“Don’t be an April Fool,” reads the slogan for World Backup Day, which takes place on March 31, one day before the facetious holiday. Created in 2011 by Ismail Jadun, then a college student, World Backup Day seeks to raise awareness about the need to backup digital files.

“I hope that World Backup Day sparks conversations about the enormous task of saving our digital heritage for future generations,” Jadun said.

Nick Psaki, principal office of the CTO at Pure Storage, a California-based data storage company, says the day “brings to mind the importance of data protection and data recovery.”

“The single most valuable asset in organization, next to their people,” said Psaki, “is the data that those people use in order to make decisions, craft policy, or serve constituents.”

Protecting the data, he said, becomes “as essential as protecting the people.”

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After serving in the Federal government for 20 years and working with the Federal government on data storage for the last six, Psaki said the Federal government’s emphasis on data protection predates the digital age. For state and local governments, Psaki said data protection “has become a matter of acute interest in light of the recent year’s rashes of ransomware.”


Over 50 state and local governments were the target of ransomware in 2019. Psaki called this “the age of ransomware” where “a well-executed data protection strategy is essential.”

He recommended “the 3-2-1 method” where three copies are kept of the essential data, with two of them kept locally, but on different systems, and one copy is kept off-site.

And while having data backed up is necessary, Psaki said it is not sufficient.

“The part of the process that often has been overlooked is recovery,” he said. “It is critically important that we shorten the duration of time required to bring that data back into service.”

Not only is old data significantly less valuable, but an organization loses worker productivity during a slow restore process. Psaki said he has worked with state and Federal agencies to “develop a rapid restore capability.”

This recovery process must be tested regularly, Psaki said to ensure it is “efficient and effective.”

“World Backup Day,” said Psaki, “is a good opportunity to look at our comprehensive data strategies.”

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Dwight Weingarten
Dwight Weingarten
Dwight Weingarten is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.