Even the most careful and cautious business in the world is at risk of natural and human-made disasters that could bring down essential infrastructures and systems. No matter what industry you are in or what size your business is, a foolproof data back up and disaster recovery plan is vital to protecting your company and avoiding a crisis should the worst happen.
Getting back-ups correct is no easy task, and disaster recovery is even more difficult to implement effectively. Ever changing and growing technology such as cloud solutions adds yet another layer of complexity to IT systems and is just another aspect that needs a reliable back up plan. As well as this, strict data laws such as GDPR put even more pressure on companies to protect their customer’s data and avoid security breaches.
The terms data back-up and disaster recovery are often misunderstood and misused; it is essential to understand that having a back-up plan is different from having a disaster recovery strategy and that you may need both!
What is data back up?
A data back-up is a copy of your businesses data stored on another device in a different location to your originals. Often data back-ups are in the form of a separate drive or storage device within a data centre or stored in a completely different location to everything else.
In most cases, back-ups are created on a daily basis, so your back-up file is always up to date and relevant. Cloud technology provides an automatic and remote solution for creating daily back-ups. However, some businesses still operate with a physical drive that is backed up regularly by an individual.
These data back-ups give you the ability to restore your data back to the original source should anything go wrong. When running a business, it is essential to have a back-up plan in place to protect your data from the worst-case scenario. Creating a back-up plan requires deciding what needs to be backed up, how often it needs backing up and how long it should be kept for.
You will also need to consider how and where this data will be backed up. There is a range of back-up data solutions out there and to properly understand which is right for you and your business; you first need to understand your back-up requirements fully.
What is disaster recovery?
Disaster recovery is much more in-depth than a data back up and includes having a full plan and technical solution to keep your business running should a disaster strike. To establish an effective disaster recovery plan, you first need to identify which systems are required to keep your business functioning should an incident occur and how long your business can run with each various system being offline.
Disaster recovery solutions come in many different forms; some will automatically take over from the primary system if the connection is lost, while others involve restoring the system from back-ups.
Top tips to keep your business protected
Many businesses will require both a back-up data plan and disaster recovery strategy to protect themselves from a crisis adequately. There are a few best practices that every business should follow to ensure their data and systems are effectively protected in the event of a disaster:
The most important practice for any business is to make sure you have both a back-up data plan and a disaster recovery strategy in place to protect yourself. If your data doesn’t exist in at least two different places, then it might as well not exist at all; the same can be said for your systems and workloads. Computers and the data within them make up your organisation, and if you choose not to protect them properly you could end up with nothing.
Use the cloud to make reliable and automated back-ups. Cloud-based back-ups will back up your data over the internet and can be restored from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. Data is stored off-site and often protected from physical natural disasters such as flooding or fires. Back-ups can be arranged to complete automatically in the background, meaning you don’t have to worry about remembering to do them on a weekly or monthly basis.
Organisation is key. For a functional and reliable back up, ensure your files are organised into a sensible system. This way you will easily be able to locate your lost data should the worst happen.
When it comes to establishing an effective disaster recovery strategy, start by reviewing the basics. Audit all your internal back-up plans and determine where the areas of weaknesses are. Even the best disaster recovery plan in the world can’t recover data that hasn’t been properly backed up.
Keep your disaster recovery plan current. A disaster recovery plan cannot simply be set up and then left to its own devices until it is required, it needs to be maintained and updated as the business grows and evolves. It should always be at the forefront of your mind, and whenever a system or process within your business is changed, your disaster recovery plan needs to reflect that.
To review your back-up and disaster recovery strategy, get in touch with the experts at Cyan Solutions – we are ready to help to ensure your success.