How to Protect Important Business Files Using the 3-2-1 Backup Rule

Every business should be taking steps to ensure its files and data are protected. The fact of the matter is that digital data is more vulnerable than most people assume it to be, and by the time you realize your mistake it could be too late and your files could be lost – permanently.

That is where the 3-2-1 backup rule can be useful, as it will help you to back up your business files in a manner that reduces the risk of them being lost permanently.

“What is the 3-2-1 Backup Rule?”

The 3-2-1 backup rule is a simple yet effective rule that dictates how you should backup your files. It basically requires that you have

  • 3 separate copies of your data in total
  • 2 local copies that are on different storage types
  • 1 offsite copy that is stored someplace else

Essentially the original files will be the first copy, so what that basically means is that you need to back up your business files to some other local storage type, and then back them up to an offsite storage as well.

How to Implement the 3-2-1 Backup Rule

To implement the 3-2-1 backup rule in your business, you should follow a few relatively basic steps:

  1. Decide on the type of storage for the local backup that you’re going to create. It could be a backup to a separate hard drive, or to other media such as Blu-ray discs or USB drives.
  2. Decide on the offsite backup and whether you want to backup to external hard drives, USB drives or Blu-ray discs and store them somewhere offsite, or simply use cloud storage.
  3. Identify the files that need to be backed up and include any data that may be on mobile devices or external storage.
  4. Come up with a structure to organize your backups that categorizes the files so that they are easy to find and restore if need be.
  5. Plan your backups and how they’re going to be performed, as well as the frequency at which you’re going to backup and verify existing backups.

Make no mistake backing up business files can be fairly involved depending on the scale of your business and the amount of data that it deals with. For small businesses however it could be as simple as copying the contents of a single hard drive – or even just a single important folder.

If you want you can back-up non-digital media using the 3-2-1 backup rule as well. However it may be more convenient to digitize it first, and for example you could see how to convert VHS to digital using Movavi Video Editor.

At the end of the day once you’ve implemented a 3-2-1 backup system, your business files should be safe. If anything happens to the original copies, you should be able to immediately restore them from the onsite backup, and if something affects that you can turn to the offsite backup instead.

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