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Our technology blogs feature IT tips and best practices for businesses in Columbia, Baltimore, Bel Air and in and about Maryland since 2002.

Does Your Business Follow the 3-2-1 Backup Rule?

Does Your Business Follow the 3-2-1 Backup Rule?

Regarding business data backups, we’ll commonly reference something called the 3-2-1 Backup Rule. Just in case you’ve missed our explanations of these critical best practices in the past, we felt we should go over what it is and what each of its elements accomplishes.

What is the 3-2-1 Backup Rule?

The 3-2-1 Backup Rule is an approach to managing your business’ backups, an essential element of any business continuity strategy. The 3-2-1 Backup Rule is laid out as follows:

  • You should always maintain at least three copies of your data.
  • This data should be saved in at least two separate places.
  • One of these copies should be saved offsite, ideally in the cloud.

That’s it. That’s the 3-2-1 Backup Rule.

What Makes the 3-2-1 Backup Rule So Important?

The key benefit of the 3-2-1 Backup Rule is that it effectively ensures that your data will remain safe in all but a truly apocalyptic disaster.

Maintaining Multiple Copies Ensures You Have One to Work From

Think about it for a moment. Let’s say you only have one copy of your data, and something happens to it.

What do you do then?

The whole point of having a backup is that you don’t suddenly find yourself without the data your business depends on to function. Not only do you need to keep a backup of your data, you should keep a backup of that backup. Ideally, you’d have as many backups as you can maintain; this redundancy helps ensure your security.

Keeping Your Backups in Separate Places Helps Protect Them

Let me ask you this: would you keep the spare key to your house on the same key ring as your original? Of course not, right? If something happened to your original key, the same thing would happen to your spare.

The same thing would happen if you saved your backup in the same place as you saved your original data. Maintaining an air gap—no connection between your network and where your backup is being stored—is crucial to help protect your backups from suffering the same fate as your original data. Similarly, your backups must be stored in a separate physical location to protect them from whatever disaster damaged the original.

Saving Your Backups Offsite Ensures They’ll Be Safe, Even If the Worst Happens

While we in no way hope that this happens to you, you have to consider what you’ll do if a disaster is bad enough to remove your business location from the face of the earth. If this happened and all your data and backups were saved onsite, your backups were redundant… and not how you want them to be.

We recommend utilizing the cloud to store your backups for various reasons. First, most cloud providers will protect themselves by ensuring that your cloud-based backups are redundant, so if they suffer an issue, they still have a copy, too. Second, the cloud’s remote availability—and the fact that the cloud allows you to use your data directly from the platform—enables you to minimize your downtime.

We Can Help You Maintain a Backup and Overall Disaster Recovery Strategy

Reach out to us to learn more! Call us at (410) 531-6727.

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