The online trading market is estimated to increase at a global annual growth rate of 6.4% per year up until the year 2026. This means that large amounts of important, sensitive data are being transferred on a daily basis from user to server and back again.
If your VPS (virtual private server) were to be the target of a hacker, you could easily lose access to all your data, hindering your ability to continue operations and trading. That’s why you need to have data backup and recovery measures in place to ensure cyber-attacks.
Aside from disasters that could necessitate the use of backups, having a solid backup strategy is also useful for giving people remote access to data while they travel or are working from home.
Let’s look at data backup best practices for a virtual private server (VPS) because ultimately, this will help you be able to recover your data. If you don’t have these in place, you won’t be able to retrieve the data efficiently quickly, or at all. This leads to a loss in profit and time (and we all know time is money).
Frequency of data backup
Advice on how frequently data needs to be backed up has changed over the years. With an increase in ransomware, which is malware where files are encrypted and then payment is demanded to regain access, there has been a need to save data much more frequently. Previously it was recommended that backup should happen once a week only, then it became every 24 hours and now the urgency has increased to multiple times in a single day.
Use the 3-2-1 backup rule
The three (3) in this rule refer to keeping the original data and then having at least two backups of the original. The two (2) refer to the use of two different or dissimilar storage types or devices. So, for example, if one copy is saved on an internal hard drive, the other one needs to be placed in a cloud source. One (1) refers to keeping one copy of the data off-site (externally).
Test your backups
You may be backing up your data regularly but what if the process didn’t work properly and you cannot access or recover the data when needed? To prevent this issue, you need to regularly restore your backups to a test environment where you can then check that all of your data can be retrieved as expected.
Choose the right backup method
There are three (3) main backup methods, namely:
- Full backup: This is the most comprehensive method where all data is sent to another location for storage, regardless of circumstances.
- Incremental backup: All changes to files that were done since the last full backup.
- Differential backup: Backup of all additions and alterations to data since the most recent incremental backup was done.
Each backup method has its own pros and cons, and the one you choose will depend on your organization’s needs and the technology that is accessible.
For example, a full backup requires a high storage space, has a slow backup speed but the fastest restoration speed, and stores lots of duplicates. On the other hand, a differential backup requires the lowest amount of storage space, has a fast backup speed but a slow restoration speed, and saves no duplicates.
Look at data retention
It’s not reasonable to keep every single piece of data indefinitely. First of all, data backup takes up a lot of storage space, and second of all, if you’re going to need to restore data, you only want to go through the process to access the most important files. This is why you need a data retention policy that states what data your organization keeps, how long data is kept, and where it is kept.
Do also keep in mind that things like personal data may potentially be protected by policies like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in the EU which restricts how long and how it can be stored.
Encrypt your data backups
Once your data has been backed up and stored, you still run the risk of that data being accessed by nefarious third parties or even intercepted while the actual backup process is underway. This is why you have to also encrypt your backup data. Encryption is when data is converted from normal text into ciphertext using complex mathematical algorithms and encryption keys.
Backup encryption has several benefits, including preserving data integrity, giving privacy, protecting against hackers, and ensuring only authorized individuals have access to valuable information. It also helps you comply with regulations and policies on information storage.
Keep your backup plan updated
Your backup plan usually includes what data should be backed up, the tools and means for backing up the data, the frequency of data backups, and the procedure to follow should lost data have to be recovered. As your organization or business grows, your backup plan has to also change and evolve to meet your current needs.
Contact Beeks Group at [email protected] to learn about our unique self-service customer portal that allows customers to order, configure, and deploy their own virtual private server.
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