Are You Playing Russian Roulette With Your Backed-Up Data?
By now, all of us are aware of the many threats to the security of our technology systems and data. The catastrophic loss of critical data can ruin a business organization rendering it unable to deliver products and services to customers and worst of all, because its reputation will be severely tarnished. According to Unitrends, a back-up and disaster recovery company, 94% of companies suffering from a catastrophic data loss do not survive.
The single best defense against known cybersecurity threats is the implementation of a comprehensive data back-up plan which identifies what data is needed to be recovered in case of a loss and how soon it must be back on-line.
Like everything else in technology, back-ups can also fail. The last thing you need after a catastrophic data loss is to find out that your backups are not available. To ensure that back-ups are in good working condition, they must be tested on a regular basis to ensure your critical business data is preserved as expected and can be restored if and when your data is compromised.
What Makes an Effective Back-Up?
For back-ups to be effective they must be ready when needed without failure. To get to this level of reliability you must:
Create a backup schedule: first and foremost, a solid back-up plan will clearly identify the specific data that must be backed-up, and the time of day such back-up is to be performed. In addition, the back-up process must run automatically to avoid the possibility of someone forgetting to back-up the data.
Monitor back-ups: next, do not assume that the back-up process ran without problems the night before. Monitoring the status and health of the back-ups will help you identify possible failures and correct the problem immediately.
Test your back-ups: the last thing you need to do to ensure the effectiveness of the backed-up data is to test it. Test your data as if you were restoring it and do this periodically, i.e., monthly, weekly, etc. Make sure you document the backed-up data you tested and the day and time you ran the test.
Benefits of Regular Back-Up Testing
The three elements listed above should be key components of your disaster recovery plan and will yield important benefits such as:
Disaster recovery readiness: by testing and documenting your back-ups, you will know you are ready to deal with cybersecurity incidents such as ransomware, failed server, emergency contingency, etc.
Cybersecurity compliance: testing back-ups is a requirement of various regulations such as HIPAA, NIST, CMMC, etc.
Optimize data: while testing your data, you can identify data which may no longer be critical and can be archived in a different way. This way, when retrieving data, the process will run faster.
Be Prepared to Recover from Failures
Just like you run from fire, plan evacuations, and practice natural disaster drills, you must also test your back-ups in order to prepare your data restoration personnel if and when backed-up data needs to be restored. Do not wait until you have a problem to test your back-ups; it can prove to be disastrous.
If you have any questions concerning Back-Up Disaster Recovery solutions, please give us a call at (915) 587-7902; we would be happy to visit with you.