There are all kinds of threats to your business’s data in this day and age. Computers on your network could get hit with viruses, hardware could fail, or a natural disaster could occur that destroys your equipment. It’s crucial that you back up your business’s data so that you can restore what you need should something go wrong.
While you should back up data regularly, that’s far from the only precaution you need to take if you want to keep that data safe. Read on for why you need a backup for your data and the best practices in creating those backups.
The Importance of Backing Up Data
When you have your data backed up, you can quickly restore it should anything happen that compromises or destroys it. Without a backup, you’re at risk of losing valuable data should anything happen. All it would take is one natural disaster or another issue to damage your business seriously.
Start by Prioritizing Your Data
The first thing you need to do is look at your business’s data and decide what is most important. You may not be able to back up everything, especially if your business has a significant amount of data. Figure out which types of data are most valuable and which you don’t need. For example, intellectual property data is essential and should be a priority, whereas schedules for previous months are of little value and probably don’t require backups.
Have On and Off-Site Backups
You can typically restore your data much more quickly when you’ve backed it up locally, but the problem with this is that any issues that affect you locally could jeopardize those backups. An off-site backup alleviates this problem by spreading your data across multiple locations. With an off-site backup, you can always feel confident that you have your data available no matter what happens at your office. Make sure you update both backups regularly.
Set Up Automatic Backups
Manually backing up your data is not a good idea, because all it takes is one person to forget about it and you could lose valuable data. It’s easy enough to set up automatic backups, so make it easier on yourself and protect your business by doing so.
Use Encryption to Protect Your Data
You never want your business’s sensitive information to fall into the wrong hands, making it essential that you use on-disk encryption and data in-transit encryption to stay protected. Without encryption, a resourceful cyber criminal could easily gain access to information and harm your business. While encryption is always important, it’s even more critical when you’re storing certain types of information. Credit card information and health records are two types of information that have regulations which you need to follow.
Plan Disaster Recovery at Your Company
Something that often gets lost between backing up data is actually having a plan in place for disaster recovery. Don’t wait until a disaster occurs to figure out what you’re going to do. Evaluate potential threats to your business’s data and put plans in place regarding how you’ll respond to them. Your plans need to effectively minimize those threats and get everything back up and running as soon as possible.
You don’t want your company’s productivity to grind to a halt when a disaster occurs. To ensure that employees can continue working, have a backup of your infrastructure that you can launch right away when it’s needed. This plan should include your more important programs and applications so that employees can still use them in the moments following a crisis.
Test Your Backups
Just like you shouldn’t wait until the last moment to figure out a recovery plan, the first time you use one of your backups shouldn’t be when disaster strikes and you need them to work. Perform a test by checking your backups in an isolated environment and see that they work properly. By doing routine tests of your backups, you can be confident that they’ll be ready to go when you need them.
While this process may be a bit more in-depth than simply backing up your data, a backup that doesn’t work makes a bad situation catastrophic. Setting everything up is well worth the peace of mind in knowing that you have your data and can reload it at a moment’s notice.