Data loss and the 8 Essential steps you can take to protect your data
After all my years in IT, I am still surprised how complacent people are towards their backups. Often it seems Brainworx care more about our clients data than they do themselves.
Why is that? I think it is human nature. People like to believe data loss will never happen to them. If I quote data loss statistics they think I am scare mongering. If I offer a robust disaster recovery plan they only look at the dollars, politely decline and hope they will never need it.
What do I mean by data? I mean word documents, excel spreadsheets, pdfs, images, photos, database files, emails, accounting files, music files, data relating to customised programs.
I am going to stick my neck out and say that nearly every business at some point will experience data loss to one degree or another. Think about it, have you:
- Ever had a corrupted file that you needed to recover from backup? – this could be a database file, excel or word document
- Have you ever had a pc or server hard drive die and lose the data on it?
- Have your premises ever had a fire, a flood, or an earthquake which has caused damage to your IT equipment and resulted in a loss of data?
- Has a power surge or power outage ever caused damage to your computers and resulted in either corruption or loss of data?
- Have you or one of your colleagues accidentally deleted a file and needed to recover it?
- Has a disgruntled staff member ever stole or intentionally deleted data, whether it was emails or client records?
- Have you or a colleague ever accidentally saved over an existing file because you were using it as a template and you needed to recover back to the original?
- Have you ever had your home or office premises broken into and had your computer stolen along with your data
- Have you ever had your laptop stolen from your car and lost your data
These are all real life scenarios where our clients have experienced lost or corrupted data.
8 Essential steps to protect your data
What would the cost be to your company if you lost your data and you didn’t have a proper plan in place? How long would it take to replace lost work?. How many people would have to spend how many days to create everything from scratch? Would your business even survive a massive data loss?
- Have a strategy
Answering the following questions will help you to decide the best strategy for your backups:
– How long can you go without the lost data?
– Will you be making full, incremental, differential or delta backups?
– How quickly will you need data restored?
– What devices will you use?
– How secure do your backups need to be?
– How long do you need to keep the data for?
- Prepare for the worst
If the building burns down, your onsite backups might go the same way as your primary systems. You should think about offsite or cloud backups as part of your plan.
- How much can you afford to lose?
Research which data would have the biggest impact if you were to lose it. Break data down into categories and work out which is your most critical data. Critical data should be backed up into the cloud.
- How long can you go before your data is restored?
The answer to this question will be different for each of the categories of data you identified. And it will inform your decision about what backup systems you need.
- Consider your backup applications
Not only does your backup solution need to fit your business needs, but it also needs to suit the applications you run. For example is the backup software – SQL and Exchange aware?
- Choose your platform
What platform will you use to back up to? Local or cloud or both. Brainworx strongly recommends a hybrid backup both locally and in the cloud.
- Take an image
Do not just backup data. Image backups capture your whole system so that you can restore everything. That includes your operating system, applications, settings, bookmarks, and file states right before disaster struck.
- Check and double check
Your system is no good to you if it is not working. Check and check again that you are capturing usable backups in the format you are expecting by performing test restores. Brainworx offers test restores as part of our maintenance plans.
At Brainworx we use the hybrid approach for backing up our own data. Our server data is backed up to the cloud and we also use local backups to external hard drive as added insurance.
Don’t leave your data at risk for a moment longer – contact Brainworx now to discuss your backup requirements.