Did you know that 31st March 2019 is World Backup Day?
But here at website and CRM developers Six Ticks, every day is World Backup Day!
We backup everything, every night, and our custom systems have custom backup schedules on top of our main backups. We backup our client data when we make changes, such as adding extra features or upgrading the system, and we even back-up our backups!
From our experience of working with hundreds of businesses of all sizes, we know that not all companies are as robust with their data backup systems as us. We frequently hear horror stories of backups that are stored in technician's garages, on USB sticks, and we’ve even heard the dreaded "I'm not sure, I'll have to check".
Data backup is something your business must not ignore.
Without proper data backup processes in place, your business could suffer huge data loss and disruption which could cripple your business.
So, to celebrate the official World Backup Day, Six Ticks expert developers offer our non-comprehensive backup tips and best practices:
1) Backup Frequently
One backup per year just doesn't cut it. Backup your business data at least once per day (more frequently if necessary). If you can, make sure backups run outside of peak periods to reduce any performance impacts.
2) No Excuses
Don't accept no for an answer and don't accept any excuses from your provider. Backups can happen as frequently as you like and can be stored in any number of secure locations. Ask questions and demand the best service.
3) Stay Clear of Backup Plugins
The security of your data should be a primary concern of your business. If you install a plugin built by someone you have no relationship with to preform backups then you could be putting your data (and your customer's personal information) at risk.
Can you be 100% certain that backup plugins cannot access or download the data it is backing up? We won't divulge how, but it is possible to find and download backup files for entire databases just via a Google search for certain Wordpress backup plugins... And yes, we do notify companies of those issues as and when we find them.
4) Automate your Backups
Make sure your backups happen automatically, without anyone needing to remember to run them. This ensures you are less likely to miss a backup.
5) Log Issues and Notify Admins
Issues with backups should be logged and administrators should be notified whenever possible. This ensures any problems are corrected and missed backups can be rerun.
6) Check Your Backups
Assuming your backup process is working, simply because you haven't had any error alerts can be a mistake. What if there is an issue preventing your logging and alerts running? Make sure you manually check your backups regularly.
7) Store Your Backups Securely
Your backups should be encrypted and automatically transferred to an off-site cloud location. Never keep backups in the same place as your server. If there is a fire or flood, you will lose everything.
Backups to portable storage (E.g. pen-drives/USB sticks) should be avoided at all costs. They are just too easy to lose and/or overwrite, and are also more susceptible to viruses.
If you can, make sure your backups are distributed, so they are stored in multiple locations.
8) Abide by Laws and Regulations
Check laws and regulations (such as GDPR), including any industry regulations, to make sure your backups are legal. Backups are data too so storing EU data on a US server, for example, may get you in a lot of trouble.
9) Never Trust Backup Staff
If your staff member or IT provider assures you the backups are in good hands, that's great. But make sure you ask them for details.
10) Don't be Afraid of Multiple Backups
How critical is your data? Don't be afraid to have separate backup processes backing up your data at different times to different locations. Just make sure they don't clash.
Are your backups backed up? What happens if your backup location is compromised?
Overall, recognise how important backups are and treat them with the importance they deserve! Create a plan and stick to it.