At minimum, you should have copies of mission-critical data in different locations.
Western Digital experienced a hack of its systems, prompting the company to pull its services offline—including its My Cloud backup and file access service. First disclosed on April 3, the outage began on April 2, as reported on the WD My Cloud status page.
If you’ve been hit by this service disruption, you’re likely riding it out in one of two ways: frustratingly cut off from your files, or temporarily inconvenienced because your data isn’t readily available in the cloud. The difference? In the first scenario, My Cloud’s your only location for your data. In the second, you were following the rule of three.
Your data needs backups—and when you make them, more than one copy should exist. Enter the rule of three: Your data isn’t safe unless there are three copies. Disaster can hit at unexpected and inopportune times, a local out of your hands disaster (e.g., fire, flood, theft, cloud service outage) or man-made (hard drive death, drop, accidental data deletion, data corruption).
The full version of this guideline is “3-2-1”: You have three copies of the data, with two available on-site (and on two different devices) and one available off-site (a spare hard drive saved at a trusted person’s home, or the cloud). The unfortunate reality is that your data can become unavailable at any moment, and as this situation with WD My Cloud shows, through no fault of your own. At minimum, you should follow this rule for your mission critical data. It’s important protect yourself, even when you’re short on time or money.
Don’t get me wrong, this situation is rough. I feel for everyone who’s lost their data wondering if they ever get the data back as data recovery is an expensive and not always possible. The question is not if it will happen, but when. You need to be ready.