In 2017, the world was shocked when the WannaCry and Petya ransomware attacks crippled businesses and organizations. Some of them found that they had not taken any, or at least not enough, precautions to be able to recover quickly from the attack. A notable example was Maersk, the global shipping giant, which could not ship containers for days due to the attack.
Computer networks are not the only ones at risk; these attacks can also happen to your website. But it’s not only attacks that are a threat. It's also possible that the harddisks in the server of your website are running on break or that a power outage causes severe data loss.
And who hasn’t heard of people who have accidentally deleted half of their website content without any means of restoring it? Unfortunately, these things happen more often than you might think. An article written by Dell EMC found that 1 in 5 cases of data loss is caused by accidental user errors.
Just think about how much impact there would be if your website is down for a day. It could cost you sales, result in unhappy customers and visitors, and possibly a pile of emails and calls that you need to answer. If your business or organization relies on your website, you need to take preventive measures. The London Chamber of Commerce found that 90% of the businesses that suffered major data loss had to close down within 2 years. In case of such events, backups of your website are a cheap insurance policy.
When creating a plan for your website backups, you need to first decide what data you need to backup. For a website, this generally means you need the files that run your website, the database, and any uploaded images, documents, and videos.
Secondly, you should consider where to keep your backups. It is best practice to create at least more than one copy and to store them at different locations. This ensures that if the server breaks with your website and the backup on it, then you still have access to your data.
In order to determine how often you need to create backups, you need to know two things. How often is the website updated and what is the risk of losing some of the changes since the last backup? If you have a website that only changes every other week, creating daily backups is probably unnecessary. However, if you update your website regularly with important changes it could mean backups have to be created several times a day.
You should automate the backup process wherever possible. Software doesn’t forget to make backups while humans might at the end of a busy week. By automating the task you avoid the “I forgot” problem.
Don’t assume your backups are good ones. Sometimes backups fail, so test them regularly to make sure you can rollback if you need to.
Open Social backups
At Open Social we want to make sure your data is safe, so we’ve included a backup feature. This means that we will make a complete snapshot of your website, files, data and configuration every day. These snapshots are stored at the same location as your website, which means we can restore your website within minutes with just a click of a button.
Next, there are automated processes that create copies of your website and store them, encrypted, in a different location. If for some reason, the snapshots cannot be restored or if you need to restore just a part of your website then the necessary data will be available.
We’ve hope that this post helped explain why, in this age of ransomware attacks and increased usage of data at all levels, it’s vital that your community data is safe and secure. We hope that we’ve reassured you that Open Social has put everything in place to make sure you are able to reinstate your community at the push of a button.