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Why Data Backups Are Crucial For Your Business

server racks in a data center

Few can deny that the digital world presents endless opportunities. The digitization of business has made customer journeys more meaningful and satisfying, not to mention more efficient for businesses themselves. And yet, dangers abound. Reliance on digital data presents risks that hackers and malicious actors are well aware of and ready to exploit. Human error can also be very damaging, which, unfortunately, can never be ruled out. And finally, even tasks like website redesigns can introduce risks of downtime, which few businesses can afford. These, and more, are reasons why data backups are crucial – as we’ll discuss today.

What are data backups and what types of backups are there?

First and foremost, let us briefly discuss the term itself. Data backups, as the name suggests, are copies of your data that you can resort to at a later point. They constitute an effective checkpoint you can revert to if the need arises. If you’re in any way familiar with computers, you most likely grasp this concept quite well.

That said, multiple types of backups depend on your exact needs. WP Full Care outlines three main backup types, which are as follows.

Full Backups

A full backup is the most “traditional” type of backup – and the name says it all. Full backups make a full copy of the entirety of one’s data for later access. This type is the most thorough and provides excellent data protection, but multiple data copies do take up considerable space.

Incremental Backups

An alternative to full backups, incremental backups only back up data that has changed since the last backup. Instead of copying the entirety of all data available, they only copy data that has been modified in between. This type drains far fewer resources but may complicate data recovery as it produces multiple data sets.

differential backups

And finally, similar to incremental backups come differential backups. This type functions in much the same way as the incremental type, but it only saves changes made since the last full backup. Therefore, where incremental backups would result in multiple data sets which rely on each other, differential ones only rely on the last full backup. This process is a bit slower than incremental backups but takes less space than full backups, allowing quicker data restoration.

Why data backups are crucial for your business

In any case, and no matter which type works best for you, data backups are invaluable. The simple answer as to why would be that “they prevent data losses,” but that doesn’t begin to explain all the value and peace of mind this benefit can offer. So, in no particular order, consider the four main benefits of data backups your business can benefit from.

#1 they protect you against rising cyberattacks

For one, as touched on in the introduction, cybercriminals are always eager to benefit from your losses. Remote work can expose your business to cybercriminals, too – especially since COVID-19 inspired massive changes to the workplace.

Just how notable is this threat, though? As WordFence finds, very. This year’s report saw a massive rise in Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks, despite a relative decrease in the credential stuffing. On the whole, they identified 2364 vulnerabilities in the WordPress ecosystem alone. Combined with traditional phishing, ransomware, and other cyberattacks, the danger is quite real. 

The consequences of a successful attack can be downright catastrophic, too. From losing archived data and being scammed to falling victim to malware and stopping operations, the impact can be dire. And while data backups won’t prevent cyberattacks, they can mitigate their worst effects.

#2 They're a safety measure against natural and weather-related disasters

For that matter, natural and weather-related disasters are another reason why data backups are crucial. If you think this factor is negligible, which would be an understandable position to have, think again; WMO disagrees. They say, “from 1970 to 2019, weather, climate, and water hazards accounted for […] 74% of all reported economic losses.” Both rates are also rising, so this is a crucial factor to keep in mind.

Such disasters can cause immense damage to data storage facilities and in-house data centers. Data losses through such damage can be far more extensive than isolated hardware malfunctions. Data backup and recovery offer an excellent safeguard against such dire circumstances.

#3 they minimize downtimes and safeguard your reputation

Beyond direct damage, there’s an often overlooked aspect of data loss; downtime. Understandably, any kind of serious data loss can cause operational or website downtime until you can repair it. If cybersecurity services or thorough backups can’t prevent downtime, your business can only suffer in turn.

Among many, consider the primary adverse effects of downtime:

·         Operational downtime harms your bottom line—The simplest and most direct type of downtime damage lies in revenue. The more time you can’t operate, the more revenue you’re missing out on – and the more of an edge your competitors get.

·         Website downtime also harms your SEO—Search Engine Optimization (SEO) also relies on security and uptime. Attacks that take your website down can seriously harm your SEO efforts, reducing your ranking on search engines – which is why data backups are crucial. The more damage your SEO sustains, the more new traffic you may lose.

·         Downtime and perceived lack of security damage your reputation—And finally, falling victim to such attacks becomes abundantly visible to your audiences through downtime. Loss of confidence harms your reputation and your bottom line alike, and it’s very hard to recover from.

As such, while data backups won’t prevent downtime, they’re invaluable for minimizing it.

#4 they allow you to archive actionable business data

Finally, while downtime and data losses can indeed seriously harm your business, there’s another overlooked benefit of data backups. That’s, quite simply, data accessibility. Backups are not just there to be used in emergencies; they can also serve other purposes.

The three primary purposes worth noting here are:

·         Archiving—Depending on your business and sector, you may be required to keep archives for years. Even if you’re not, archives can be used to produce actionable historical data for your marketers to use.

·         Auditing—Whether for your own purposes or at the behest of regulators, you may also need to audit your data. This, too, becomes much easier when you have backups available at all times – especially if you keep thorough archives.

·         Annual reporting—And finally, annual reports also hinge on thorough and accurate analytics. Just how useful data backups will be may depend on your size and operations, but the benefit is undeniable.

Once again, how these apply to your business will indeed depend on your business itself. However, any kind of likely benefit warrants a note he

Conclusion

Finally, while downtime and data losses can indeed seriously harm your business, there’s another overlooked benefit of data backups. That’s, quite simply, data accessibility. Backups are not just there to be used in emergencies; they can also serve other purposes.

The three primary purposes worth noting here are:

·         Archiving—Depending on your business and sector, you may be required to keep archives for years. Even if you’re not, archives can be used to produce actionable historical data for your marketers to use.

·         Auditing—Whether for your own purposes or at the behest of regulators, you may also need to audit your data. This, too, becomes much easier when you have backups available at all times – especially if you keep thorough archives.

·         Annual reporting—And finally, annual reports also hinge on thorough and accurate analytics. Just how useful data backups will be may depend on your size and operations, but the benefit is undeniable.

Once again, how these apply to your business will indeed depend on your business itself. However, any kind of likely benefit warrants a note here.

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