Picture it, panic grips the offices of your company early one morning when employees discover they can’t access any of their computer systems. A notorious ransomware syndicate has swooped in and encrypted the organization’s mission-critical networks, files, and data assets. The same chilling ransom note appears across all compromised systems with instructions to pay a multimillion-dollar bounty in untraceable cryptocurrency.

As the IT team scrambles to find a solution, a horrible realization sets in – the company has never taken the time to implement a comprehensive data backup program. Years and years of invaluable client information, financial records, proprietary research, and operational data are being held hostage with no way to recover any of it on their own. To make the situation worse, the ransomware gang is showing no mercy, giving you just 48 hours to pay up or have their precious data wiped out permanently.

Every day, countless businesses find themselves in this position, realizing only after a crisis has struck that their backup strategies are inadequate.

As Jeremy Wanamaker, CEO of Complete Network “Data backups are the lifeline of business continuity in today’s digital age.”

Use this backup awareness month as the catalyst to implement more stringent backup protocols for your organization and avoid becoming yet another statistic.


A Deep Dive into Backup Awareness Month

While often overlooked, backups stand strong as unsung heroes defending against corporate apocalypse. Whenever crippling disasters, human error, or hostile actors strike the business, backups are there to save the day.

Backup Awareness Month, observed annually in June, is a global initiative to raise awareness about this critical practice.

The significance of this month cannot be overstated in our digital age, where data is nothing short of priceless. Backup awareness month serves as an annual wake-up call for businesses as well as individuals to better protect their data by auditing backup strategies, addressing vulnerabilities, and implementing best practices.

Whether you’re running a small business or a multinational corporation, backups are a crucial defense against data catastrophes. Backup Awareness Month rallies the international business community to take a proactive stance because once data is lost, without proper backups, it’s gone forever.


Understanding Common Causes of Data Losses

The path to robust data resiliency begins with identifying the various risks that could wipe everything out. For this section, we’re shining a light on the most common causes of data loss.

  • Hardware Failure – Physical damage or malfunctions in hard drives, SSDs, servers, or other storage devices can render data inaccessible or corrupt it entirely.
  • Human Error – Accidental deletion, overwrites, mishandling of equipment, or system misconfiguration can easily wipe out critical data.
  • Software Corruption – Buggy applications, operating system crashes, or virus infections can compromise and corrupt data files.
  • Cyber Threats – Sophisticated hacking tools, ransomware, malware, and a host of other cybersecurity threats are designed specifically to encrypt, steal, or destroy data.
  • Natural Disasters – Fires, floods, earthquakes, or other environmental cataclysms can obliterate the networks and systems you depend on to host your data.
  • Power Outages/Surges – Abrupt power disruptions or electrical spikes can lead to data corruption or physical hard drive damage if precautions aren’t taken.
  • Physical Theft – Stolen computers, servers, backup drives, or improper data removal all pose threats to data security.
  • User Accidents – Spills on hardware, dropping devices, or other unintended mishaps can sometimes render valuable data assets irrecoverable.


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What Is a Data Backup and Why Does It Matter?

Backups are copies of your data used to recover said information in the event of loss, damage, or corruption. Backups serve as a critical safety net, allowing organizations to restore and continue business as usual should an unexpected event cause impactful data loss. Typically, backups are stored locally on external drives, network storage, or increasingly via cloud backup solutions.

There are three primary methods to backup data, including:

  • Full Backups: Creating a complete copy of all data at a single point in time.
  • Incremental Backups: Only copying data that has changed since the last backup.
  • Differential Backups: Backing up all data that has changed since the last full backup.


Why Do Data Backups Matter?

There are three primary reasons why it’s critical that businesses have a robust, tested, well-maintained approach to data backups.


1. Business Continuity

Backups ensure operations can be restored rapidly after disruptive events, minimizing costly downtime and ensuring business resilience.


2. Data Integrity

Up-to-date backups allow organizations to recover their data to a known good point if files are corrupted or compromised by malware, software bugs, or accidental changes.


3. Peace of Mind

Knowing full well that your data is quickly recoverable prevents unnecessary stress and heartache over the potential of permanent loss.


Celebrating Backup Awareness Month: How to Participate

The three pillars of celebrating Backup Awareness Month revolve around checklists, promoting awareness, and reevaluating strategies. Read on as we dig deeper into each of these aspects.


