Pagoda Blog

Your World Backup Day Cheat Sheet: 4 Effective Ways to Backup Your Data

March 16, 2023

In 2011, a Youngstown State University student named Ismail Juden Jadun wanted to break through the noise and promote his small business that made websites for local companies.


He tried a lot of different things to attract attention and get customers. Then, he had an idea.

He had been thinking too small all along. It was time to strategize on a global scale. 


What if there was a day to remind people to back up their data every year?


And so, without asking permission of world leaders and policymakers, Ismail declared March 31st of each year to be “World Backup Day.”


On this day, he chose to emphasize proactive data backups.




Because it’s better to back up your data now than to wait until after your data has been encrypted by ransomware, lost, or corrupted. By then, it’s too late.


Way back in 2011, Ismail had no idea that his small marketing stunt would become a day recognized worldwide.


Thousands of people now take the “I will backup” pledge on social media each year. But here’s the question: 


Is your business data backed up regularly, automatically, and duplicated to an offsite data center?


World Backup Day is a great time to review your backup protocols and ensure they align with industry and compliance standards. Let’s look at 4 effective ways to back up your data so that you’re prepared for both natural disasters and cybersecurity threats


1. External hard drive

An external hard drive can work well for smaller volumes of data. For personal use, you may choose to use a smaller, portable hard drive that doesn’t require external power. These are truly portable and are small enough to carry with you in your briefcase or even in your pocket. To help ensure your external hard drive doesn’t fail, it’s best to stick to big brand names. Wired has a comprehensive guide to portable external hard drives that can help you choose a reliable manufacturer and model. 


You can also use a network attached storage (NAS) device. This is a wired device that attaches to your local network. This setup, however, can be risky. If your local network is compromised, your backup may also be compromised. Whether you choose a portable drive or NAS device, you’ll also have the option of an SSD or HDD drive. SSD drives are typically faster but provide less storage space than HDD drives. You can buy a larger, more expensive SSD, however, to offer more storage. 


2. Redundancy

Redundancy refers to storing replicas of a system that are on standby, ready for you to use in the case that your primary systems are compromised. These replicas could be an additional email server or a hard drive that contains a backup of your system at a specific point in time. Redundancy helps ensure you can continue business as usual without significant downtime. This solution only works, however, if your redundant backups are stored remotely. 


3. Hardware appliances

When you reach a high-enough volume of data for an external hard drive, hardware appliances are a good option. Data Science Central provides a helpful definition: A hardware appliance combines server and storage hardware and software into one packaged solution that a customer buys whole from that vendor. It should be isolated from your local network, preferably in an offsite location. It has a large storage capacity and comes with backup software.   


4. Software or cloud backup services

A software or cloud-based backup service backs up your files, folders, and documents to an offsite data repository hosted by a third-party vendor. A software-based backup solution (also referred to as Backup as a Service or BaaS) offers more flexibility than more traditional hardware options. You can select to backup specific data sets and systems to one or several remote cloud-based data storage services. That service will also automatically manage the backup process for you. 


The downside to a BaaS solution is that it is more costly than an onsite backup, but the greater flexibility and security is typically worth the extra investment. For our clients we recommend Cove by N-able. Cove is appliance-free and directly backs up your data to the cloud. They handle all the updates, patching, and maintenance but also provide customers with an easy-to-use management console for easy monitoring of each completed backup. 


Protecting your backups from ransomware

While any backup is better than nothing, offsite backups that are isolated from your computer network offer the highest level of security. An offsite backup, such as a cloud backup service like Cove, helps to protect your backup from ransomware. Effective ransomware attacks both encrypt local data and corrupt the data’s backup, leaving the victim with little choice but to pay the ransom to regain access. The 2022 LastPass data breach, for example, actually targeted the password management service’s cloud-based storage service used to backup users’ vaults. 


Related reading: What We Can Learn from the Kaseya Breach 


Cove is a separate system from the local network that can be accessed via web portal. You can password protect both the web portal with 2FA and each individual server backup. Each server backup should have a different password to ensure optimal security. These steps help to prevent ransomware attackers from also encrypting the backups.  The accounts and login credentials used for the backups are totally separate from any accounts used on the network.


Will your business take the World Backup Day pledge? 

If your business doesn’t yet have a reliable backup system in place, we encourage you to use World Backup Day as motivation to implement one now. Need help choosing and installing the right backup solution for your data? Get in touch with one of our IT experts today for a free consultation


Feature photo by Samsung Memory on Unsplash


Related posts: 

Why Your Organization Needs a Cybersecurity Culture

8 Cybersecurity Myths That Put Small Businesses at Risk

Why You Need an Office 365 Enhanced Backup 


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