3-2-1 Data Backup

Why 3-2-1 data backup is important for your SMB

Data loss can be catastrophic for any business. It can lead to lost profits, a decrease in employee productivity, and damage to your business reputation. Yet reports show that 58% of small businesses are not prepared for data loss.

Keeping your data safe should be a top priority, but can sometimes feel daunting and overwhelming. The good news is preventing data loss can be as easy as following the 3-2-1 data backup:

  • Keep at least 3 copies of your data
  • Keep the backed-up data on 2 different storage types
  • Keep at least 1 copy of the data offsite

Following this rule will ensure that your business is able to safely recover should data loss occur. Understanding the five most common causes of data loss, below, can help explain why following the 3-2-1 data backup rule is so important.

1. Hardware or system malfunctions

Hardware or system malfunction is the most common cause of data loss. Hard drives can fail and power surges or outages can zap devices. Keeping your data on more than one storage type, per the 3-2-1 data backup rule, will ensure your sanity when you see that blue screen of death or have a device that just won’t mount.

External hard drives, USB flash drives, and cloud storage are just a few of the different storage types available.

2. Human error

As the famous quote goes, to err is human.

Accidentally deleting a file, dropping a device, or spilling a cup of coffee on a laptop or mobile device are just a few of the ways that human error can lead to data loss. While water damage can cause instant data loss, sometimes the effect isn’t immediate. Even a little water on a circuit board can cause corrosion which can grow over time leading to mechanical failure.

That’s why the 3-2-1 data backup rule suggests keeping multiple copies of your data—to ensure you’re able to recover from mistakes made by slippery fingers or absent minds. When you have at least three copies of your data saved, it’s easy to recover a backup prior to when the error occurred.

3. Virus and malware attacks

New viruses and malware attacks are being created and released every day. Having good network security in place is essential to protect your business from common cybersecurity threats like viruses, ransomware, and spam.

Having at least one copy of your data stored offsite is key to ensuring your business is quickly able to rebound should any security breaches occur. Hence the “1” in the 3-2-1 data backup rule.

4. Software corruption

We all know the frustration of having a program unexpectedly quit before we’ve hit save. But sometimes software crashes can affect files that have already been saved. The ability to recover a past copy of uncorrupted data can prevent frustration when this occurs.

5. Theft and natural disasters

The loss of equipment due to theft or a natural disaster is devastating. That devastation can be made worse, however, when you lose your data at the same time. Having a plan for dealing with disasters and keeping at least one copy of your data offsite will allow you to quickly get new equipment up and running.

The 3-2-1 data backup rule and your business

Effectively utilizing the 3-2-1 data backup rule may seem complicated, but you don’t have to do it on your own. A managed IT services provider can help you implement all elements of the 3-2-1 data backup rule and give you peace of mind that your data is secure.

If you’d like additional strategic help with protecting your data, contact your managed IT services provider today.