Pillar 1) Complete A Backup Checklist

The first pillar of celebrating Backup Awareness Month is to complete a comprehensive backup checklist. A backup checklist provides a structured framework to thoroughly audit and verify the integrity of your organization’s data protection practices. It ensures no critical data sources are overlooked, identifies potential gaps or vulnerabilities, and establishes clear responsibilities and accountability for backup-related tasks. Here’s a basic checklist to get you started:

  • Data Audit – Catalog all data sources, types, and quantities across endpoints and rank data assets based on importance for recovery.
  • Define Backup Types and Storage Plans – Are you planning full vs incremental vs differential backup schedules using local drives, NAS, cloud storage, or secure offsite locations?
  • Implementation and Monitoring – Deploy backup solutions and establish retention, monitoring, reporting, and alerting mechanisms
  • Data Security – Encrypt backups with industry-standard ciphers like AES-256.
  • Testing – Perform test restores from backups at regular intervals.
  • Documentation – Update data/backup maps, recovery procedures, and policies.
  • Training – Cross-train staff on backup systems, security, and recovery processes.
  • Auditing – Periodically review and update the backup strategy as needed.


Pillar 2) Spread Awareness

The next pillar is to spread awareness. Although Backup Awareness Month is growing in popularity, it’s still not as prevalent as other awareness days, given the importance of backups. We recommend that clients use the occasion to share their data backup horror and/or success stories on their company blog. Promote the hashtag #BackupAwarenessMonth on social media too. Some organizations choose to host parties where employees are educated on the “what”, “why”, and “how” of your organization’s backup processes.


Pillar 3) Reevaluate Your Strategy

Responsible organizations don’t simply back up their critical data on March 31st and consider themselves covered for the year. Instead, they use this day as an opportunity to re-evaluate their underlying backup strategies.

Ideally, data should be backed up daily or, at the very minimum, weekly. However, your organization’s particular cadence depends on factors like the volume of data changes, potential downtime costs, compliance requirements, and recovery objectives.


Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Robust Backup Strategy

As we’ve discussed, routine backups are your last line of defense against data disasters. However, implementing an effective backup strategy requires much more than simply copying all your important files haphazardly. A well-designed backup plan follows a methodical approach. Here we’ll walk you through building a comprehensive backup strategy that provides true peace of mind.

Perform a Data Backup Audit

  • Take inventory of all critical data assets across the organization
  • Review your current backup systems, policies, and procedures
  • Identify any gaps or vulnerabilities in your data protection strategy
  • Prioritize mission-critical data that requires more frequent backups

Test Your Backups

  • Ensure all backups are functioning properly by attempting test restores
  • Verify that backed-up data is complete and uncorrupted
  • Check that offline backups can be accessed from the proper locations

Update Backup Plans & Policies

  • Implement the 3-2-1 backup strategy if not already in use
  • Define backup schedules based on data change rates and recovery objectives
  • Document all backup and disaster recovery procedures
  • Review data retention policies for regulatory compliance

Train Employees

  • Provide backup training to staff on protocols and best practices
  • Reinforce the importance of protecting data and avoiding human errors
  • Run breach/data loss simulation exercises to identify weaknesses

Upgrade Backup Systems

  • Invest in enterprise-grade backup solutions with features like deduplication, compression, encryption
  • Utilize a mix of on-prem backup appliances and cloud services
  • Ensure offsite backups are stored in a secure, access-controlled location


Get Complete Data Protection with Complete Network

We understand that safeguarding your organization’s data is paramount to its future. During this backup awareness month, we encourage you to reevaluate your data protection posture. If gaps exist or you lack confidence in your current approach, leverage our knowledge and expertise to implement a modern, auditable backup architecture designed for long-term data resiliency.

The Complete Network team helps businesses in Albany, New York, Charlotte, North Carolina, Savannah, Georgia, and Bluffton, South Carolina help reduce risk and strengthen data security at every level of their organization while keeping cost and complexity under control. Contact our friendly team at 877 877 1840 and [email protected]. We look forward to speaking with you!

How To Supplement Your Internal IT Team.

In an ideal world, technology would be a consistent source of competitive advantage and benefit for small and midsized businesses. The reality is that many fail to realize that confidence.

Without the right resources and support, even a highly skilled technology team can become overwhelmed by the growing list of technology management duties. When important tasks get neglected, it creates ripple effects throughout an organization that damage productivity and efficiency.

The co-managed IT services model solves these problems by providing your existing IT team with all the support and resources they need to successfully plan, manage, and defend your network technology.

This guide covers:

  • • Aligning technology with business goals
  • • Reducing churn while preserving institutional knowledge
  • • Empowering your staff to maximize productivity
  • • Achieving the highest level of cybersecurity defense

Download it for free by filling out the form here.