3-2-1: A Simple Rule for Complex Data Protection

When companies lose data, the ripple effect reaches all the way to the bottom line. For a gargantuan company like Amazon, data loss and its associated downtime would cost more than $65 million per minute, Acronis Fellow Joel Berman writes in TechRadar. For small and medium businesses, downtime can be just as painful.

In a study from Acronis and IDC, 80 percent of SMBs estimate that data recovery costs $20,000 per hour. The remaining 20 percent put that figure at more than $100,000 per hour. 

Companies incur additional costs from lost goodwill and legal fines when customer data is compromised. At Maricopa Community College in Arizona, a massive security breach exposed personal information of 2.4 million former students and faculty. The board allocated $17 million to address the fallout, specifically maintaining a call center and retaining a law firm.

3-2-1 Rule 

Data backup is more complex than ever for IT managers today, as companies strive to protect physical, virtual and cloud environments. “These incidents prove that today, more than ever, all companies need a comprehensive data protection plan, so that at least one copy of data will always survive,” Berman says. He recommends that companies follow the 3-2-1 rule: Make three copies of every piece of important data, store that data in two different formats and keep one copy offsite. Here’s a further breakdown.

  • Three copies ensure that no single event will wipe out all the data.
  • Two formats likely includes an internal drive plus external media (disk, tape, network, cloud, etc.)
  • One copy offsite protects data against a physical disasters like theft, fire or flooding.

Data loss is a question of if, not when, Berman says. The faster that companies implement the 3-2-1 rule and establish a plan, the better equipped they’ll be to prevent an incident from escalating to a disaster. 

h/t: TechRadar

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