When was the last time you checked your backup was working properly?
This is a question many businesses don't think about but protecting your business data is critical - it's the lifeblood of your business. Your backup is your insurance policy against data loss a a potentially destructive disaster.
The only way to know if your backup is working is to test it periodically. Actually knowing that it will restore everything and get you up and running after a disaster is an essential part of an effective backup strategy.
How to Check Your Backup
So the only sure way to know if your backup is working properly is to at least monthly do a test restore. You don’t have to test the entire system every time, but it is a good idea to at least test restore your irreplaceable business data files, for obvious reasons.
Have your IT person or IT provider restore a file from the backup to prove it is working effectively. If it's not, ask them what they are going to do not only to fix it, but to make sure it works on an ongoing basis.
Other Essential Parts of Your Backup Strategy
Next, you should ensure the following eight things are part of your backup strategy:
1.Use image-based backup software for your on-premise backup. Image-based backup software creates an exact copy of your operating system and everything else, including your system state and all your application settings so that you can get your systems back up and running as soon as possible in case of an issue.
2.Back up data onsite throughout the day on an hourly basis so you don't run the risk of losing a day's worth of data.
3.Do daily backup checks to make sure your backup is working properly. This should be done by an IT professional and doesn't need to add to your to do list.
4.Monitor backups on an ongoing basis. Many things can stop backups from working. Having ongoing monitoring that will alert when there is an issue is critical.
5.Schedule monthly test restores. As mentioned above, this is the only way to truly know your backup is working properly.
6.Ensure your backups go offsite to a secure data centre. All of your backups should be offsite to protect against a disaster (fire,flood, theft, etc).
7.Make sure there is data retention. Your backups should not just backup the latest version of your data, you should be able to go back to a specific date and time to restore data from then. This protects you from human error, viruses and software corruption, the most common type of data loss. Many backup systems don't do this!
8.Have a written backup and disaster recovery plan. It doesn't need to be complicated but you should have something in writing about what your plan is and what to do in a disaster.
f you are not confident your backup strategy includes all the above elements your data could be at risk. Please give us a call or click the link below and we will develop a Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan for free for you!