A laptop sitting on a desk in front of a desktop computer to symbolize the importance of website backup

A website serves as the centerpiece for many modern businesses. Going offline has consequences, from a minor inconvenience to significant disruption from which some companies never recover — particularly if they don't have a website backup. With so much to do each day, it’s easy to underestimate just how valuable a website and the content it contains can be. Ultimately, if it's worth having, it's worth protecting.

With the most valuable items, comprehensive insurance is a no-brainer. Outside the office, entrepreneurs insure their homes, cars, and anything else that matters to them. In the office, the website should be no different. Fortunately, with the proper backup precautions in place, it can be even easier to manage than an insurance policy.

Doubling Up on Data

Continuing the house and car analogy, anyone that had the opportunities to make as many copies of their property as they wished, with the condition that they could only use one at a time, would be delighted at the prospect. It would do away with insurance at the very least.

With websites and digital data, it's not only possible to do this, but essential.

A website backup takes all existing content on the site, copies it, and stores it out of harm's way. Ideally, this will be removed entirely from the main website server, as once one batch of data is compromised, the cause often has a habit of spreading.

The Importance of Website Backups

The multitude of reasons to keep regular website backups extends beyond just online security. They can be a lifeline in cases of human error, and a rescue plan should design and content decisions go awry.

Business websites are an asset, and they have value. While that value isn't always the same to an attacker as to the business itself, it's almost always sufficient to make it a target for online security threats. The discrepancy between the website's value to a company and an attacker has led to the rise of one particular form of online attack: the dreaded ransomware.

The number of ransomware attacks rose by 93% in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. It has taken the lead in cybersecurity challenges for numerous reasons, not least the opportunity to exploit a website or network's value to business owners. Even if server content is all but useless to the attacker, they're set for highly worthwhile returns from the right target.

Ransomware works by accessing data, then encrypting or otherwise locking it. Websites are not the only targets, but they're just as valid as any other computerized data a business owns. Fortunately, a current backup eliminates the threat entirely. Anyone responsible for website management can simply remove the compromised files from the server and replace them with the backup — taking care to fix the vulnerability that made it possible in the first place.

The same applies to most other website threats. From defacement and code injections to unauthorized access and malware, a backup can ensure a site remains online while work is carried out to identify current security issues.

Backups alone cannot protect against every possible online threat. Still, they ensure that no matter the direct impact of an attack, companies can return to business as usual as soon as the threat and its source have been neutralized.

Backups Beyond Security

Virtual threats that can make any website grind to a halt should be enough of an incentive for any business owner to prioritize website backups. However, there are numerous other reasons to keep additional copies, including:

  • Covering for human error, whereby pages, content, images, and other resources are broken or deleted unintentionally
  • Rolling back updates and upgrades that lead to site issues
  • Protecting against data loss through hardware problems or technical failures
  • Ensuring a current copy of the website should the need arise to migrate to another hosting platform

It's vital to trust the hardware and systems that enable a business to run smoothly. However, it's just as essential not to be so trusting as to overlook the potential for issues. After all, only 0.93% of hard drives failed in 2020. However, with almost 30 million SMBs in the US, that averages out to nearly 300,000 businesses that may have suffered data loss due to a hardware error — and that's hard drives alone. If that hard drive hosted their website and they didn't have a backup, their online presence was back to square one.

Three Primary Considerations of Website Backups

Many business owners need to get out of the habit of considering backups a chore. An investment of just a few minutes on a regular schedule can make all the difference. Research from the University of Texas suggests that 43% of businesses never reopen following a catastrophic data loss. A further 51% shut down entirely within two years of the event. If losing a website would represent a devastating scenario for a business, backups are worth their weight in gold.

A robust backup strategy involves three critical factors:

Location

A backup that is easily lost in the same event as the original is practically worthless. Therefore, backups should never be stored exclusively on the same server as the website and, wherever possible, in an entirely different physical location, too.

Automation and Management

The more recent a backup, the more valuable it becomes. Therefore, it is always worth creating at least one backup on a regular schedule, even if it forms a small part of a broader strategy. Manual oversight is also highly recommended, spanning spot checks and user backups, even if they're not as frequent. That could be assigned to the IT team where available or could be outsourced to online security specialists through a Vervology.Care plan.

Redundancy

Such is the computing power available to businesses that backups need not take long, even on the largest websites. There are virtually no downsides to keeping multiple copies of the same data in different places. The most robust strategies involve backing up the backups to protect against even the most unlikely events.

Website Backup and Full-Service Website Security with Vervology.Care

It is no coincidence that every Vervology.Care plan highlights the inclusion of regular backups as part of each broader package. These backups can be quick and seamless to the point that they represent perhaps the most significant return on investment in website security.

Backups are the cornerstone of any online security strategy. Still, they are one component of a broader approach to ensure that customer data remains protected, sales proceed successfully, and websites stay online. Vervology.Care plans put keeping sites online at the forefront of everything they do, complementing regular backups with uptime monitoring, software updates, and emergency support.

These plans will upgrade your site security straight away and are available for immediate purchase. For further information on how Vervology.Care can take the stress out of website security, contact the Vervology team to understand precisely how we can help keep your assets online.