October 9, 2019

5 Persistent Data Backup Myths in the Cloud Era

Data backup was around long before the cloud became an option, but there remain many persistent myths around backing up mission critical information despite advances in technology.

No matter how you back up your data, whether it’s on-premise, offsite or in the cloud, some things never change and need to be considered regardless of your backup strategy.

Myth #1 – Data backup need only be done once a week: While it’s always a good idea to schedule backups (and regularly verify those backups are being done), in this data-driven business era a weekly backup may not be enough. Mission-critical information changes daily, sometimes hourly, so it you need to schedule backups in line with the frequency of changes. Some backups may be fine on a weekly or even monthly basis, but other information may need to be replicated to a secondary location in real time.

Myth #2 – Cloud backup isn’t secure: In the age of privacy legislation and other compliance pressures, you should be concerned about security. Rest assured, a good cloud backup service provider will have a robust, transparent approach to securing your data, including encryption of your information while it’s in transit and while it’s at rest. Cloud backup is a mature technology that can be trusted. However, you should kick the tires of any service provider and have additional redundancy.

Myth #3 – The cloud means tape backups are obsolete: Putting your backups on a physical media that can be stored offsite remains a good practice, whether you do it yourself or your cloud backup provider does it as part of its offerings. Tape is a cost-effective, reliable and a high capacity medium, and it’s especially secure because it’s offline, which could come in handy if malware or ransomware spreads to a cloud backup because it’s on the same infected network.

Myth #4 – You only need one data backup: Whether it’s through human error, malicious activity or natural disaster, your backups can be corrupted or even destroyed when your primary data is lost, so it makes sense to have additional redundancy. That’s where tape backup is useful, or at the very least, a replication of your cloud backup to another site, something any good service provider will do as a best practice.

Myth #5 – Data backup is the same as disaster recovery: Safeguarding mission-critical information and applications is a key element of any disaster recovery plan, but just because you’ve replicated your data to a secondary location doesn’t mean you’re ready to recover from a disaster. There’s a lot more to getting back into business without your customers knowing you were gone than just simply restoring data and applications.  

Data backup is a lot easier today thanks to the cloud, but it’s not a substitute for best practices or a strong disaster recovery plan. Regardless of how technology evolves, always keep these myths in mind as part of your ongoing data protection efforts.