Data storage and protection should be efficient, easily accessible, and resistant to outside threats. Data backup is crucial in the event of a natural disaster or a successful cyberattack on your systems.
There are two types of data backup solutions – cloud backup and local backup. Both of them have their pros and cons, and in many cases, a dual solution is an optimal way to go for businesses.
Let’s take a deeper look.
Cloud Backup Essentials
Cloud backup enables organizations to back up their systems, apps, and data to a remote, cloud-based server.
You can create, modify, and store vital company data outside of your primary servers to guarantee its entirety during an outage of any sort. Businesses can use a private or a public cloud to store their information, depending on their budget and preferences.
If you have the resources, private cloud infrastructure is generally the obvious choice. If you wish to save up on storage costs, a public cloud usually comprises several companies’ data on a provider-managed cloud service.
Such a service may be more tempting for hackers as it potentially holds a larger volume of exploitable data, but the cost for using it is lower.
Local Backup Essentials
Local backup refers to backing up your systems, apps, and data to local devices. Such devices can be tape, disk, flash drive, hard disk, CDs, external hard drives, or other on-site media carriers.
Local backup is helpful for any organization as it enables quick recovery. However, local storage can be compromised during a natural disaster. It is vital to have a second backup on an off-site location to ensure your data is protected.
Cloud Backup – Pros and Cons
The list of cloud backup benefits far outweighs its disadvantages. Let’s explore both, starting with the pros.
- Cost Efficiency
Using cloud backup costs less than maintaining an on-site backup system. Businesses don’t need to rely on additional hardware or software. Instead, they can pay a fixed subscription marked as an operational expense item.
Additionally, the cloud enables more efficient scalability – easy and on-demand.
- Anti-Disaster Data Protection
Local backups are vulnerable in the event of a natural disaster or a designated cyberattack. While your offices and on-premises storage can be compromised in such circumstances, cloud backup isolates your vital data, ensuring your company can recover all of its data and resume normal working conditions.
- Easy Accessibility
With a secured internet connection, you can access cloud-stored data from anywhere, at any time. Yes, cloud recovery takes more time, but it is still fast and easy to download a few miles away from the cloud’s physical server location.
- Strengthened Data Security
Some specialists can argue that public cloud backups are not as secure as local backups. However, SMBs without a cybersecurity expert on staff can benefit from the enhanced cyber protection of a seasoned cloud service provider.
Cloud Backup Cons
- Time-consuming full data recovery
- Contract-related data loss potential
- Cloud provider switching is difficult
Local Backup – Pros and Cons
Even if technology pushes forward, local backup still provides reliable benefits.
- Swift Data Recovery of Large Volumes
Since you don’t need an internet connection to recover data from a local backup, it is much faster to recover extensive volumes of data from local storage.
- Knowing Where Your Data Is
Cloud storage providers can keep your data in different states, sometimes even other countries. With local backups, you know where your data is maintained at all times, relating to direct control over accessing it.
- Anti-Malware Protection
Company-managed local backups have the simplest yet most efficient protection from cyber threats – they are offline so that no hacker can infiltrate them through the internet.
Local Backup Cons
- Vulnerable to local disasters
- Can fall under a system attack
- Scalability is not as easy as on the cloud
Data Backup Best Practices
Due to the threat of ever-evolving online attacks, organizations should take great precautions when storing data.
Here are some of the most sensible data backup best practices, both for small-to-medium businesses and enterprises.
Use Both Local and Remote Storage
Local backups enable quicker recovery but are susceptible to local-based outages. Having both on-site and off-site data backups ensures you have an operating backup at all times.
Encrypt All Backups
Even off-site backups can fall victim to a hacker attack. Keeping all of your data encrypted adds an extra step for infiltrators to pass to access it.
Initiate Frequent Backups
Creating regular, on-schedule backups ensures you have an updated copy of your business-critical data at all times.
Calculate Retention Span
Keeping all backup versions forever isn’t feasible due to limited storage space. It’s best to calculate a retention schedule – make a distinction for hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly backups to optimize your storage load.
Consider Storing Backups on RAID Arrays
Distributing essential data on multiple drives in a RAID array allows for more reliability, better performance, and more extensive data distribution in your backup solutions.