What is a backup?

What is backup, why is a security copy made and why should you do it? Backups help to avoid losses of information that can be vital to the operation of a company or institution, or personal content.

What is it?

In IT, a backup is a copy of the information (a duplicate), with information being understood to mean files, applications, application configurations and the computer operating systems themselves. Generally speaking, backups are made of information that is sensitive or important to an individual or organisation.

What is it used for?

These information backups ensure that if a security incident occurs (ransomware that encrypts the files contained in a computer/server) or if the information is accidentally deleted, it can be recovered and will be available when needed.

Any computer system may be subject to attacks or viruses that could compromise all the information we have stored, so it is important to ensure that it is safe and that we are able to recover it at any time.

It is of the utmost importance to ensure that up-to-date backups of information are kept, as well as exercising the utmost diligence in their safeguarding, so as to avoid loss of information of importance to the operation of a company, institution or organisation or loss of personal content. It is also advisable to carry out tests from time to time to check that the information can be recovered from the backups and that it is correct.

How are backups made?

Generally, organisations have a documented procedure for making backups, which details what information is copied, in what way, with which tools, where it is stored, the frequency with which it is copied and all the associated details.

Organisations often use automated tools for backups, such as Veeam Backup or Arcserve Backup which allow users to configure the execution of backups and all the associated parameters such as:

  • type (full, all information; incremental, only the changes since the last full backup)
  • frequency and time (daily, weekly...)
  • storage of the copies (server, cloud, physical media)

The most commonly used devices for backups are external hard disks, optical devices such as DVDs and tapes. It is also common to perform backups through cloud copying services, where backups are stored in a dedicated space in the cloud and not on physical media.

The backup technique allows us to store and preserve our information (files, applications and information from the system itself) so that data can be recovered in the event that the information system is accidentally damaged or lost.

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