Protecting information and data has become a paramount issue in all aspects of today’s digital culture. Whether it is the digital recordkeeping documentation required at tax time or your very confidential list of contacts and clients, digital protection is something that concerns all businesses. It is that terrifying ‘What if’ scenario that keeps us up at night.

However, despite our fears surrounding loss of data on our systems or websites, it seems that few businesses actually take action:

53 percent of businesses do not do daily backups and 23 percent claimed that it wasn’t important to do frequent backups. GFI Software

Loss of data is not only in the realm of the possible; it is absolutely inevitable. A backup strategy will mitigate risks, guarantee legal compliance, improve financials and without a doubt strengthen the overall success of a business. Established enterprises have proven this, as they have grown to develop strategies to adhere to compulsory governance protocols to protect their business and customers. While a loss of data could devastate a business on its own, it is not just the loss itself, but also the time it could potentially take to get crucial systems back up and running correctly, that may cause the most harm.

80 percent of all companies that suffer a major data loss go out of business within three years. Beringer Associates

Drupal has a robust, must-have module, entitled Backup and Migrate. It should absolutely be included in every Drupal site. Backup and Migrate is easy to configure and implementation is a breeze. This essential module was built by Ronan Dowling and Lullabot.

Backup and Migrate offers a number of options for preserving a Drupal site's database. One could choose to back up the entire database or select a specific group of tables. Typically, the sizeable caching and watchdog tables are excluded, as Drupal can easily replicate these tables. These tables are actually excluded by default, but altering these settings is an easy process. It really depends on the size of a site, so seek advice and ask questions.

Another excellent feature is the ability to select a destination of your choice: simply drop the zip file into a private directory on a server, email the file it to yourself or a coworker, download it directly to a computer or send it to one of several supported third-party servers. 

Developing a successful scheduled backup regimen is a very important task that should be worked on together with your development team. It should be practised and tested regularly. Backup and Migrate has a wonderful automated schedule interface that makes this finetuning quick and easy. 

By setting up scheduled daily or weekly backups and indicating how long to keep those existing backups, you can rest assured that regular snapshots of your site's critical data will be tucked away for safekeeping until they are needed.

Automation aside, this module also has the ability to manually pull down a very quick snapshot of a site. This feature helps development and technical maintenance servicing by provididing a dependable fallback to facilitate a smooth and more secure transition. When problems arise, the immediate restoration feature can have a site backed up and running in minutes.

Backup and Migrate is an excellent tool that's proven its worth on countless sites. Its clean integration with third-party file storage services also means that it's a great transitional path towards a full-fledged backup strategy for business-critical data. If it is not part of your site, check it out, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with keeping your site's data safe.