No business owner likes to think about it, but every business needs to be prepared for the possibility of their data disappearing. Have you taken steps to ensure that, should some disaster strike, you will be prepared to dust yourself off and continue operations? Furthermore, are you sure that your preparations will be sufficient and your data will be preserved?
The terms “disaster” and “data disaster” are too often used interchangeably. While definitely connected, they certainly are not the same thing. A “disaster” is a weather event or some other external force that puts your business in peril, often by leading to a “data disaster,” which is when your organization suffers data loss of some magnitude.
However, a business doesn’t necessarily need to undergo a full-blown disaster to experience a data disaster. A data disaster can be caused by events that, at first glance, seem much more manageable than physically destructive. Data disasters can be brought upon a company if a crucial piece of hardware fails, as well as hacking attacks or the unnervingly common user error.
Make no mistake, there is nothing inherently manageable about these circumstances. They can cause significant destruction to your business. It’s your responsibility to be certain that your business continuity plan has a backup solution is prepared for whatever type of disaster may be headed your way. However, what many would consider a “backup solution” is simply insufficient.
In order for a backup solution to be safely reliable, it has to meet a few criteria:
- It has to be regularly updated multiple times a day. After all, what good would a backup taken three months ago do for your business?
- It must be stored off-site, preferably in numerous locations. This is to avoid whatever data-loss disaster that destroys your in-house data, also destroying your backup data.
- It must be tested to ensure it does its job. A backup solution that doesn’t work is the same as not having a backup solution at all.
Remember, these are the basics of data backup, which should only be a part of a comprehensive business continuity plan. Preserving your data is a good start, but in the case of some catastrophe, you’ll need a plan to get your business up and running again.