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5 Reasons why backing up to an external hard drive is a BIG mistake

Reading Time: 2 minutes Backup is something that every business should do. Every business says that they have a backup plan in place but they don’t. I find that they are backing up to external hard drives or even worse they are backing up to a single external hard drive which they claim to be taking off-site daily. There […]
Backing Up To An External Hard Drive Is A Big Mistake
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Backup is something that every business should do. Every business says that they have a backup plan in place but they don’t. I find that they are backing up to external hard drives or even worse they are backing up to a single external hard drive which they claim to be taking off-site daily.

There are a number of reasons why this is a mistake but I’m going to list the top 5 reasons:

  1. The backup process is not automated therefore there is no consistency. The person in charge may forget to run the backup, may forget the hard drive off-site since he took it off-site the day before, or may not be in today to run the backup. And when the designated backup specialist resigns or gets fired so does the backup process.
  2. There is no verification process in place. The only time the backups are verified is when you have data loss and you need to restore your data only to find that the data was not successfully backing up since who knows when.
  3. In most cases, the backup process is overwriting the previous days backup which means that if there is any sort of corruption in the current data, you are overwriting good data with corrupt data. Or if the PC / Server that you are plugged into is infected with a virus chances are that your external hard drive will be also be infected the minute its plugged in and vice versa.
  4. Files can become corrupt by not properly ejecting the hard drive from the operating system.
  5. External hard drives are known to be unreliable. You can lose all your data by simply dropping the drive and in some cases, they simply stop working due to manufacturing defects.

Systems fail, natural disasters happen and people make mistakes.

A solid backup plan is essential to business continuity. Backup is your last line of defense against any successful breach e.g. ransomware. Should ransomware penetrate all your defenses you can ignore the ransom and restore from backups.

How you should backup

Your backup plan should be automated. You should maintain 3 copies of your information at all times i.e. the main copy, a local copy, and an off-site copy in the cloud. Advanced verification process Rapid recovery is an important aspect of the solution.

Backing up to an external hard drive is NOT a business backup strategy!

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