The 3-2-1 Backup Rule: What Is It and How to Apply It Effectively

There are very few things worse in our digital era than turning on your device and facing loading errors. Seeing a disk failure usually means lost data, which is especially damaging for businesses.

That’s why data backups are essential for all, and here’s how to do it using a 3-2-1 backup rule.

Why Backup Data?

No device is everlasting, and sooner or later will stop working. If you haven’t backed up your data, it could be lost forever. Furthermore, data recovery from a damaged or dead drive is a costly procedure with no guarantees.

Another good reason to back up data ASAP is ransomware. This sly cybercrime method has been rising for several years and poses huge risks. Ransomware targets data on business servers and encrypts it, denying access and often halting operations. A backup would immediately restore data to the latest version, and here’s how to do it.

The 3-2-1 Backup Rule

Like most cybersecurity solutions, there is more than one way of doing things. However, we’ll focus on one widely accepted method, the 3-2-1 rule. Here’s what it states:

3. Create one main backup and two additional copies;

2. Keep your backups in two different storage types;

1. One storage should be offsite.

What does this achieve? Firstly, backups can also fail. It doesn’t matter if it’s a USB drive or a cloud server – it can break down. Having two additional copies ensures that your backup is ready no matter what. Even if the main backup becomes inaccessible, you have two more to go.

Two different types of media guarantee data access. For example, you have a backup on an external drive, but there is no way of connecting it to your device due to technical failures. If you keep another copy in an online cloud, you can get data from there. Remember that businesses usually require a backup immediately, so having one, all things considered, is best.

Lastly, offsite backup takes care of physical disasters and virus infections. Offsite refers to both a physical location and virtual connections. In other words, it should be out of your office and disconnected from the office network. Having one copy in a remote location prevents damage in case of a flood or fire. Simultaneously, no network connections guarantee data safety in case of ransomware that is designed to spread throughout all connected devices, encrypting them.

Cloud Backups

The cloud computing market is expanding and is expected to reach two trillion US dollars by 2030. Among its numerous benefits, secure cloud servers are an excellent fit for business data backup.

Make sure to choose a provider with a flawless reputation security-wise. Trustworthy cloud storage services invest heavily in cybersecurity, as exposing business data could have dire consequences. Instead of building your expensive server structure, you can trust a third provider with the task. Furthermore, these services often have backup policies, so even if there’s a failure, the data remains intact.

A cloud backup is also accessible whenever you have an Internet connection. It’s especially handy if you travel frequently and need to update your device with the latest business data.

Lastly, fully-equipped cloud services encrypt data flow to and from the server. This ensures information safety if your business needs to migrate from one platform to another.


Backing up data is just as important as it is easy. Most network administrators will effortlessly implement the 3-2-1 rule. And if you decide to use cloud services, you will save money on costly servers and better streamline data-related operations.

Shaurya Jain
Shaurya Jain

Shaurya jain is a blogger at Attention always. He is an expert in social media marketing & PR. He keeps experimenting with Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube and other social media platforms to stay up to date. When he is not writing, you can find watching reruns of Brooklyn 99.

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