You want your company up and running at all times. But unexpected data loss can cause your business to come to a screeching halt. Much like regular maintenance for your vehicle, data backup keeps your organization running. It also serves as an insurance policy. We’ve outlined methods for ensuring your backup data works properly and effectively.
Implement a strategy
A data protection strategy first begins with knowing what information needs to be protected and then ensuring that it is backed up properly and on a regular basis. Backup frequency depends on:
- quantity of data
- where the data is located
- the type of information
Relying on the most technically competent person in your office may seem logical, but that person may not have the time, resources or skills necessary for making sure your backup strategy aligns with business continuity, compliance and legal requirements. If your business lacks in-house knowledge, find an expert who can help.
Disaster proof your backups
Having a backup is no good if you don’t properly protect it. Your office may seem like a safe place to store your tapes, however if a man-made or natural disaster occurs, your backup information may be permanently destroyed. Other commonly-used storage options are no better; your IT expert’s house doesn’t offer the robust protection needed to protect vital and sensitive backup media. A safe deposit box may be great for jewelry and heirlooms, but not for a tape susceptible to damage from even the slightest temperature and humidity changes. And a self storage unit also doesn’t offer a secure and stable environment for proper protection and preservation.
A data vault is specifically built to safeguard backup data and ensure recovery of vital business information. Check to see if the data vault you are considering fully protects the integrity of your media, prevents unauthorized access, and offers comprehensive inventory management capabilities. Additionally, look for the following features in your prospective data vault facility:
- magnetic shielding
- environmental control sensors
- media friendly fire suppression
- 24/7/365 security monitoring
If a real-life disaster does occur, that’s not the moment you want to find out the way you’ve been backing up your data doesn’t work. Once you implement your backup strategy, test it to make sure it works. Then, schedule periodic recovery testing on a routine basis. This will require that you work directly with your media storage and rotation vendor. The right supplier will be able to quickly locate your mission-critical data and deliver it to your designated recovery or hot site location. At the very least, you should perform simulated data loss and recovery exercises once a year.
Most importantly, don’t let a feeling of being overwhelmed lead to inaction. It’s better to have an imperfect backup solution in place than to have none at all. Every backup strategy needs to be modified and adjusted to meet compliance and information growth needs. With the right resources, you can make sure that your business data is continuously protected.