The Importance Of Data Backup
Data plays a pivotal role in your business productivity and growth. Data loss can ground you, and if you do not have a backup plan, you may take longer to recover.
Your employees may cause you to lose data if they are not practicing safe data handling procedures. Opening and downloading attachments on unfamiliar emails exposes them to phishing. They can also lose data if they share their passwords and pass keys with unauthorized people.
Your devices may fail due to cyberattacks like ransomware and malware attacks, power outages, or viruses. Disasters like floods, earthquakes, and storms can hit your office and affect your IT infrastructure.
Data loss affects businesses of all sizes and from all industries. You need an effective data backup system to ensure you can recover your data when you lose it. Let us explore the importance of data backup.
Prevent Data Loss
You can lose data in several ways. Your IT devices and systems are bound to fail occasionally, causing you to lose data. In some cases, your employees or external forces wanting to interfere with your operations may steal the data. Employees also lose their devices or delete files with sensitive data erroneously.
Quick Access to Files
If you have your data backed up, you will access it easily when you experience downtime due to cyberattacks, system or device failures, human error, or natural calamities. A cloud-based backup will help you access your data from anywhere, as long as you have an internet signal.
This helps when your physical infrastructure is damaged, and you have to relocate or when your remote teams lose their data. They do not have to come to the office for the data to be restored to their devices.
Every business experiences downtime occasionally. If you have a data backup system, you will reduce your downtime since you can recover and restore it once your system or devices are repaired.
Data backup maximizes your uptime and productivity. You will experience less interference in your operations, leaving you with more time to work on productive tasks. It will also help you recover the data you need to keep your operations ongoing. This could be clients’ accounts and contacts or information on your suppliers, without which the supply chain may be interfered with.
Clients appreciate efficient systems. If you are frequently experiencing downtime and delayed processes, you may lose your clients to your competitors. Back up your data to retain your clients and get a competitive advantage.
You may think that backing up your data is enough, but it is not. That is only the first step in ensuring your data is safe. The next step is to ensure it is available and accurate when you need it.
In other words, can you recover and restore the data? After installing it, in what state will it be? How fast can you recover the data? These are pertinent issues that you may not get answers to unless you test your data backup system. Why is it important to test your data backup system? Let us explore that.
Avoiding Legal Consequences
Backing up and protecting the data will protect you from legal consequences. Some laws like HIPPA require you to backup and protect customers’ data. Some regulations also require you to report to customers whenever you lose their data.
Importance of Data Backup Testing
To Test the Effectiveness of the Backup System
You can only tell that your backup system is effective by testing if it is doing what it is supposed to do. During backup testing, you will see if your files and data is loading successfully on your backup system.
This will also tell you if your employees adhere to your backup policy since you can see the data they have uploaded and when they uploaded it. If you hired an IT company like Baroan Technologies to help you install your backup system, you will be able to tell if they are reliable or not.
Your backup test will show you if you can restore all or part of your data when you need it. In case of a total system failure, you will need to recover all your data.
However, you may need some of the data faster than the rest, needing you to do a partial recovery. Test if your backup system can allow you to do so. You also need to test if your Local Area Network (LAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN) support recovery of large volumes of data.
To Test Your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO)
Your RTO refers to the time it takes to restore your data and resume operations after a downtime. You should test it to ensure you will not take too long to recover and restore data from your backup system. You also need to test your RPO, which is the amount of data you can lose without harming your operations.
Accuracy of Recovered Data
Once you recover your data, your subject matter experts should inspect it for accuracy. Check that the data is restored in the correct order and on the appropriate devices. You also need to check if the data coming in from your offsite backups is protected from malware and ransomware.
Data Recovery Consistency
Your backup test will reveal if you can recover your data consistently across your devices and departments. Your RTO and RPO should also be consistent regardless of the volume and nature of the data. It will also reveal if you can consistently recover data from all your backup sites.
Dangers of Failing to Test Data Backup and Recovery
If you fail to test your data recovery, you may find out too late that you cannot recover and restore the data. Here are some of the problems you may experience:
- Failing to locate your backup hardware when you need it
- Data failing to restore on new devices
- Data failing to restore due to missing or inconsistent drivers and software versions
- Your data may fail to restore on a hard drive that is inconsistent in size with the hard drive it was backed up from.
Contact us for more information.