How to design a backup strategy

Backup and Disaster Recovery - Australian Backup

Backup and Disaster Recovery – Australian Backup

Backup and Disaster Recovery – Australian Backup – We keep your business safe

It’s essential to have the right IT backup and disaster recovery (DR) systems in place if you want to safeguard your company’s digital assets.

According to Symantec research ransomware attacks to date have been largely indiscriminate, however, there is evidence that attackers have a growing interest in hitting businesses with targeted attacks.


“The average ransom demand has more than doubled and is now $679, up from $294 at the end of 2015.” The report says. With every new cryptocurrency payment deposited, not only is there new incentive for criminals to improve their technology and techniques. There’s even more incentive for other criminals to get in on the action.


Hardware isn’t prudent to failures. The Recent disaster regarding the ATO (Australian Taxation Office) in conjunction with hardware failure should make every business owner spend time revising their disaster recovery plan.

The right strategy and solution

As an IT manager, you want to stress test your backup solution to determine how well your system can withstand critical situations.

Having a document outlining details of the solution might save you thousands of dollars in an event of system failure. You can download a copy for your records here or generate your own PDF here


  • Write down the Software you use for the backup
  • Licensing: do you pay an annual fee to keep your software up to date?
  • Where can the software be found in the event of a system failure
  • The process to go through in an event of data loss (files)
  • The documented step-by-step guide on how to recover your server environment


A good backup and Disaster Recovery strategy should include off-site / cloud storage of important information.

For example, for a legal firm with 20 lawyers and $20 000 000 turnover, an hour downtime can cost the practice as much as $8500 (Downtime cost calculator). This doesn’t cover the cost of the document that wasn’t saved and took an hour to create. An Instant document backup or an hourly backup scheme might be something to include as part of your backup routine.

A stress-test of your recovery plan can identify weaknesses in your system and alert you to where improvements in your network’s defenses are required.

To stress test your system, you need to perform the following checks at least once a year:


  • Recover a random file from the past week / month / year (depends on your backup routine)
  • Recover folders and subfolders
  • Recover one of your database files and attempt to access it (document management, accounting programs)
  • Recover your Remote or Onsite server
  • Note the time taken to recover each segment of the test. This is important: if you aren’t able to recover your email server or database for hours you are at risk of losing profits


Having a local data centre in Australia or even in the city where your business is situated helps to optimise time taken to retrieve your backups and get your team operational quickly. The local technicians will also be quick to respond as they are located within Australia.

It is vital to keep your antivirus software current on all workstations and servers within your office, and to ensure everyone knows how to isolate an affected machine before the contagion spreads.


Keep all production servers/network devices up to date with the latest patches, and scan for vulnerabilities on a consistent basis. The best DR plans include regular backups of all production-critical devices, to a secure environment safe from any further attempts of malicious attack. The secure environment needs to be accessible for easy recovery of backups, and include a step-by-step recovery procedure that relevant personnel can understand clearly and initiate in an emergency.

Consider applying for Cyber insurance to protect from accidental downtime.

The good news for CIOs, CTOs and others responsible for ensuring IT infrastructure is up to date and resilient is that backup and DR systems have been converging for some years now.

How to design a backup strategy

How to design a backup strategy

How to design a backup strategy

How to design a backup strategy

Your business continuously generates additional data. Being without your data for even an hour could be expensive and extremely detrimental. The answer is to back up everything. All the time. First, you need to choose what you’ll use for backup, and then you need to decide on a combination. One source of backup is never enough.

Readily available options

Direct attached storage (DAS)

DAS devices connect to your PC or server (usually via USB). They are handy and portable, which means they could be taken out of action at the same time as your main storage if the issue is something like theft or fire damage. That makes them a great first line of defense, but don’t make the mistake of depending on these devices for your entire archiving and disaster recovery plan.

Network attached storage (NAS)

NAS appliances connect directly to the network. They have file server and redundancy capabilities, and in some cases, they have the ability to synchronise data with a compatible remote NAS.

This demonstrates the necessity for a remote solution, which is essential to any robust strategy. This might involve physically rotating devices offsite; however, if they aren’t taken far enough away from the site, the same event, such as an earthquake, might still jeopardise the components in your backup system.

Disaster protected storage

One precaution to take against fires, floods, or earthquakes is disaster-protected NAS or DAS units. These devices are built tough, and manufacturers claim that the devices have the ability to survive day-long baths or periods of fire. This isn’t always the case.

Fears of Mass Data Loss Disaster with ATO storage.

Therefore, we always recommend to check and verify that data is recoverable at least once a year and ideally every quarter.

Going online

Assuming your online provider’s servers are located far from your computers, you’re insulated from a city-wide disaster when you upload your data. On the upside, you’re not investing capital upfront, and sending data online works well if it’s done in installments; however, an initial upload (seeding) can require a long period of time, as can downloading data in the event of a disaster, if you need a full restore. We can do initial seeding of your backup, which means we’ll upload your data at our office with the fast link to a cloud storage.

Private cloud

A private cloud has all the advantages (and disadvantages) of sending your data online without the worry that it’s in the hands of a third party. It can be prohibitive for small businesses, but innovations have made the private cloud more affordable and worth exploring.

Old school

Backing up data to tape drives, DVDs, and Blu-Ray DVDs may seem obsolete, but Google and Facebook use tape and optical media.

The right combination

A good starting point is the rule of three: 2 + 1.

    • 2: A full copy of everything on at least two different physical devices plus plus
    • 1: A third copy that’s offline at another location. Consider investing into automatic cloud backup

The offline version is critical. It can’t be hacked, it can’t be corrupted accidentally, and it’s harder for someone with malicious intent to access (a rampaging ex-employee, for instance). Like everything else associated with data, a good backup strategy involves simple math.

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