Five common backup mistakes start-ups make

By: Rob Stevenson

Date: 11 June 2018

Five common backup mistakes start-ups makeA robust backup process is a crucial factor in properly managing and securing data. Here are five of the most common backup mistakes that start-ups make.

1. Only doing a manual backup

Sounds obvious, but for so many start-ups, a simple automated backup capability seems to feature dangerously low on the to-do list.

Even the most basic of professional backup software packages will have an automation feature, and you can tailor them easily to meet your specific preferences. This way, you don't have to keep wondering if you - or whoever's responsible for it - have remembered to run a backup.

Automating backups also makes auditing and recovery a lot easier.

2. Relying on one member of staff to run backups

Sure, if you're a small business, you've likely got one key person who deals with 'this side of things'. And they might do it really well… but what happens if they're on holiday when an issue arises, and haven't explained to someone else exactly what to do?

You don't all need to be experts, but there should at the very least be a couple of backup-savvy people in your business.

3. Not taking back-ups off-site

There's not a lot of value in the backups you make to hard drives if they remain on site. Fire, theft and flood - three words that should strike fear into anyone keeping all rotating backup drives on site.

4. Assuming the cloud backup is working

Cloud services such as iCloud or Google Drive are great for making files accessible online if there's a storage hardware problem - but they're not a robust backup strategy on their own. Plus, the 'default' setting for the cloud might only back up specific files or directories.

A cloud backup, or even a manual save to a hard drive at regular intervals, can avoid data loss headaches. And above all, perform regular restores to check the backups are working.

5. Confusing backup with sync

Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive are all examples of a "cloud storage and sync service" but are not true backup solutions. An ill-timed sync can easily mean a lost file disappearing from multiple devices instead of just one, or the previous incarnation of a file being overwritten before you can restore from it.

Backups store a time-stamped 'version' of your data and files if there's any problem with hardware or software. With the services above, you always need to have a secondary cloud backup to protect the data on them.

With GDPR now in effect, transparency and accountability are paramount - as is a fit-for-purpose GDPR compliant backup strategy.

This post was created by Rob Stevenson, founder of BackupVault