Murphy’s law states that “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. For businesses that use data for day-to-day operations, this has never been truer. Imagine a fire or a flood causes irreparable damage to your physical servers. Perhaps a storm leads to a power outage, causing your employees to lose important work. What if a human error causes data loss? Or worse, if a disgruntled employee decides to tamper with your data and wipes out your entire system?
Disasters can take many forms and, if left unaccounted for, can severely damage your business. According to the Small Business Administration, 40 percent of small businesses that are affected by disasters, never reopen. When it comes to these incidents you need to ask yourself: “if disaster does strike, am I prepared?
Although essential, it can be extremely tough to come up with an effective disaster recovery solution, especially if you have limited IT experience. In many cases, businesses overlook implementing complete backup plans. Partial plans are accepted as end all solutions. For example, a small business might believe that storing key data on their 1GB USB drive is enough. However, when it comes to preventing data loss, there are a number of additional strategies that you need to consider.
Don’t use tape – go for image-based backups
When was the last time you used a cassette or VHS tape? Believe it or not, many companies still use tape cartridges to backup important data, which is troubling since a tape backup can be awfully vulnerable. The physical tape can be easily damaged, lost or stolen, which means that your company needs to provide constant maintenance as well as a secure storage space for all your tape backups. Additionally, tape backup solutions require software to be installed on each server. This means a lot of time and money is spent if multiple servers require backing up.
With so many companies moving towards a more virtualized workspace, tape solutions are quickly being replaced by image-based solutions. Image-based backup solutions simply take a snapshot of your virtual machine, making a copy of your OS and all the data related to it. From here, you can take the images and run them on any computer or device. In other words, your data remains secure even if your on-site computer is destroyed. All your backup data is stored safely on an off-site server. Perhaps the best thing about image-based backups is that there is little to no management required since files are automatically backed up at regular intervals.
Prepare your company for disasters
All your saved documents and files mean nothing if the servers and applications running them are gone. When creating your company’s disaster recovery plan, you need to identify your mission critical technology first. These are the technologies your company absolutely cannot live without. This could include your company email servers, automated systems or other vital applications your company requires to resume business as usual.
Account for cyberattacks
Another reason why disaster recovery solutions are more important today than ever before is because of the increasing prevalence of cyber-attacks. In 2014, Symantec claimed that 60% of cyber-attacks were directed at SMBs. Prominent cyber-attacks like CryptoLocker and Regin have either held company data ransom or allowed hackers to gain vital data from your company. It is therefore essential for your business to have disaster recovery systems in place to account for cyber breaches.
While firewalls and antivirus software are useful, you also need some level of data encryption. Whether your data is stored on-site or in the cloud, encryption is necessary to prevent external attackers from gaining access to your backups. If you plan on creating a disaster recovery and backup solution with a Managed Service Provider (MSP), make sure you ask them how they will protect your data. You need to know if they have went through sufficient security testing and vulnerability assessments to make sure your data will be secure.
Make sure your backups actually work
So you now have disaster recovery and backup solutions in place to protect your business from the worst. It’s okay to sit back and relax now, right? Not quite yet. While it is important to have the most effective solutions in place, repeatedly testing them is just as vital. This means you’ll have to organize routine drills for your systems to find out if they are functioning properly.
Fortunately, data backup testing has never been easier. With easy-to-create virtual servers you don’t risk harming any production systems. With Ingenio Tech’s backup and disaster recovery software, offsite backups are tested daily and an image of the logon screen of your server is sent directly to your email.
Let’s face it, no one wants to see all their hard work erased in a one fell swoop. Although preparing for potential disasters and cyber-attacks can be the last thing on your mind, making sure your business data is backed up and recoverable has never been more important. With the proper disaster recovery system in place you can minimize the damage from disasters, and rest easy knowing that your company is prepared for any storm that comes your way.
Planning for disasters can be a daunting experience. It’s hard to know where to even start. With Ingenio Tech you we can put your worries to rest. We’ll sit down with you and discuss what disaster recovery solutions fit your company’s requirements. Call us today at 01273 917674 to guarantee your business data is backed up and recoverable.