Are You Backing Up Your Business Data the Right Way?

June 11th, 2014

External hard disk connected to laptop

Data makes the business world go round. Here’s why you need to protect it, along with the best ways to go about it.

Why back up data?

Because most business data is now digital, we can no longer go to the filing cabinet for a copy if the original goes missing. Everything is now stored on servers or online and if systems fail, that data can be lost forever.

Data loss is not only bad for business through lost productivity, but with many businesses now storing personal information, data loss can be bad for business from a compliance perspective as well.

Having backup copies ensures that if there is a fire, theft, server failure or local natural disaster, the data is not lost and the business can be up and running again in a short space of time.

Backup methods

The backup method you use will depend on the amount of data you have and how sensitive that data is. Common methods include:

  • CD or DVD backup – this is adequate for small businesses with not much data.
  • External hard drives – this can be suitable for small to medium businesses, although the hard drives should ideally be offsite.
  • Cloud backup – this is becoming the most popular method, as no hardware is required and the data is stored securely in the cloud.

Whichever method you employ, you need to make sure that your original data and your backups are not stored in the same location. Ideally, you should use several data backup methods, so that you are fully protected.

Backup best practices

While most businesses have some kind of backup procedure, many don’t perform them well and could be leaving themselves exposed to the risk of data loss. A good backup procedure should include:

  • Backing up regularly, preferably every day
  • Testing backups to ensure that data has been backed up correctly
  • Storing the backups offsite in a secure location
  • Having good security practices, such as encryption and passwords
  • Automating backup procedures to ensure they are done regularly.

Best backup solution

Large corporations have traditionally used magnetic tapes as their preferred backup medium, which are stored in secure offsite facilities as part of their disaster management programs.

Today, as more and more data is produced by business, cloud storage has become the more practical alternative, given the infinite capacity of the Internet.

For a monthly fee, IT support companies can now monitor your data remotely and perform daily backups to secure locations in the cloud, without you needing to be involved.

A good backup service should do the following:

  • Back up systems
  • Test data restore from previous backup
  • Check all backup event logs
  • Truncate unnecessary catalogues
  • Clean tape drive heads (if applicable)
  • Update emergency restore disk.

If you’re researching backup options for your business, Connected Intelligence can help you at any step along the way.

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