Data loss shock is avoidable

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Data is very easy to lose and it is only a matter of when, not if. Major calamities such as natural disasters, electrical faults and fires will do it.

1 June 20187 mins
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Death, taxes and data loss are inevitable. Data is very easy to lose, it is only a matter of when, not if.

Major disasters; man made, equipment failure or natural events like, lightning strikes, floods and fires happen often, which businesses under-estimated the loss of just not data as well as business goodwill and customers.

Technology continues to transform, not just the way we do business as well as the business processes itself. Every business now collects enormous amounts of data through various channels and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow.

Can you imagine what would happen to your day-to-day business operations without access to technology?

The impact of data loss on business operations can be crippling. However there is a very simple and cost-effective way to mitigate these risks. A sound, rehearsed back-up and recovery plan will keep your business running no matter what. Commitment to a nightly back-up window is a business habit worth its weight in gold.

The tried and tested data backup best practice of 3-2-1: 3 copies of your data, 2 are local on different formats and 1 copy offsite, your Air Gap - Gold copy.

Data back-up is the only practice that guarantees access to vital business information in the event of data loss. It protects business operations and commercial viability. It also ensures compliance with the record-keeping obligations imposed by law. The timeline for the majority of business data is 7 years but exceptions can apply. Back-up is technology’s packhorse; it carries the load and delivers peace of mind. The value of a regular and accurate back-up regime is business critical.

Just as critical are your data recovery procedures. A swift and complete recovery from back-up tapes protects business productivity and reputation. Doing a test restore on a regular basis ensures there are no hiccups or unforeseen glitches in the event of a recovery request. How quickly and efficiently your business gets up and running again after a data loss incident highlights your professionalism to customers and other stakeholders.

How do you test your recovery procedures?

Regular data recovery tests confirm that your back-ups, whether they are on tape, disk or Cloud, are doing their job. There is a point in time for auditing along with verification of back-up operations. Regular rehearsal refreshes familiarity with procedures and also assists to train other members of the team on recovery procedures. This means less stress and lower probability of human error under the pressure of a data loss crisis.

Back-up and recovery systems and infrastructure need to support shifts in both business and technology. They are not a matter of “set and forget”. Re-evaluation of data back-up and recovery platforms to accommodate business growth, new technologies, the continuing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend and the demands of legacy systems, is ongoing. Business needs will dictate ongoing and necessary changes and investment.

An understanding of the different types of data generated by your business and where it is located, is mandatory. Not all data sits tidily on the company directory. Increasingly it is stored on mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphone. Not all data is created equal and different data has different demands. Mission-critical data will have a different back-up standard to lower priority data, which needs to be retained for compliance or competitive objectives. Depending on your industry and business operations, your data will require a unique range of Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPO). Managing information on how important it is to a business can create savings when it comes to storage and back-up.

Regular data health check-ups maintain the vigour of back-up systems. As information moves from being “young” to “old”, a systematic archiving program for “old” or “stale” data saves back-up time and money. “Old”, or less critical data can be relegated to lower-cost back-up systems. Only current, or high priority data remains in the regular back-up pipeline. Systematic, verified back-ups can save your business from any compromise through data loss. A disciplined approach to recovery tests secures business productivity and viability. When the need arises you will be prepared and recovery of data will be seamless.

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