Understanding the 3-2-1 Backup Methodology and the Value of Immutable Backups


In the digital age, your data is your most valuable asset. Loss of critical business information due to hardware failure, human error, or cyber-attacks can have severe consequences for your operations. At Jon Watkins Consulting, we understand the need for robust backup and data protection strategies. Today, we’re diving into the highly-recommended 3-2-1 backup methodology and why immutable backups are a game-changer for any business serious about data protection.

What is the 3-2-1 Backup Methodology?

The 3-2-1 backup methodology is a best practice for data protection. It’s simple to remember and implement, but offers robust data protection:

  • 3 copies of your data
  • 2 types of media
  • 1 off-site backup (could be cloud or physically off-site)

Three Copies of Your Data

Always have at least three copies of your data: the original data and two backups. This ensures that you have multiple recovery points to fall back on.

Two Types of Media

Don’t store all your backups in the same format. For example, if your original data is on your computer’s hard drive, consider storing backups on an external hard drive and a cloud storage service.

One Off-Site Backup

Always maintain at least one backup in a geographically separate location. If all your backups are in the same location as your primary data, physical disasters like fires or floods can wipe out everything. Cloud backups, like Amazon S3 buckets are a good target for this.

Immutable Backups: The Next Level of Data Protection

Immutable backups are backups that cannot be altered or deleted during a set retention period. This feature ensures that your backup data remains unchanged, providing a reliable point to restore from, especially crucial for countering cyber threats like ransomware.

Why Immutable Backups Matter

  1. Counter Ransomware: Immutable backups are resistant to ransomware, which often seeks to encrypt or delete both primary and backup data.
  2. Data Integrity: Your backups are only as good as their integrity. Immutable backups ensure that what you restore is exactly what you backed up.
  3. Regulatory Compliance: Some industries require immutable data storage for compliance. Immutable backups can help meet these requirements.

Combining 3-2-1 and Immutable Backups

By combining the 3-2-1 backup methodology with immutable backups, you’re adding an extra layer of security to your data protection strategy. For instance, your off-site backup, stored in a secure cloud service, could be made immutable for a set period.


Your business data is too important to leave unprotected or to risk with inadequate backup strategies. The 3-2-1 backup methodology offers a robust framework for protecting your data, and when combined with immutable backups, provides an almost bulletproof strategy for data protection.

For expert guidance on implementing these backup strategies tailored for your business needs, feel free to get in touch with us at Jon Watkins Consulting.

Email: jon@jonwatkinsconsultant.com

Phone: (937) 622-8918

Protect your future by securing your data today!

Discover More


Contact Information

Ready to fortify your digital defenses? Reach out to us today – whether by email, phone, or the convenient form on the right – and let’s secure your future together.

Our Location

Sidney, OH

Our Number

(937) 622-8918

Our Mail


Unlock Your Free Cybersecurity Checklist!

Subscribe today and receive our comprehensive Cybersecurity Startup Checklist for IT Professionals. Covering such topics as: