My previous post began the conversation of why you needed a data backup strategy.
If you need any further convincing here’s an interesting stat from the Boston Consulting Network website:
60% of companies that lose their data will shut down within 6 months of the disaster.
Look here for more data backup statistics
… and now for Part 2:
Test your backups regularly
Once you have your backup procedures in place, should you rely completely on your backup software?
I wouldn’t recommend it. Backup software shouldn’t be relied upon to get it right all the time. To really be sure your backups are doing their job, periodically test the backups by attempting to restore them to another location. This will bring out any flaws or corrupted data before it’s too late.
Also, most backup applications have a backup log or create a backup report that can quickly identify any problems or skipped files in the backup procedure. Just be sure to review these logs every time your backups complete for anything suspicious.
A backup of a backup of a backup
Simply moving your data to an external hard drive or removable disk isn’t really a solid backup plan. Moving data from one location to another isn’t giving you any extra protection in case disaster strikes. If there aren’t at least two separate copies of your data, it’s not really a backup is it?
Although making a single backup, two copies of your files, is a good start, there is still some risk for data loss, especially if both copies are kept at the same location. If you had any natural disasters – fires or floods – or other disasters such as theft, both copies of your data could be easily damaged, destroyed, or lost.
For the best protection against data loss, especially from disasters, I’d recommend having at least three copies of your data: the original data, an easily-accessible backup and a protected copy of your backup.
While some larger companies may use dedicated off-site data storage services for this, you don’t have to be a big company to have three copies of your data. Even something as simple as using an inexpensive online backup service to keep a third copy of your data will be sufficient.
Keep Your Backup Software up-to-date
While antivirus software updates automatically, backup software will usually only remind you of available updates.Make sure you get the latest agents and support because your backup strategy will only protect against the threats it knows about.
And constantly monitor. Your backup media and backup software should be monitored regularly to ensure the backup jobs are working correctly.
Do you have a backup plan in place? How has it worked for you? Your thoughts are always welcome, so let us know!