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Why Are Backups Important For Businesses and Schools?

Why Are Backups Important For Businesses and Schools?

Data is one of the most valuable assets in modern enterprises and educational institutions. Safeguarding this is not just a priority but a necessity. The recent incident involving UniSuper, a $125 billion Australian pension fund, serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of robust backup and disaster recovery (DR) planning.

The UniSuper Incident: A Wake-Up Call

Earlier this month, Google Cloud revealed a significant mishap: the inadvertent deletion of UniSuper’s account due to a misconfiguration. This error left over 600,000 users without access to their accounts for more than a week. Despite having geographical redundancy, the misconfiguration led to data deletion across all locations. The recovery was only possible through a third-party backup provider, highlighting the critical need for a comprehensive backup strategy.

Crucial Findings from UniSuper's Experience

Cloud Services Are Not Enough

Relying solely on cloud infrastructure does not eliminate the need for backup solutions. Cloud services are an integral part of modern IT, but they must be complemented by independent backup strategies to ensure complete data security.

Geographic Redundancy Isn’t a Silver Bullet

While geographical redundancy is important, it cannot replace the necessity for a diverse backup strategy. Data stored across multiple locations still faces risks if managed under a single system.

Third-Party Backup Is Essential

Public cloud providers often recommend third-party backups to ensure data protection. This extra layer of security can make the difference between data recovery and permanent loss.

The 3-2-1 Backup Strategy

A tried-and-true method for data protection is the 3-2-1 backup strategy.

  • Maintain three copies of your data (the original and two copies).
  • Store these on at least two different media types.
  • Keep one copy in an offsite location.

What Happened with UniSuper?

UniSuper’s backup strategy included:

  • Live data in Google Cloud.
  • A redundant copy also in Google Cloud.
  • A third-party backup that ultimately saved the day.

When UniSuper’s account was deleted, both copies in Google Cloud were also deleted. However, their third-party backup remained intact, enabling them to recover the lost data. This incident underscores the importance of having multiple layers of backup and redundancy.

Restoring complex data sets can be challenging and time-consuming, especially for large institutions. Additional solutions like replicating workloads to a second IaaS provider (such as AWS or Microsoft Azure) can offer added redundancy and availability.

The joint statement from UniSuper CEO, Peter Chun, and Google Cloud CEO, Thomas Kurian can be found here.

Why Backup Matters for Businesses and Schools

Data Security: Protect against cyber threats like ransomware.

Business Continuity: Ensure minimal disruption in case of data loss.

Compliance: Meet regulatory requirements for data protection.

Reputation Management: Avoid the negative fallout from data breaches.

Disaster Recovery Expertise is Crucial

Effective disaster recovery planning requires expert guidance. UniSuper’s experience demonstrates that even large organisations can benefit from additional disaster recovery expertise.

The importance of a robust backup strategy cannot be overstated. Investing in comprehensive backup solutions and expert DR planning can safeguard your organisation’s future. At Step Fwd IT, we specialise in crafting bespoke backup and disaster recovery solutions designed to meet your unique needs. Don’t wait for a crisis to realise the critical nature of a solid backup plan. Ensure your business or school is prepared for any eventuality with our expert support.

Secure Your Data Today!

Ready to enhance your data protection strategy? Contact us now to discuss how we can provide peace of mind and reliable IT solutions tailored to your organisation’s needs. Let’s take the first step towards secure and resilient IT infrastructure together.