Common Data Backup & Restore Mistakes to Avoid

Common Data Backup & Restore Mistakes to Avoid

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Andrew Abwoga
22 December 2020

Too often backup and restore operations fail for businesses. In a recent blog post, I noted a staggering 60% of data backups and 50% of data restores fail for many businesses. Considering this statistic, the question then would be why do backup and restores fail at this rate? In response to that question, we explore some of the common data backup and restore mistakes to avoid in this blog.

Backup Data and Restore Procedures Are Not Tested

It’s one thing to start backing up your data, whether manual or automated and it’s another thing to ensure that your backups are useful. The integrity of your backup data may be affected by inefficient restore procedures, data transfer, or other processing failures. 

Improper Resource Allocation and Monitoring 

Having visibility of the ongoing schedules is quite important to ensure that your backups are up to date. Also, running backups on compute resources alongside other resource-intensive services may grind your backup schedules to a halt because of resource exhaustion. It’s important to keep doing some capacity monitoring on the server or computer where you are running your backups to ensure your scheduled backups are not affected.

Backing Up Everything

Careful consideration should be given to what exactly it is that you need to backup. Many people have the habit of backing up everything especially in situations where data is disorganized which potentially leads to exhaustion of storage capacity. Planning and organization of your data are important to ensure that you have the appropriate storage capacity and that you are backing up what you really need.

Relying on a Single Backup Storage

In your backup strategy, you should consider the redundancies and the timeliness of access to those backups. Putting your eggs in one basket might get you into a situation where you may completely lose your data. Accidents and disasters are common to all businesses so it’s prudent for you to evaluate the possibility of losing all your backups and tune your backup strategy to serve your needs. 

Selective Restoration of Data Backups

Being unable to selectively restore your backups may prolong your restoration efforts because the potential for backup failure grows proportionally with the amount of data you have to restore in a single instance. In this case, prior planning and organization of your data are essential for you to ensure you have a minimal rate of failures in restoration.

Lack of Proper Security Controls Around your Backups

With no security controls or improper security controls around your backups, you may expose yourself to malware such as ransomware which encrypts your data for collateral. Depending on the kind of ransomware and the threat actors behind it and your engagement with them, there is a chance that you can completely lose your data.

Untimely Backup Schedules and Lack of Automation

You have to consider backing up in the interest of time. As time goes by, an overlap in the update to your current backup with your working data determines the usefulness of your backup when you going to need it. Having a schedule that is reasonable with your needs is quite essential. Automating your backup schedules ensure your backups are up-to-date and useful in the interest of time. 

Final Thoughts

Data backup and restore strategies can seem quite basic and many businesses still don’t keep up with rectifying these common mistakes in their backup and restoration efforts. Having tools like Backup Ninja can go a long way in helping them avoid some of these mistakes.