The 31st March every year - World Backup Day… The perfect opportunity to throw the question out there… Is ALL your data backed up - properly?

Remember the days of VHS tapes. You record a program from the TV to watch later, but it misses the end. Your partial recording is pretty useless. Here’s my analogy: Are you only partially backing up your data? Or even worse, did you forget to hit record at all?

Data backups are essential to your business. When things go wrong – and sadly they do, and they will - your backups are the difference between being caught in a safety net or going splat! So, let's break down why backups are crucial, how they can save your business from disaster, and we’ll also throw in some practical tips on keeping your data secure.

Why Backups Are Non-Negotiable

Cyberattacks, accidental deletions, hardware failures, and natural disasters. All of these are real risks that pose real danger. The sort of danger that can obstruct operations, corrode customer confidence, and, in severe cases, break a business permanently.

Here’s a quick stat for you (because what would this blog be without one 😄): The average business takes 287 days to recover fully from a ransomware attack. With proper backups this can be reduced to almost zero. That’s the difference between struggling to recover for over two thirds of a year, or just a weekend, keeping downtime and financial loss to an absolute minimum.

So, the bottom line is: If you value your business, backups are non-negotiable.

The Cloud Misconception

A common misconception is that data stored in cloud services like Microsoft 365 doesn't need to be backed up. Think again! The cloud does offer some protection, but it's not immune. Ransomware attacks, user error, or malicious deletions can still strike the cloud making it just as vital to back it up.

Understanding Backup Strategies

As with most things in life, there are multiple options. So how do you know which one is the right strategy to choose? It basically boils down to understanding your business's specific needs. Common backup strategies include:

  • Full Backups: Copying all data. It's thorough but storage-heavy and slow.
  • Incremental Backups: Only backing up data that's changed since the last backup. It's more efficient but requires a full backup to start.
  • Differential Backups: Similar to incremental but always refers back to the original full backup, growing larger over time.

These backup strategies could be either on-premise or in the cloud (you can read our short guide on the pros and cons of On-Premise Servers vs. Cloud Storage here). There’s another option though – A hybrid strategy. Storing data on-premise, in the cloud and also offline. Having a hybrid strategy enables the ability to recover from a disaster even more quickly due to having more restoration options for restoring the needed data.

Your choice really depends on how critical your data is, how quickly you would need to recover it, and how much data change you experience daily. If you’re still not sure after reading this, please feel free to get in touch. It’s what we do.

Scope Creep

One common mistake that many businesses make with the backup strategy is this… Lots of work goes into crafting the perfect backup regime. Files, Emails, Databases. The backup is regularly monitored and tested. Perfect! Then someone introduces a new application or creates a new file share. Guess what? They forgot to tell the IT guy. It’s not included in the backup, effectively rendering it useless. Regularly review what data you have, where it is stored, and how should it be backed up.

5 Tips to Keep Your Business Data Safe

So, here’s the tips I promised:

  1. Regularly Update Your Backup Strategy: As your business grows, so do your data needs. Regularly review and update your backup strategy to match. Keep an eye on those cloud-apps too!
  2. Test Your Backups: There’s no good finding your backup hasn’t been working at the point you need it, or that your recovery process is broken. Regular testing ensures your recovery will be smooth.
  3. Educate Your Team: Human error is a leading cause of data loss. Training your team on best practices and the importance of data security can reduce risk.
  4. Implement Multi-Layered Security: Backups are not the whole story. Use other security measures like firewalls, antivirus software, and encryption as well.
  5. Partner with Experts: Consider working with an MSP (like us!) to manage your backup and recovery processes. An MSP will regularly make sure you have a working strategy to suit, giving you that all important ability to sleep at night.


Yes, it can all feel daunting, and if this isn’t your jam it’s hard to know what you need. Don’t forget that this is what we do day-in, day-out. So please reach out to us for help. We’re happy to have a chat and provide you with advice. We also have a guide: Backup Your Data – One Day It Could Save Your Business, that you can read at your leisure. It looks at what you should backup, how often you should backup and some help on choosing the right solution and tech.

What we really want everyone to get from this article though, is that the digital world can be fragile, and as we all rely on it, that can make your business fragile too. So, ensure your business is as strong as it can be by having a proper backup strategy in place.
March 25, 2024 — Paul Stanyer