IT Support &
Business Software

Protect your data with our backup and disaster recovery checklist


In a previous post, we addressed the subtle but significant differences between backup, disaster recovery and business continuity. Understanding how these processes interlink is a key part of protecting your data.

In this post, we address the main sources of data loss and provide a practical backup and disaster recovery checklist.

Common sources of data loss:

  1. Hardware failure
  2. Viruses and malware
  3. Accidental or malicious deletion
  4. Software malfunction
  5. Theft and natural disaster such as fire or water damage

Data loss can prove extremely costly, not only in terms of business continuity and productivity, but also reputational damage. There is also the possibility of costly legal action in the case of security breaches.

The checklist below provides a practical guide to protecting your business against data loss by ensuring data is regularly backed up and easily retrievable.

Backup and Disaster Recovery Checklist

  • Backup regularly: regular backups provide more recovery points and ensure your data remains up to date. As a minimum, we recommend daily backups.
  • Schedule backups: automating the backup process reduces the risk of data loss from a missed backup.
  • Store backups securely: backups should be stored in a safe location, whether a fire proof safe or an off-site location, including the cloud.
  • Set up monitoring and alerts: email alerts report on the status of all backups and notify you of any failed attempts.
  • Test and validate your backups: backups should be recalled periodically to verify that your data can be successfully retrieved.
  • Test your disaster recovery process: undertake a full system restore, including applications and operating systems, to ensure your recovery process is viable.

In order to guide your backup strategy, we’ve prepared the following list of useful questions:

  1. How much data and what type of data needs to be backed up (i.e. files, applications, databases etc.)?
  2. How often does your data change?
  3. How often do you need to run a backup and how long will it take?
  4. What is the best time to schedule backups?
  5. How quickly do you need to recover your data from backup?
  6. How long do you need to keep the backups?
  7. What kind of security measures does the data require?


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