"If You Have One Backup, You Have No Backups" - Montana Webmaster

“If You Have One Backup, You Have No Backups”

Why You Need Backups

Before websites were ubiquitous marketing tools for most all organizations, I worked in a small business that backed up its yearly accounting on to two floppy disks. That is, there were two backups. One day after I have become the office manager, the previous year’s backup copy was needed by the accountant. The disk was bad. So was the second disk. The documentation had to be rebuilt transaction by transaction.

Going forward in time, after a website is finally up and running, it’s easy to sit back and feel that you are finally finished: the site will do its job indefinitely. But, like other assets, such as a car or a building, websites need regular maintenance. If you don’t do that maintenance, you pay in the end. One maintenance task is to backup your website.

Hackers, server errors, human errors, and so many situations can send you to a backup. If you have a backup, you may be able to put your site back up, in the case of a catastrophic failure.

Why Do You Need More than One Backup?

This article from Word Fence says it best, “If you only have one backup, you have no backups.”

Like the opening story, there have been many incidents in my work that showed the need for multiple backups.

  1. In one unusual situation, a client asked me to restore her site to a design she had from two years previous. Because the old site was HTML and CSS only, there was no risk in doing such a restore. Sites are generally more complicated now. It would be unwise to roll back 6 months or a year because the outdated software that would have run the site is a security risk.
  2. A hacked client website situation where we had to go through several months of backups to find a copy that didn’t have compromised code. In this case, they had not responded to my emails that they needed to update their software 6 months earlier. A very sharp server tech had saved the day with a series of full server backups.

“In the context of cybersecurity, the adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is a massive understatement. Make no mistake, the easiest way to handle a security incident is to prevent it from ever happening in the first place. We continually remind our readers about security best practices because the time spent implementing them is nominal compared to the time that would be spent responding in the aftermath of a successful attack.”

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