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Counting the Reasons for the 3-2-1 Data Backup Rule

Counting the Reasons for the 3-2-1 Data Backup Rule

I hope I don’t have to tell you how important your business’ data is to its continued survival, just as I hope I don’t need to explain why this makes this data a priority to protect, regardless of your business’ size. What I do want to explain is the concept of the 3-2-1 Rule and how it pertains to your data backup, and why we would recommend that one for your business’ purposes.

What Makes a Data Backup Such an Important Asset?

In a word: insurance.

Data is, as we’ve well established, a crucial component to your business’ continued operations and survival. Tons of it is generated, collected, stored, and updated each day to support our daily lives. If a business were to lose the data that it had accumulated, it would suddenly find itself in a very bad spot.

This is what makes the idea of a data backup such a good one—in many cases, it is this backup that keeps a business from going under. Of course, this requires that the data backup be properly maintained as well.

To put themselves in the position that offers the most success, we generally recommend that businesses prepare their data backups in accordance with the 3-2-1 Rule.

What is the 3-2-1 Rule of Data Backup?

Simple: keep at least three copies of your data, in two mediums or formats, at least one copy of which kept off site and separate from the others.

Why multiple copies? Multiple copies ensure that—should one of your backups become corrupted or infected or otherwise infiltrated, you have a spare or two to fall back on. While we say three, three should really be considered the bare minimum.

Why multiple formats or mediums? Well, consider what would happen if you made yourself two lunches in case it rained, but packed both into a paper bag. With both in a paper bag, the backup lunch would end up equally soggy as the original lunch. Keeping your backup in a different format or storage medium helps prevent it from being impacted by the same thing that damages the original.

Why the offsite version? Keeping a backup offsite helps to ensure that—even if a disaster were to completely annihilate your business’ physical location—the data you rely on would still be accessible to you by virtue of the data backup. This gives us something else that is important to consider: the concept of an “air gap” in terms of data security.

What is an “Air Gap?”

Let’s go back to our “backup lunch” example, for a moment. While having an extra lunch was a good idea—our example made it clear why—keeping it so close to the original removed its benefits. However, if we were to take the same concept of having a backup lunch and add in an air gap (keeping an extra lunch in the break room at work, or stashing a few bucks to order something out, perhaps), we removed the threat of a single disaster preventing us from eating.

In terms of the data on your network, an air gap is just that—physical distance and separation helping to isolate resources and protect them from many threats.

415 IT is here to help businesses like yours manage all the complexities of their technology so that you have more room to succeed. Give us a call at (415) 295-4898 today to find out more.

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