How organized is your company’s network and data? Perhaps more importantly, how quickly could you get back up and running in the event of a catastrophic loss?
When disaster strikes, a business’s success depends on your ability to be nimble and ensure business continuity. An Iron Mountain study revealed that 33% of organizations surveyed do not conduct routine backups. And while “disaster recovery” is a top concern for businesses in light of events like Hurricanes Irene and Sandy and the growing number of data breaches, it’s apparent that the execution of suitable protection is lacking.
Here are seven best practices to consider when evaluating your disaster recovery protocol:
- Plan for Redundancy – Observe the 3-2-1 Rule: make sure that three copies of your data exist, on two different media, and at least one copy maintained off-site.
- Trust but Verify – The old Regan-ism may be a holdover from the Cold War but couldn’t be more appropriate when thinking about data recovery. Verify your backup nightly. Test the recovery of files from backup regularly. Repeat. Make sure your backup is functioning properly when you don’t need it, so you can rely on it when you do.
- Plan for Accessibility – In the case of a business interruption, you may not be able to operate from your main site. Invest in backup systems that allow you to work remotely and give you instant access to critical data and files.
- Be Compliant – Business is becoming more highly regulated, from general privacy policies to industry-specific regulations like HIPAA in the healthcare field. Make sure your backup systems and IT vendors provide the same level of compliance that your core systems do.
- Be prepared – Craft a disaster recovery plan. Test it. Communicate it to your team. Be ready to put it into action. All the data backup in the world won’t help your company if you don’t know what to do when disaster strikes.
- Think scalable – Your business and the data you generate will grow. Does your backup have the capacity to grow with you? When you consider data backup, it’s important to think about where your company is going more so than where you are now.
- Ask for Help – Consider the support you have with your business’s core operating systems and platforms. Will your backups and data recovery run on your contingency platforms? Will the data play nice? A trusted partner can help you get back up and running and an investment in the right backup systems will keep everything running smoothly.
When it comes to data backup and recovery, we put best practices in place to prepare you for the worst and minimize the effect a disaster will have on your company’s operations. Like anything, it’s not enough to have the system, you have to use it. What piece of data or technology would have the biggest impact on your operations if you lost access? If you asked your team right now to verify your disaster recovery plan, would they know how?