As anyone who has lived through a data recovery incident or a cybersecurity breach can attest to, the importance of backups cannot be overstated. Backups protect organizations (and individuals) against unforeseen events such as system crashes, cyberattacks and even natural disasters. Losing important data can not only be frustrating, but it can also have serious consequences, such as lost revenue and damaged reputation.

Even when an organization thinks that they are on top of its backup requirements, it may still be vulnerable. Our team of backup experts has rounded up four common backup mistakes that are regularly overlooked by IT departments.

Backup Saboteur #1: Not Testing Restore Functionality

Simply creating regular backups is not enough to keep data safe. Organizations also need to routinely test the restore function of their backups to guarantee that, in the event of a catastrophic event, their data can be swiftly and accurately recovered. Failing to perform regular restore tests leaves organizations vulnerable to loss or corruption of sensitive data, compromise of critical systems, and unexpected downtime.

At Tech Squared, we are diligent about testing restore functions regularly. In fact, we have a monthly recurring task, which includes turning the backup on in a virtual environment, to make sure that the backup device boots up and runs correctly. A backup is only good if you can use it, and physical hardware failures do occur. You can never be too cautious when it comes to your backups.

Backup Saboteur #2: Not backing up Office 365 to a Cloud Outside of Microsoft

Another common mistake organizations make is not backing up Office 365 content to a cloud outside of Microsoft. This includes content from tools and platforms like OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams. With the high turnover organizations in all industries, but especially those in the medical and professional services fields, have been experiencing, it is not uncommon to have leftover admin credentials compromised … which can easily translate to deleted data.

We know this happens, and recently experienced it first-hand with a new client. Due to compromised admin credentials, we discovered an intruder had been in their Office 365 account for approximately six months and had deleted all of their backups. Ultimately, the client was unable to restore the data and had to resort to manual data rebuilding activities.

Backup Saboteur #3: Using a Windows-based Backup Device Only

While Windows is a reliable operating system, it’s important to note that it’s a common target for cyberattacks. This means that a backup device using Windows could potentially provide easy access for malicious actors to infiltrate a company’s network and access critical data. Furthermore, relying solely on a Windows-based backup device doesn’t offer the level of redundancy and protection needed to safeguard a company’s data. Organizations need to have a comprehensive backup and recovery plan that includes multiple layers of security and backup solutions, such as utilizing cloud-based backup solutions and implementing encryption tools.

Backup Saboteur #4: Relying Solely on Online Backup Mechanisms

Using online-only backup mechanisms may be less expensive but can be a big risk if restoring a large set of data. Microsoft has a backup service that is inexpensive but cannot be restored onto local hardware in the event of a failure and must be restored for use in their cloud, which can be costly.

Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) are two important terms to understand when it comes to backup plans. RTO is how long it takes to restore, while RPO is how much data can be lost before an outage becomes an issue. These two objectives are crucial considerations when designing an effective backup and disaster recovery plan. An organization must determine how much time and data loss their business can tolerate and adjust their backup strategy accordingly.

Your Best Backup Move is to Partner with Tech Squared

By regularly backing up data, and protecting against these common backup mistakes, your organization has the assurance it will easily recover from any eventuality and continue to operate seamlessly. Taking the time to set up and maintain backups is a vital investment in the success and security of any organization or individual.

As Nashville’s experienced IT support services provider, Tech Squared is especially diligent when it comes to its comprehensive backup and data recovery solutions. They know when and why mistakes happen and take the required proactive steps to get ahead of them.

Reach out to learn more about how you can avoid these four costly backup mistakes … among a host of others.