58% of businesses are not prepared for data loss, according to a survey done by Small Business Trends. The most powerful computers can crash, and the most intelligent people can make errors. No matter how cautious you are, without a data protection strategy, you are putting your business at risk. Loss of data is caused by hardware failure, hardware theft, human error, natural calamities, virus infection, corruption by hackers, and an array of other factors.
Most organizations back up their data on-site, but this is not enough as you never know when disaster may strike. Therefore, it’s imperative that you have a well-thought-out plan to secure your data. Below is an explanation of the tested and proven 3-2-1 data protection strategy.
What Is the 3-2-1 Backup Rule?
This easy-to-remember acronym represents the approach used to ensure your data survives any risky scenario. This golden rule is attributed to Peter Krogh, a commercial photographer, and digital asset management specialist. He is responsible for coining the catchy phrase and mainstreaming the idea.
Specifically, the 3 2 1 backup rule means that you should keep three (3) copies of data, store two (2) of the copies locally but in different media, and keep one (1) offsite. This method is effective for securing data in both physical and virtual environments, whether it’s for corporate or individual use.
Keep 3 Copies of Your Data
The larger the number of copies you have the better. But at least you should have a minimum of three. Three copies mean your primary (original) data and two different copies. Even the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team recommends this data protection option. With just one copy, your data is a sitting duck. An incident like a triggered fire alarm can wet your storage devices and ruin all your data. But the more the copies you have, the lower the risks of losing your valuable data.
Store Two Backup Copies on Different Devices
Your storage devices may be expensive, but your data is invaluable. Regardless of the quality of your devices, they are never fail-proof. Every storage equipment is prone to failure, whether through wear and tear, tampering, incorrect use, or defects.
To avert risks, your methods of storage should not be similar. If you store your primary data on an internal hard disk, the other copies should be secured in a different media such as external hard drives, USB drives, DVDs, the cloud, or internal hard disk drives that are in a different location.
Keep at Least One Copy of the Data Offsite
If you have two copies of data stored within your facility in different storage media, they are still in the line of danger. This way, your data may be susceptible to theft, fire, and calamities such as floods. Storing your offsite data in a location within your region may still be inadequate as natural disasters are known to wreak havoc across large areas.
Therefore, the best option is to store one copy in a remote location like another state or country. Having a secondary data center in a different region is quite expensive to set up and maintain. Luckily, technology advancement has gifted us with the cloud. This is the most effective way to store your data offsite as it is a secure and cost-effective option.
Backing up your data is like investing. Diversifying your storage options protects you from losing your digital assets. All you need to do is to update your backups with the latest data continuously. With the 3-2-1 data protection rule, your data will be secure, you will have minimal downtime, and your business will be in a position to weather any storm it faces.