5 Data Backup & Disaster Recovery Tips

Backup your files on discs!
Backup your files on discs and be sure to store them in a secure location off-site.

Whether you own a large corporation or run a small business from home, it is essential that you are aware of the Importance of data backup and disaster recovery. Unfortunately you can never predict when disaster is going to strike in the work place. A disaster can be anything from system failure, to damage caused by a flood, fire or earthquake. Many businesses that experience a disaster never fully recover. Follow our simple tips below to ensure that your business does not become one of them.

1.) Primary back-up solutions:

Your customer database is one of your most valuable assets. Without it your business may not be able to function. This is why it is essential to make back-up copies of your database as well as other important files and information. Back-up copies can be made on disks, USB sticks and external hard drives. Understandably many business owners are wary of copies being made, especially of confidential data, so it is important that these copies are stored in a secure location off-site.

2.) Secondary back-up solutions:

Larger businesses will be able to store back-up copies of their files in an off-site data centre, but this is not an affordable option for many small to medium sized businesses. Instead why not Store your files on the cloud? This virtual form of storage, known as cloud computing, enables businesses to upload their files to a safe place on the internet. These files can be accessed remotely using a username and password.

Cloud computing is an affordable solution for small to medium sized businesses. Shop around to find the host offering the best price and be sure to check their terms and conditions. Using cloud storage will give you the peace of mind knowing that your files are safe, even if your physical IT infrastructure has been damaged.

3.) Use a virtual server:

A virtual server is capable of hosting a replica of your physical environment. It can be accessed remotely and often works out much cheaper than having a physical back-up server. If something unfortunate has happened to your workplace, you can simply access the virtual server within minutes from an off-site location.

4.) Create a data retention policy:

All businesses should have a data retention policy in place. This policy should inform your employees of the importance of backing up their data. It should tell them what data they need to back up, when they should do it and how it needs to be done. Business owners should schedule regular back-up sessions and appoint a member of their team to oversee it. If you fail to teach your staff the importance of backing up data, you may find that you are left with out of date copies of your files, which will not be of any worth to your business in the event of a disaster.

External hard drives are great for backing-up
External hard drives are great for backing-up data but it is essential that they are kept in a secure location, especially if they contain confidential data.

5.) Test your plan:

It is important to create a disaster and recovery plan that is clear, concise and easy for your staff to follow. A step-by-step guide is always useful. Appoint a leader to oversee the whole procedure as you may be busy doing other things like contacting your insurance company.

We cannot stress enough how important it is to regularly test your plan. It would be no good to find out that your back-up copies do not work, or that you cannot gain access to your virtual server in the middle of a disaster. The more you test your plan, the less likely you are to face problems recovering your data, should disaster strike your workplace.

The key to successful data back-up and disaster recovery planning is to always plan for the worst. It is much better to spend time and money preparing for a disaster than to find that you are left with no resources to run your business if something unfortunate happens.

Author Bio:

Written by SAS London, digital agency based in the United Kingdom.

Image credits: bobbigmac&miss karen

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