It’s been reported that more than 50% of small businesses do not perform a regularly scheduled back of their office computers and of those that do, 85% never test their backups to insure that they will work when they need them.
Backups are a critical part of running your business and any disaster recovery or business continuity plan. This is clearly an area where one size does NOT fit all. The right solution should be based on your tolerance for data loss and the time you can afford to be down. It is vital to design and implement a solution that minimizes the impact to your business, employees and clients.
Things to keep in mind:
- ckup key and business critical files (e.g. financial data, contracts, etc.) frequently, keeping multiple versions. In the event that your technology is infected with malware and you don’t detect it right away, using an older backup set may be necessary to avoid any possible data corruption or loss of integrity with the backups.
- Create a backup schedule, rotate your backup media and take them offsite regularly. In the event of a natural disaster at your office you will want to make sure you have a copy of your data available to restore.
- Keep your software installation disks and software keys in a safe place, offsite if appropriate. In the event of a failure that requires a re-install or a new setup, these will be critical to rebuild your environment before restoring your data
- Create periodic backup “images” of key servers and workstations, including the operating system and applications. This can speed the recovery process in the event of a disk or other equipment failure, saving the time of rebuilding these systems from scratch.
- While on-site / local backup devices are less expensive and typically faster to recover data from, maintenance and support of these devices (e.g. changing and rotating them offsite) can be a challenge. People forget to change the device or take it offsite, the backup devices can fail as well, etc. An online backup service is also an excellent way to copy key and business critical files offsite, backed up safely and securely.
- Test your backups! Just because you have implemented a backup plan, don’t assume that it is (always) working. Test your backups regularly by restoring some or all of your data to the same or alternate equipment, making sure that you can get your data back when you really need it. As your business requires (and your industry mandates), you will want to test your disaster recovery and business continuity plan on a regular schedule.
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