Data loss has always been an unfortunate reality for many businesses. Whether it’s due to lax security, hardware failure or a natural disaster, you need to prepare yourself and your company for the worst. Unfortunately, many companies seem to assume that major data losses only happen to other people.
This often results in poorly managed backups, as well as little or no disaster recovery planning. Companies that have regular service outages of more than 10 minutes lose customers and never regain them. On top of that, outages can cost hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of dollars. In short, no company, regardless of the size or structure, can afford to sustain major data loss. If your company makes use of servers, you need to have robust backup and recovery plans that include multiple people having access to the necessary hardware, software and passwords.
Five Ways to Prevent Major Data Loss
1. Define Your Data – This can seem daunting for companies managing massive data sets, but it’s a crucial step in ensuring the right data is recovered. This is particularly important for healthcare providers and financial businesses. You’ll need to define what data is mission critical and what is confidential. From here, you’ll be able to prioritize data recovery processes in the event of a major loss.
2. Get a Handle on Security – The worst thing that can happen during a loss is an additional security breach. This doesn’t have to happen, but it often does if your backup solutions are not secure enough while you’re recovering data. Ramp up the security and encryption on your backups. Use multi-factor authentication for your network and secure files.
3. Have Offsite Backups – Don’t rely on your tape drives or on-site servers. In fact, it’s rarely a good idea to have just a single backup located at your facility. Not only should you have off-site backups, but those backups need to be located somewhere accessible. The bottom line is that these backups need to be located in a place where you can recover data quickly.
4. Plan, Plan and then Plan Some More – Plan ahead. Hire a disaster recovery planning professional, and have them walk you through the process. They will be able to give you valuable insight and strategies specific to your industry. From there, you should regularly test your plan to make sure it’s still relevant to your current data output.
5. Move to the Cloud, Already – Finally, move your backups to a cloud solution. Yes, it’s true that there can be some significant security issues to worry about, but it’s important to recognize the measures that cloud backup services use to ensure their backup solutions are protected by layers of security.
Why wait to implement a disaster recovery solution? The sooner you have a data recovery plan in place, the better off you’ll be. Your data depends on it. Your business depends on it. Try not to think of this as an unnecessary IT expense. In fact, it’s best to look at it as an investment into the future of your company.