The amount of digital data that small and medium-sized businesses must process and store continues to increase exponentially, and the need for proper backup and recovery procedures is more pronounced than ever. In order to avoid expensive downtime and ruinous data loss in the event of an emergency, take some time to review your data backup procedures and ensure that they aren’t a weak link in your company.
Have a formalized, written plan in place
It isn’t enough to talk about data backup best practices in a meeting and assume that everyone will follow the guidelines from then on. It’s imperative that you have codified procedures in place to deal with your company’s specific data security needs, as holding your team accountable for implementing best practices leads to safer data. Make sure the individuals responsible for backup procedures keep detailed logs which are routinely checked by others.
Prioritize your vulnerable data accordingly
The first step in any disaster recovery backup plan should be understanding of exactly what types of data you are going to be storing in your backups and prioritizing them. It’s crucial to have a detailed knowledge of the various categories of sensitive data that your organization collects, what is being done to keep it secure, and which employees have access to view and modify the data.
Stick to your schedules
Some business leaders may be tempted to think that data backup schedules are arbitrary, and that postponing a planned backup for a mission critical business need serves the greater good of the company. In fact, the data security effort is integral to the future of the organization, and backup schedules should be treated as non-negotiable duties.
Test your backups regularly
Once you’ve decided on a routine schedule for your data backups, it’s important to remember that they are only as good as your testing apparatus. You need to know both that the correct information is being saved during your backup procedures, and that you will be able to successfully execute a recovery when necessary. Backup data stored on servers must be examined frequently to ensure its efficacy and help you prepare for the worst.
Craft procedures for physical media
Although it is becoming less common, many businesses still have to receive or transmit sensitive customer data via physical media. Once this information has been digitally backed up and stored you must have protocols in place for dealing with the physical copies, whether by destruction or proper storage.
Store your backup data at a secondary location
It’s generally wise to store your data backups on offsite servers. In the event of a catastrophe at your main office, you may be able to restore some core functionality by accessing data backups through mobile devices.
Choose the right partner for your data recovery needs
Disaster recovery preparations are a serious responsibility, but you don’t have to undertake them alone. Great Lakes Computer offers comprehensive agentless backup and recovery plans, so that you can rest easy knowing that your critical data is always as protected as possible.