need to recover your data after a disaster, do you have a list of what data you’ll need? Backups are not infallible, nor can they think for themselves. They may have only kept the most recent backup when you need a copy of your data from two backups ago!

The best solution is to treat backups as an immediate, short-term recovery plan and then develop an archive or backup catalog that can be used to reference or recover data that’s stored over a longer period of time. Disaster recovery works best when it is planned with an eye towards the future, and the past—not just the present.

And perhaps the most overlooked data backup mistake that you could easily avoid...

Never Testing the Recovery Process

There are plenty of articles online warning you of the importance of a data backup and recovery plan. In this technology-focused age, we are hyper aware of putting systems in place to protect and preserve our important business data.

The fact that we should be testing those systems for flaws on a regular basis? That’s something of which we’re less aware. But testing the system itself for flaws is just as important as making sure the system exists in the first place! After all, you don’t want to find out that your data is backing up incorrectly only at the very moment you need it recovered.

These aren’t all of the potential backup mistakes a company can make when it comes to their backup and disaster recovery processes. As a constantly evolving field, it’s important to make sure at least your IT team is keeping up with the newest information when it comes to backup recovery and information security. However, as long as you make sure you’re not committing these big backup mistakes, you’ll protect your company data from the most common disasters.


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