Your business is flourishing but suddenly, you realized that your business becomes a victim of a ransomware attack. All of your critical business data is encrypted and inaccessible. Now, you are at the mercy of the cyber attacker and will have to pay the ransom to access your data.
If that does not send chills down your spine then imagine losing your sensitive business data due to hardware failure or software issue or may be due to human error. Then there are natural disasters that can wreak havoc on your IT infrastructure.
How can I keep my data safe? Is that what you are thinking? The short and simple answer is through backups. Most businesses neglect data backup because it is time-consuming, resource-intensive activity but they end up paying a hefty price for it in terms of data loss. There are many tools and techniques which you can use to automate the data backup process and save yourself from hassle instead of avoiding it altogether.
In this article, you will learn about seven important backup and recovery questions every business should ask yourself in order to perform data backup and recovery process in the right way.
Why I am Backing This Data?
Just like every other action, you take; your backup and recovery process should have a purpose too. Why? Because taking a backup for achieving data is different from taking a backup for recovering data. You need to be very clear about the purpose of your backup. By knowing the purpose, you can also determine how long you would have to maintain the backup.
Not all your data is critical and needs to be backed up. It is important to classify data based on its importance. Decide which data is more important and needs to be backed up and which ones are not. This will help you in backing up data which is important, saving you from a lot of hassles. You don’t want to be backing up data which is not important or missing out on data which is important.
What are RPO and RTO?
Once you have a clear purpose in front of you, it is time to determine the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RPO). What are RPO and RTO? Recovery Point Objective is the maximum amount of data you can afford to lose without triggering a business collapse. On the other hand, the Recovery Time Objective is the maximum time duration you can wait for your data to be recovered without negatively impacting your business. Depending on the criticality and frequency of changes in data, RTO can be short or long.
Am I Using the Right Tools?
One of the main reasons why data backup is a pain in the neck for most of the organizations is because they are using the wrong tools to perform backup and recovery processes. Yes, taking a weekly backup of all your stored data in best dedicated servers while managing daily incremental backups can be a daunting task but not if you have the right tools at your disposal. Some backup tools even let you automate the backup process. You should choose a backup tool based on the importance of data to your business. If your business can not afford to lose any data then you must invest in a real-time backup and recovery solution.
Can I Restore the Last Good Version?
Data backup software tends to create copies of your data but tends to ignore an earlier version of that data. The biggest downside of using such a data backup solution is that you will struggle to recover from a cyber-attack such as ransomware because you don’t have an earlier version of that data. Go for a backup tool that lets you store multiple versions of the same data so you can restore the one you want. This can also save you from data loss as the file which is infected by malware or ransomware might be OK before the incident happens and if you recover from a mirror image, you might lose older information.
Where is Your Backup Stored?
It is quite unfortunate to see so many businesses not paying attention to where their backups are stored. This callous attitude cost them at the worst possible time. Imagine taking a backup and storing it internally. What if a natural disaster strikes or a hardware failure destroys your backup? That is why it is important to keep multiple copies of backups stored at different locations so you can easily recover your data in case of a disaster.
Are My Backup Safe?
What if a cybercriminal targets your backup and gets access to it after stealing all your data. This can happen and you will have nowhere to go. That is why it is imperative that you should store your backup in a secure environment. Choose a secure physical location and take advantage of security services offered by the backup provider. Some backup providers now offer endpoint security to ensure the safety of your data. If you are encrypting your data, make sure you don’t store the keys at the same place where your data is stored. This will give hackers and easy access to both your data and keys. Some backup providers also offer the facility to manage your encryption keys for your business.
Can I Retrieve My Backup?
It is important to regularly test your backup and recovery procedures. You don’t want to end up with a backup and recovery system that fails to recover data in any crisis. If you don’t test your recovery, you can be in trouble. Identify the loopholes in your backup and recovery system and fix those issues before it is too late. Take steps to ensure the integrity of your data throughout the duration of your data backup is stored.
Which are the most important data backup and recovery questions in your opinion? Let us know in the comments section below.