A few months ago the world was shocked when the WannaCry and Petya ransomware attacks crippled businesses and organisations. Some of them found that they had not taken any, or at least 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.

Just as attacks like these can happen to a computer network, they can also happen to your website. But it’s also possible that the harddisks in the server your website is running on break or that a power outage causes severe data loss.

And who hasn’t heard of people who have accidently 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 it will have 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 organisation 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.

Backup plan

When creating plans about your website backups, you first need to decide what data you need to backup. For a website in general this means you need the files that run your website, the database and any uploaded images, documents and videos. 

Second, 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, 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 which 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.

Wherever possible automate the backup process. Software doesn’t forget to make backups where 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 so we can restore your website within minutes with just a click of a button.

We can restore a previous snapshot with a click of a button.
We can restore a previous snapshot with a click of a button.

Next to that 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 you need to restore just a part of your website the data will be available.

With this blogpost we’ve hoped to make it clear to you 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 and 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. Want to learn more about these and other features? Contact our Customer Success Consultant Evelien

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