Importance Of Data Backup and IT Disaster Recovery
How long could your business survive if day-to-day operations suddenly ground to a halt? Most organisations can’t afford prolonged periods of unplanned downtime.
Security breaches, natural disasters, and even simple acts of human error are constant threats to your business data, regardless of the industry that you are in. Lose that data without a recovery plan in place and you’re suddenly at risk of you and your customers’ data getting into the wrong hands. Losing critical business data can cause reputational damage and financial difficulties to the point of no return.
So how can you make sure you’re prepared for the worst in this case?
Data Backup and Disaster Recovery
You need to have both a data backup and disaster recovery plan to first protect your data, and then be able to get up and running again quickly. But what’s the difference between backup and disaster recovery?
Data backup is the process of making multiple copies of data. These copies can be restored if you encounter a problem at a later date – accidental deletion or file corruption, for example.
But just having copies of data doesn’t mean you can get your business up and running again immediately if catastrophe strikes. You’ll need a plan for quickly getting your processes and systems online again after an outage or failure. This is your disaster recovery plan.
Why Are Data Backup and Disaster Recovery Important?
Your backup and IT disaster recovery solutions are your way of making it more likely that you can recover from setbacks, whether due to human error, equipment failures, malware attacks or natural disasters.
Granted, spending an hour retrieving lost data after a small accidental deletion isn’t the end of the world. But if it takes days to get your business back on track after a disaster, you stand to lose considerable amounts of time and money. There are several reasons why investing in data backup and disaster recovery is important, including:
- Protecting your clients and customers
- Protecting your business
- Protecting your peace of mind
The last thing you need to be doing is worrying about the chance of your data being lost due to reasons outside of your control. Having robust and well-tested backup and disaster recovery plans in place, provided by a trusted IT company, can give you the confidence you need to carry on business as usual.
How To Back Up Your Data
There are many different options for data backup, and which system is most suitable for your business will depend on a number of factors including the size of your organisation, amount of data to be stored and the budget you have available.
Traditionally, many businesses kept their data on their own hard drives. Small organisations may even use USB flash drives or external drives as a backup. However, these methods have flaws. Something as simple as a power outage on site renders your backups useless.
Offsite backup is a more widely favoured option due to its simplicity and low cost. Here, your data is encrypted, compressed, password protected and sent to remote facilities that are often some distance away from your primary site to keep your files safe and secure.
Cloud-based backup solutions are growing in popularity among organisations of all sizes. Not only do they allow you to safely store data, your files are accessible online at any time, from anywhere, and can be easily edited and updated.
This is one of the big draws to cloud backup. For best results, data should be backed up consistently and regularly. The more time passes between backups, the higher the risk of data being lost or missing during recovery. Cloud-based backup allows data to be stored in real-time as it is worked on so there is no gap between backups.
IT Disaster Recovery Planning
Before thinking about what would go into your disaster recovery plan, think about what you are trying to protect against and what would happen if you didn’t manage to protect yourself in the event of a disaster.
- How long can you operate without any of your IT systems online?
- How long will it take to get back online with your current recovery plan?
- How much will it cost you in the time it takes to get up and running again?
Disaster recovery plans should focus on keeping irreplaceable business-critical safe. But it’s not good just writing a procedure, you need to test it regularly too. It’s commonly accepted that your IT disaster recovery strategy is only as reliable as its last test. So test often.
Be proactive, not reactive
Whatever backup and IT disaster recovery plans you choose to explore, don’t wait. Plan for the worst. Backup and recovery plans can only benefit your business if they are designed, tested and put into place long before they are ever needed.
No business is immune to IT disasters, but how fast you can recover and get up and running again is down to the backup and disaster recovery plans you have in place.