Primary data failures can be the result of hardware or software failure, data corruption, or a human-caused event, such as a malicious attack (virus or malware), or accidental deletion of data. Backup copies allow data to be restored from an earlier point in time to help the business recover from an unplanned event.
Storing the copy of the data on separate medium is critical to protect against primary data loss or corruption. This additional medium can be as simple as an external drive or USB stick, or something more substantial, such as a disk storage system, cloud storage container, or tape drive. The alternate medium can be in the same location as the primary data or at a remote location. The possibility of weather-related events may justify having copies of data at remote locations.