NovaBACKUP Security Blog

5 Helpful Tactics for Better Backup (and Restore)


In today's fast-paced digital landscape, data is at the heart of everything we do. With all the digital data that organizations rely on for their day-to-day operations, it's even more important to make sure nothing happens to it (or, if something does happen, that you can at least recover quickly).

Even if you've been lucky so far, it's probably only a matter of time before an incident affects your data (thanks to the constant increase in cyber-crime), and we don't want you to lose access to your vital information, causing operational disruptions and financial losses - or worse, putting your business at risk.

So, backing up your files, folders, and systems on a regular basis is invaluable to protect you from any cause of data loss, from natural disasters to accidental or malicious deletion, theft, ransomware, and more, and to ensure quick recovery in the event of such an event.

It took 31% of organizations between one and six months to recover from a ransomware attack after paying the ransom. Meanwhile, 45% of those using backups recovered within a week.
Source: Sophos

Your backup is your safety net. It ensures that you have multiple copies of your files in multiple versions. A simple, yet complete backup strategy is fairly easy to set up. But if you want to dig a little deeper and set up a reliable, secure backup solution that ensures you can recover your business-critical data after ANY type of data loss scenario, here are 5 helpful tactics to help you set up and maintain a better backup and restore solution.

1. Ensure a Redundant Backup Stored Locally and Offsite

A redundant backup strategy includes multiple backup jobs to both local and offsite storage locations. Local backup allows you to quickly restore individual files or systems from a direct-attached hard drive or NAS. For offsite backup, consider using cloud storage. Cloud storage offers many benefits, including the ability to access your data from anywhere and the ability to recover your data even if your physical devices are damaged or destroyed.

If you are using SaaS products, such as Microsoft 365, it is also worth exploring options for a cloud-to-cloud backup solution. This allows your production data to be backed up to dedicated cloud storage away from your production environment.

2. Increase Backup Frequency

Increasing the frequency of your backups is a proactive measure to ensure that your data is protected in a timely manner.

Why is that important to increase your backup frequency? By backing up your data more frequently, you minimize the risk of data loss, especially of recently added or modified files, and (something you may not think about as often) reduce the amount of data that needs to be backed up again in the event of a backup failure.

An effective way to increase backup frequency is to use the forever incremental backup method. This method looks at data changes at the block level and allows you to back up only the updated blocks instead of the entire file. Since you're backing up less GB at a time, you can do more backups with shorter intervals between them.

3. Regularly Review Your Backup Reports and Backup Jobs

It is recommended that you review backup reports at least daily. This allows you to quickly identify any problems or failures and take appropriate action to resolve them.

NovaBACKUP Backup Email Report

In addition to reviewing reports, it is important to define and measure key performance indicators (KPIs) for your backups. This will help you evaluate the performance of your backups and ensure that they are meeting your backup objectives.

Consider implementing centralized monitoring, especially if you have multiple PCs or servers to manage, or if you are a Reseller, IT Systems Integrator, or Managed Service Provider (MSP) responsible for monitoring your customers’ backups. Centralized monitoring provides an always-available, comprehensive view of your backup infrastructure, making it easier to identify and resolve problems. And even better? If you can manage and adjust your backup jobs from the same interface.

4. Regularly Review Your Backup Infrastructure

On a monthly basis, check for hardware or media failures. Use the Windows Event Viewer to identify any issues, such as a dying hard drive you are backing up from, a failing external hard drive used for backup, or problems with the NAS device you are backing up to. These are often overlooked issues that can cause problems with your backup and recovery solution.

Keep your systems up to date, not only by installing Windows system updates but also by using supported operating systems. Using outdated or unsupported operating systems can compromise the security and stability of your backup solution. For example, if you’re still running Windows Server 2012 or 2012 R2, you should consider getting a more current version.

Finally, consider whether any other software installed on your systems may be interfering with your backup process. For example, antivirus software or firewalls are common sources of conflicts or performance issues during backups, so make sure your backup solution has the proper permissions.

5. Test Your Restores

This is so important, and we can't say it enough. Test your restores regularly to make sure they are working!

How often should you test your restore process? It is recommended to perform regular tests, ideally on a schedule that aligns with your backup frequency, for example twice a year or even quarterly. This ensures that your restore process remains effective and that you are familiar with the steps involved in a worst case scenario.

To test your restore process, select a backup, restore a couple of files and/or your entire system, and review if everything worked as expected, for example, make sure the files themselves are still working by opening and using a few of them. That’s the only way to ensure there are no corrupted files or missing blocks in your backups. Document any issues or improvements that need to be addressed and take care of them in a timely manner.

Tip: When testing a boot disk or disaster recovery image, be sure to restore your system to a different hardware than the one you intend to restore, to avoid accidentally overwriting your production system.

NovaBACKUP Job Restore Job Options

Remember, testing your recovery process is not a one-time task. It should be an ongoing practice to ensure that you and your team know what to do in the event of a hardware failure, file deletion, ransomware attack, or any other type of data loss.

You Are Not Alone

Most importantly, you don't have to do any of it yourself. We understand that backup is only a small part of what you do every day. So, it's no surprise that you may not be an expert in all of these areas. Work with a partner or vendor who has that expertise and can help you on your schedule.

My favorite part of my experience with NovaBACKUP is the support team,” says Derrick Faria from Rogue IT. “When I send an email and someone from the team replies I can just tell that they care, and they comprehend what’s going on, communicate clearly, and quickly resolve issues.


Not sure where to start? Give us a call and will walk you through it.