Everyone knows that backups are important. Systems can be destroyed by malware, locked off by ransomware, or damaged by inclement weather. And they can fail, as well - no hardware lasts forever. So you are probably backing up your data. You have an automated system in place to do so, and a disaster recovery plan. And that is all excellent. These are all measures you need to be taking. If your hardware fails or ends up compromised, you need to make sure you are still able to access your data. Here is the question, though - are you doing enough? To put it another way, how are you backing up your files? None of this matters if you are storing your backups in the same facility as your data. There are too many limitations, and too much that might go wrong. On-site hardware will not protect you from a natural disaster. It will be of little help in a severe power outage, as well. But perhaps most importantly, on-site backups are a highly-attractive target for criminals. Ransomware is on the rise. Rather than angling to steal data from enterprises, criminals are now looking to hold that data for ransom. The idea is that a business will be likelier to shell out a nice fee if the data they are locked out of is critical enough - and it is an attack that requires minimal effort on the attacker’s part. Factor in that there are now ransomware variants that specifically target backups, and it should be clear why hosting something on-site is a bad idea. “Sometimes, bad things happen to hardware that could clobber your data as well,” writes Biztech Magazine’s James E. Gaskin. “Let's say someone steals your server. Those cretins will likely steal your backup server too. Or say a water pipe breaks and everything gets wet — including your pre-restore file repository. Weather emergencies? Everything suffers.” “Replicating your pre-restore files off-site not only adds a layer of protection, it also satisfies auditing requirements and moves you into the realm of disaster recovery,” he continues. “There are hundreds of providers that offer cloud-based backup services — I mean, pre-restore services — but you can also do it yourself.” By maintaining an off-site backup, you take your data out of your workplace. You keep your systems safe from disaster. You ensure that, even if someone targets you and tries to lock you off from critical documents, you can simply spin up your backups and get things back in working order. You know full well that backups are critical. And while there is certainly something to be said for maintaining an offline, on-site backup, it should not be the only thing you do to protect your data. An off-site solution, like Liquid Web’s Guardian Backups, is critical - because without one, you are functionally playing with fire.
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