Data is the lifeblood of any business. You rely on critical data–from customer to business information–to help keep track of your operations and ensure business profitability. With that in mind, you want to keep your data safe and protected from potential threats and prevent costly operational disruptions and reputational damage.
While there are several best practices to help you keep data secure such as installing a ransomware solution, there’s one strategy you should consistently implement to ensure business continuity–data backup and recovery.
This article shares five valuable tips for creating an efficient data backup and recovery plan for your small business.
- Consult The Experts
Unless you have the experience or a full in-house IT department, planning for your small business’s data backup and recovery plan should be done while consulting the experts. Data backup and recovery can be pretty complex and require several resources and time to plan, strategize, implement and test.
It’s easier to hire a reliable IT service provider like Rubrik, offering backup and recovery planning and management as part of a more comprehensive list of data protection services. Plus, with their knowledge and experience in the industry, they are often better suited to address these needs.
- Identify What You’re Protecting Your Business Against
When creating a backup and recovery plan, you want to know precisely what you want to protect your business from. This can help you determine the type and amount of backup and recovery strategies you need.
For instance, performing a file-level backup should be enough to protect your business against a team member deleting a document or file. For company-wide cyberattacks, backup hardware can ensure that you have the necessary data to keep your business operating. Meanwhile, natural disasters can quickly destroy all your local data, and cloud backups can provide your business recovery.
That said, consider a spectrum of data breaches and disasters and account for unforeseen circumstances, including structural failure, intellectual property lawsuits, and power outages. Experts also recommend planning and forming a recovery team for each contingency. While it’s impossible to account for every data disaster, the most influential business data backup and recovery plans can allow flexibility and anticipate a broad range of possibilities.
- Determine Critical Functions And Infrastructures
Next, you want to establish critical functions, devices, and infrastructure without which your business would cease to run.
Depending on your business operations, critical functions can take numerous forms. For instance, an online retail business may rely heavily on its website, which allows customers to order. On the other hand, for financial companies, a critical function may involve securely transferring electronic transactions.
- Evaluate Backup Options
The data backup market continues to evolve, providing businesses with various choices. To start, depending on your business’s needs, you need to decide if you’ll use software, hardware, cloud, or a combination of these solutions.
Hardware backups refer to disk-based backups. This is a standard solution for startups and small businesses. This storage device comes with integrated software that manages the backup data and serves as a storage target for data backups. Meanwhile, software and the cloud don’t need hardware to store data. In particular, cloud backup is a simpler and more convenient way to run, maintain, and access data backups.
- Perform Routine Tests
Even with robust tools that’ll allow you to back up critical business data, creating your data backup and recovery plan is not the end. You also need a data backup testing strategy to achieve complete data protection. After all, the best plans are ineffective if your backup fails to work during a disaster. As such, you must make routine testing part of the data backup and recovery planning process.
Testing your backup and recovery plan means carefully examining each step of your plan, ensuring it’ll perform as expected. This way, you can determine any mistakes or issues before it needs to work. This process includes running tests to recover corrupted files, assessing database recovery efficiency, and determining how long it’ll take to restore your data.
Nobody likes thinking about the worst. However, the worst tends to become a reality when you least expect it. The same is true with data breaches and disasters. Without an adequate backup and recovery plan, your company will be looking at catastrophic damages that could lead to financial loss or force you to close down your business for good.
As such, data backups and recovery plans should always be a part of your business strategy. Follow the above tips and techniques to help keep your business data secure and safe, minimizing disruption and damage while ensuring business continuity.