//Blogs - 29 Mar 2019

Don't be an April Fool – back up your files!

This Sunday the 31st of March marks World Backup Day [1].

Why backup?

Backups are crucial for ensuring the integrity of your files in any unexpected event.  If you aren’t already convinced on the utility of backups, or if they aren’t at the top of the priority list, here’s a handy list to change your mind (or to convince the boss it’s important!)

– Disaster recovery: from flood and fire to dead hard drives and the accidental rm -rf
– Forensics and auditing: to find out when something changed or when a machine is compromised
– Ransomware recovery: so we don’t have to negotiate with scammers
– Device theft or loss: hardware is replaceable, the data should be too
– Minimising down time: in the event of data loss, you want the business back up and running as soon as possible

Snapshots can help with some of these things, but snapshots aren’t backups, so having both is important.

Storing your Backups

Securing your backups is important to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of your data.  Keep your backups on servers you trust, and have at least one copy offsite, in the case of a natural disaster.  Duplicity or Duply [2] are powerful tools which can gpg-encrypt your backups to send to an Amazon S3 bucket or elsewhere.  Popular cloud services include Backblaze [3], or Time Machine for Mac [4].  

Testing your Backups

If you already have backups, which fingers crossed we all do, take this event as an opportunity to test them.  Try to include data recovery testing with your regular maintenance or patch cycle – just because they worked once, doesn’t mean they always will.

The worst time to test your backups is when your data is gone, the best time is right now!


[1] http://www.worldbackupday.com/en/
[2] https://duply.net/
[3] https://www.backblaze.com/
[4] https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201250