There really is a day to celebrate or commemorate everything. March 31 is World Backup Day. And in today's world, it's never been more important to have a solid backup and recovery strategy.
Just this week, we've had the threat against iCloud accounts by the Turkish Crime Family - winner of worst name ever for a crime gang - and a new social engineering attack, reported at Naked Security that results in files being deleted.
Throw in good old equipment failure - I recently had a drive fail - and software glitches and you suddenly realise your data isn't necessarily as safe as you thought.
I know I'm getting sin a week early - the big da isn't officially till next Friday but I want to do something a little different. Let's get our backups in order today and make next Friday "Test Your Recovery Process Day" - not as catchy but extremely important.
A quick primer on backups
I'm a fan of the 3-2-1-0 backup regimen.
- Three copies of your data (that includes work files, configuration documents, email, etc)
- Two different media (for example cloud, hard drives, tape)
- One offsite copy (cloud, specialist storage facility, friend's house)
- Zero errors (that means testing that the data backed up is not corrupt or missing anything)
All of those numbers should be treated as minimums in my view.
Being prepared for a problem means practicing for a problem. A backup is only as good as your ability to recover data.
I think you need to be prepared to recover
- An entire system
- A folder or collection of folders
- A single file
And you need to practice each of those actions regularly. I'd suggest weekly tests of those scenarios.
That means having backup software and disk cloning software. Some backup applications do both but not all do.
One last thing
I'm a big fan of file sync services like Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive. But they are not a backup solution. While they offer varying degrees of data protection you should not rely on them as a backup. If you delete or edit a file, or get hit with ransomware, it's possible the problem will be replicated to the cloud store.
So, let's get our backups in order now, and treat World Backup Day as Test Your Recovery Process Day.