This article explains how to protect data and endpoints with an appropriate backup strategy.

The loss of data can lead to profound and costly damage. In order to be prepared in the event of a hardware or software defect or failure, you should develop a suitable backup strategy as early as possible. This applies to data on your desktop/laptop or your smartphone/tablet.

First Steps For Developing a Backup Strategy

A backup strategy should be well-thought-out in order to restore your data quickly, efficiently, and completely. When developing the backup strategy, you should consider various factors, which can have a very different impact depending on the application scenario. Below are some of these factors:

  • Classify your data. Consider what data you need to back up and how often it will be updated. This could be photos, documents, or system-relevant data, for example. To do this, get an overview of all directories.

  • Categorise the availability of the data. Consider whether a temporal loss of data is justifiable.

  • Consider how often a backup should be created and calculate the amount of data that needs to be backed up regularly. Also, take into account the expected development of the data stock.

  • Determine how long backups must be kept and take into account any applicable deletion and retention periods as well as legal requirements.

  • Determine whether special access protection is required. Check whether there are any legal requirements.

  • Consider which applications need to be backed up. Generally, it is recommended to create a full backup before testing or installing security patches and updates for your applications and plug-ins. In addition, you should determine how often and how many backups need to be created so that you can always restore the last version or, if necessary, an older version in the event of damage.

Backup Methods

Another very important part of the backup strategy is the selection of the appropriate backup method. The methods that exist and the advantages and disadvantages of each method are explained below:

Full Backup

With a full backup, you back up the complete data inventory of a drive or volume. This includes your personal data as well as the data of the operating system. With a full backup, you do not need any other backups to restore the data. Thus, with a full backup, you don't have to worry about what data you are backing up.

If you make full backups regularly and do not delete the old backups, the required storage space increases steadily. In addition, the time required for this backup method is higher than for other backup methods.

Differential Backup

A differential backup backs up all files that have changed or been added since the last full backup. The changes are always made in relation to the full backup. Differential backups grow larger by the day until you perform another full backup. However, they require less disk space than a full backup and can be done more quickly. This backup method always requires the last full backup to restore the data.

Incremental Backup

Incremental backups are very space efficient and can be performed quickly. With an incremental backup, only the data that has been created or changed since the last backup is backed up. It does not matter whether it is a full backup or an incremental backup.

Consequently, to restore an incremental backup, you must also have access to other backups that are in the backup chain, because the backups are interdependent. If you delete one of the previous incremental backups or a full backup, you can no longer restore the entire group.

Scheduling backups

Using the information above, create a plan that you can use as a basis for creating a protection plan. Be sure to take into account the intervals at which your data changes.

MyDefender and Cloud Backup: Plan to use the additional protection features

Cloud Backup and MyDefender products can secure Windows and macOS computers against malware threats and cryptomining malware with the Antivirus & Antimalware Protection module. This module can, among other things:

  • Protect network folders

  • Monitor processes, files and folders

These products also offer a device control module that allows you to detect and prevent unauthorised access to data on computers and its transmission through local data channels. To this end, this module allows you to specify access to device types and interfaces and prevent certain actions. In addition, you can define exceptions using positive lists for device types and USB devices.

To get the most out of these protections, we recommend that you create a list in which you define the following items:

  • Computers to be protected

  • Processes, files, and folders for which you need to create exceptions

  • Device types and interfaces that users need to access - Also, define any exceptions that need to be created.

  • Individual USB devices for which you must create an exception

Creating a Protection Plan

Create a protection plan to automate your backups on a regular basis. Be sure to take into account the intervals at which your data changes.

After creating your backups, check for any errors that may be listed and fix them.

Information on how to create a new protection plan can be found here:

MyDefender: Getting Started

Cloud Backup: Getting Started

MyDefender and Cloud Backup: More information about protection plans and backup methods

For an overview of the backups and backup methods you can perform with MyDefender and/or Cloud Backup, see the following article:

Protection Plan Cheat Sheet

Test Your Backups Regularly

Especially with differential and incremental backups, it is very important that you regularly test the recovery of your data so that you are prepared in case of an emergency.

Always create a full backup manually before these tests.

For more information on getting started with MyDefender, click here:

MyDefender: Getting Started

If you are using Cloud Backup, see the following article for more information on the required first steps:

Cloud Backup: Getting Started