3-2-1 rules

When it comes to backing up your data, IT and cybersecurity experts alike consistently advise what’s known as the “3-2-1” rules, which are:

  • Keep at least three copies of your data: The emphasis here is on at least. Backups are inherently fallible, and can fall prey to malware, ransomware, power surges, and hardware failure. The only way to make sure your data is truly secured is by having backups of your backups.
  • Store two copies on different media:  Having multiple backups in the same format means that they have the same vulnerabilities: the same malware can hit multiple network-connected drives, a flood or electrical surge or fire can destroy all of your equipment at once, and a loss of Internet access can cut you off from cloud-based backups. Any backup strategy needs to keep worst-case scenarios in mind by using at least two different types of storage.
  • Keep one backup copy offsite: Onsite backups are typically quicker, faster, and simpler to restore, but they shouldn’t be your only failsafe. Make sure you have at least one offsite backup method, be it in the cloud, in a storage space, or another office. While it’s important to have a remote copy of your data, be sure that it’s properly secured; archived data can be a treasure trove if it falls into the wrong hands.