Efficient Data Backup: The Types of Data Your Business Should Be Backing Up and How Often

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Backing up data is one of the most cost-effective ways to protect your data, primarily because it is much less expensive to restore data from a backup than to recover it from a lost or damaged device. However, it may not be cost-effective to make backups of all your data, nor is it viable to back up all data with the same frequency. You need to identify the data most critical to your operations and ensure that you back them up at an appropriate frequency.

Why is data backup important?

Data backups are important because they provide a solid layer of protection against data loss. By creating data backups, which are copies of your data that are stored in a separate location, you are assured that if your primary data is lost or corrupted, you have a backup copy that you can restore. 

Here are some of the primary causes for data loss to watch out for:

  • Disasters: In the event of a disaster, whether natural or man-made, having a backup as part of your disaster recovery protocols ensures that you can quickly restore your data and minimize downtime.
  • Hardware failure: Even the highest-quality hardware and the latest devices can fail for any number of reasons, such as wear and tear, faulty components, or damage caused by disasters.  
  • Ransomware attack: Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts your data and demands payment in exchange for a decryption key. In case of a ransomware attack, having backups allows you to restore your data without having to pay the ransom. 
  • Human error: Whether due to mistaken deletion, mishandling of hardware, or accidental formatting, human mistakes tend to be among the leading causes for data loss. 

Critical data to back up

Not all data is of equal priority. This is why it’s essential to know which of your data should be backed up most frequently. The most critical data in need of backing up includes:

  • Customer data – names, contact information, purchasing history and information  
  • Tax records – real estate deeds, car ownership records, lease agreements, escrow documents, and all state and federal tax-related documents 
  • Financial records – accounting records, invoices, inventory records, financial statements, and any sales or revenue data 
  • Administrative documents –  administration materials, business plans, executive meeting minutes, legal documents, marketing and sales data, and project reports, as well as files valued by the IRS, such as benefit plans, employment applications and taxes, and payroll records 
  • Personnel information – employment-related data, such as disciplinary actions, pension files, OSHA reports, and commendations  
  • System files –  any software and data used by your employees, as well as proprietary software owned by your business 

In worst-case scenarios, the loss of any of these data can halt your business entirely until the data has been restored. The loss of customer-related data, in particular, can negatively impact your reputation, as well as your capacity to both meet their needs and track purchasing trends. 

Scheduling backups for highly critical vs. less critical data

Highly critical data is any data that pertains to finances, customer information, passwords, proprietary programming, and website coding. Such data is either highly confidential, difficult to replace, or crucial to both short-term and long-term operations, necessitating backups daily or even multiple times a day. 

All other types of data, while still important, are less critical, as they are more easily replaced and lack the long-term relevance of more critical data. You can back up less critical data weekly, or monthly, according to your discretion. For both highly and less critical data, you can use automated backups for a hassle-free and consistent backup process.

Ensure the safety of your valuable data and maintain uninterrupted business operations by identifying critical data, choosing a backup plan, and scheduling backups. Consult Liberty Center One’s specialists regarding disaster recovery and discover effective ways to protect your business’s data. Call us or leave a message.