World Backup Day

♫ Get back, get back.
Get back to where you once belonged…♫

Lyrics and music by Lennon–McCartney, recorded by The Beatles.


Tuesday March 31, 2015 is World Backup Day. I think it is important to focus on this often neglected task as it is often lost in the hustle and bustle of getting the work out. But with the recent attacks of ransomware on all types of businesses, law firms included, having a proper back up that is not infected has assumed increasing, if not vital, importance.

Furthermore, having a proper backup is not just for your business. Consider all your digital photographs and personal would you feel if they were lost?

So the focus of this article is to motivate you to implement backup solutions at your office and at your home.

Why back up?

  • Protection against malware, viruses and trojans including Cryptowall and other ransomware (1 in 10 computers infected with a virus each month, according to ICSA Labs/TruSecure, 2002)
  • Protection against disasters, either man-made (pipes bursting and the like) to natural disasters such as storms, lightening and such.
  • Preservation of precious memories that once gone, are gone.

What are the best practices when it comes to back ups?  Here is a list of some things to consider.

  1. Have a data retention plan
    1. Without a plan, you are left to haphazard backups.  The worst time to realize that you don’t have a current backup is precisely when you need it most.
  2. Plan for increasing amounts of data
    1. Your storage should be scalable since you will be generating increasing amounts of data in the future.
    2. Ensure that your current system can be scaled up to handle greater and greater amounts of data without any disruption in your office.
  3. Have a redundancy plan – backup your backup
    1. What if the same disaster hits your backup as well as your systems?
    2. Consider having both a physical backup in your office and a cloud based backup that is unaffected if your office is hit with a disaster.
  4. Have your data readily available
    1. Cloud backups are wonderful as a ‘last resort’ but they do take time to download.
    2. Consider having a local NAS or other device in the office just in case your servers fry and you need a fast locally accessible copy of your data.
  5. Data security and integrity are priorities
    1. Always consider physical security and data security.
    2. Follow best practices in data security.
  6. Consider backups and archival copies
    1. Backups are snapshots at any point in time
    2. Archives are historical records – unalterable and therefore important if you need to go back and show what happened when.

The important thing to consider is your risk management position. Have you considered the cost of restoring your data and the potential of losing vital data and having to explain that to your clients? You may perceive the incidence of loss to be low, but the cost of recovery can be very high indeed. In fact not having a proper backup may result in a significant disruption of your business or even its failure.

If you suffer such a loss, you certainly want to be able to go back to where you once belonged.

-David J. Bilinsky, Vancouver BC.


  1. And, of course, check you can successfully restore from your back-up before you have to rely on it in an emergency. I have worked with many organisations that have discovered their back-ups are fatally flawed at the point of restoration.

  2. Sometimes you may need to see the history of a file, sometimes go back a week, sometimes an hour, sometimes a year.

    In the tape era, it was standard computer practice to go by the calendar: Backup every night, keep every friday’s backup for a month, keep one friday per month for a year, keep one backup for every year. Offsite, eg, bank safety deposit box.

    Nowadays, you can back up continuously via Apple’s Time Machine or equivalents locally or to the cloud.

    But with cloud backup come security concerns. Who could be listening to the backup or access the cloud? Who has key access? Only you? or perhaps some bribable cloud technician?

    So have a backup AND restore system which suits your needs, gives you recovery no matter what the disaster or infection, and which is maintained and checked regularly.

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