Backup Versioning

Backup Versioning is when a backup solution allows a computer file to exist with several archived versions. Most common backup versioning file systems keep a number of old copies of the same file. Most versioning solutions take periodic snapshots of changed files at certain intervals: hourly, daily, weekly, monthly. Older file ‘versions’ can be accessed for restoration purposes when a critical event occurs, such as a ransomware attack. Multiple file versions are valuable when users continually update files and need to restore the original file they started from. 

Versioned backups are different from their counterpart, ‘Periodic Backups’. Periodic backups are triggered solely on a timed basis, while versioning occurs when a file changes. Periodic time-based backups are often system-wide, while versioning occurs independently on a file-by-file basis. Periodic Backups are also written to separate devices, while versioning file systems often write to the same hard drive.

What does this mean for an SMB?

Versioned backups play an important role in backup solutions. They are the right way to save several file versions, such as Word Documents or PowerPoint Presentations, or even code repositories. However, it is not a one-size-fits-all approach. When it comes to backing up your data, there’s only one rule CyberHoot recommends and that is that you follow the 3-2-1 Backup Strategy. A 3-2-1 backup strategy means having at least three copies of your data, on two different media storage devices, with at least one copy off-line. Versioning plays into the first part of 3-2-1 or having three copies of your data.

There is no perfect solution for backing up your data, but our 3-2-1 strategy is a great start for the majority of businesses and individuals. The United States government recommended using this method of backing up in a paper published by the US-CERT team back in 2012. If you view your files as your investment capital, you want to diversify them as much as possible to limit your exposure should the unthinkable happen. Liquidity also matters, having a local backup and an off-site backup gives you more options for backup recovery. To learn all about 3-2-1 backups, check out our 3-2-1 Backup Guide.


There are other actions you should take to protect your business and its data from attacks which include:

To learn more about 3-2-1 Backups, watch this short video:

CyberHoot does have some other resources available for your use. Below are links to all of our resources, feel free to check them out whenever you like: 

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