Data Backup and Disaster Recovery: Why It’s Important For Your Business
For many businesses, especially service related businesses, their most valuable asset is their data. If you cannot access your data, then you won’t be able to serve your customers in a timely manner and your customer service will take a hit. This results in a lack of confidence by your customers and possibly even a loss of business revenue. Therefore your business must have a data backup and disaster recovery plan in place and verified.
Local Data Storage
Your data backups should be stored on a NAS or Network Attached Storage device. A NAS allows you to backup your data onsite and is scalable, meaning if you need more storage, you can simply add larger hard drives to it. It gives your business a central, password protected location for all your backups.
Combined with offsite replication of backups, a NAS can hold many years of backups. For instance, let’s say someone accidentally deleted a file and didn’t realize it for 60 days. With a NAS in place and offsite replication configured, you would be able to retrieve that file, indefinitely.
We previously discussed the importance of having image-based backups, as opposed to simply file-based backups. You not only want to backup your data, but also backup your operating system, programs, and your application settings.
Having a local backup is imperative, however you need to consider all scenarios. For instance, physical disasters, like flooding, tornados, earthquake, fire, and theft. You also need to protect yourself against other disasters like hackers. A NAS allows for the creation of a special user account that maintains sole access to the folder where the 256-bit AES encrypted backups are stored. For this reason, once your data has been backed up on a NAS, it should then be taken offside electronically. This protects the data in the event that your network encounters a complete disaster.
Offsite backups must be encrypted before they leave the local network. A good backup strategy would automatically encrypt these backups after they were taken. All backups should be taken locally (on a NAS), encrypted, and then replicated (duplicated) to an offsite data center. Your data must be encrypted BEFORE transferring it offsite because this is where it’s the most vulnerable to cyber attack – Data In Transit. You don’t want someone to be able to read the data.
Encrypting your data before transferring it offsite allows you to stay in compliance of local state and federal laws, like HIPAA AND FINRA, as well as guarantees business continuity for your company.
Testing Your Backups
What good is a backup if you go to restore it – it doesn’t work? Backups will fail from time to time – this is a normal occurrence and it does happen. However, if these backups are monitored, whatever issue is causing the backups to fail can be alleviated and those backups can resume.
A solid backup plan would be automated and actively monitored. This is how you can guarantee the business continuity of your company – testing is crucial. At 24×7 Protect IT, Inc. we verify that the backup and it is tested on a regular basis to make sure that they’re going to be available when you need them the most.
Prepare your Business for the Future
At 24×7 Protect IT, Inc., we help Small Businesses, Do Business; Securely. We currently serve Cobb & Cherokee Counties, Georgia. If you like more information and a free 2-hour consultation where we can discuss your data backup and disaster recovery needs, contact us today.