Implementing the 3-2-1 Backup Rule

There are more reasons than ever before to develop and implement a data backup plan. As we speak, millions of SMBs are being targeted by hackers; and if hit, without any data backups, will have serious data recovery issues. In reality, it is practically impossible, time-consuming, and costly to retrieve your data that has been corrupted, destroyed or encrypted (if hit with a ransomware); it is not prudent to simply hope it never happens to you.

Large companies nearly all have backup systems in place, however in many instances the backups are not safely stored. With the increase in ransomware, natural weather disasters, and other dangers, it is essential to have a backup system you can count on.

Tape storage has been a common system for the past forty years, yet other media, such as disk-based backup, DVDs, and flash drives are easier to use. Tape is simply not user-friendly when it comes to accessing stored data. If your company is still using tape storage, consider the better options for backing up and retrieving archived data. The cloud is another great way to organize and save data. You’ll see that alone, they are not enough for a safe backup strategy.

The 3-2-1 Backup Rule is Best!

We have experienced so many tough situations with clients who needed to retrieve important data after being hacked but had no backups. It couldn’t be accomplished, so they had no choice but to pay the ransom to hackers. Imagine if the hacker decided he didn’t want to give back access to the data? What would the business have done then? For that reason and more, we want to encourage you to add backup strategies – best practices to your agenda. It is not complicated and does not take much time to implement.

Basically, the 3-2-1 backup rule is this:

Keep at least three (3) copies of your data on two (2) different types of media and keep one (1) of these off-site!


There are so many ways data storage devices can be destroyed or corrupted, why take a chance on having only one backup copy? Theft, a hard-drive crash, fire, fire alarm sprinkler systems, a cyberattack, are all possible ways your backup can rendered inaccessible. Having three copies of backup will alleviate potential data disasters.


Using two different forms of media spreads out the liability! If one media type should fail or become corrupt, you will always be able to count on the other. Storage types could include an internal hard drive, external hard drive, removable storage drive or cloud backup environment. This should provide total peace-of-mind unless all three copies of the media are stored on premise. If a disaster happens to the one location, then what?


For obvious reasons, you will want one of the backups to be safely stored in a place that will not be involved in the disaster! At least one data copy should be stored in an offsite or remote location to ensure that natural or geographical disasters cannot affect all data copies. If your entire business network gets hacked, at least you’ll have another copy in an offsite location, on a different network.

MicroAge NWD Can Help Give You Peace-of-Mind

With MicroAge, you’ll have confidence in knowing that your IT needs are being taken care of by our team of IT experts in Montreal. We can help you select the best 3-2-1 backup system for your company without spending a fortune! Call us to set up a complimentary consultation at (450) 231-6246 or contact us here!

Get the most from your IT

As service providers to more than 300 companies, the dedicated professionals at MicroAge are second to none when it comes to managed services. By improving efficiency, cutting costs and reducing downtime, we can help you achieve your business goals!

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