A Backup and Recovery Plan Can Save Your Data. And Your Business.
So you’ve drawn up an IT security budget, sized up the weak spots in your network and taken preventive action to protect your business from data breaches and cyber-threats. Your IT security strategy is complete now, right? Wrong.
Since no IT security solution is 100% foolproof, it’s important to go a step further and backup your key data and business applications so you can recover them if disaster strikes. To help you get started, here’s a list of the ‘who, what, why, when and where’ of backup and recovery:
Who needs it?
Every business needs a backup and recovery strategy, regardless of size, location or sector. There are lots of reasons data gets lost or breached: human error, natural disaster, fire, power failure or surge, hardware failure or damage, even sabotage. You can control some of those at times, but you can’t control all of them all of the time. Developing and implementing a backup and recovery process helps ensure your business can get back up and running quickly.
What should be backed up?
Some businesses backup everything: operating systems, software, applications, websites, eCommerce sites and data. If this is an option for you, it’s usually the safest route to take. However, if you’re facing time or budget crunches, it’s important to at least back up the things that are absolutely critical to running your business, along with anything that’s required to meet any regulatory compliance rules your business falls under.
Why bother with backup?
A severe data loss could potentially cost you revenue and customers, hurt your company’s reputation and even result in legal liability.
When should data and applications be backed up?
Most experts suggest doing backup on a daily basis including weekends. Also, it’s a good idea to conduct weekly or monthly checks to be sure your backup is working properly and to test your recovery system. This is vital because backup is useless if you can’t actually retrieve your data and restore your key IT functions when you need to.
Where should backed up data and applications be stored?
You can backup your data and applications on your own premises, off-site in a data centre or use a combination of both. In most cases, the safest route is a combination of on-premises and off-site backup. Many businesses find cloud-based backup services are the easiest and quickest way to tackle off-site backup. Cloud-based backup services tend to offer scalability, affordability and remote retrieval capabilities from any location with Internet service.
For example, Bell Data Protect encrypts your files and provides continuous real-time backup for them in secure Canadian data centres. And, if you ever need to retrieve any of these files, they’re available anytime online.
The bottom line
It’s important to not put all your data in one basket, and to have a backup and recovery strategy in place that’s tested and updated regularly. And, for extra safekeeping, consider backing up your data in more than one location using more than just one method.
Does your business have a backup and recovery plan? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.