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Protect your data with our backup and disaster recovery checklist

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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 firstly address the main sources of data loss. Subsequently, we provide a practical backup and disaster recovery checklist.

Common sources of data loss

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

The main sources of data loss include:

  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

The checklist below provides a practical guide to protecting your business against data loss. It ensures 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: automate your backup process to reduce the risk of data loss from a missed backup.
  • Store backups securely: store your backups 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: recall your backups 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.

The checklist above will form the back bone of your backup strategy. Furthermore, it is important to fully understand your system requirements. This will also guide your backup strategy, as it will help you understand what needs to be backed up and when. We’ve put together the following list of questions to help:

  1. How much data and what type of data do you need to back 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?

In summary, with the rise in cyber attacks and breaches, organisations of all sizes need to protect their data. Importantly, they need to make sure their systems can be restored efficiently and effectively. Key to this is having a Disaster Recovery and Backup plan to restore operations and avoid data loss.


 

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