In today's business world, information is power. Data is the new oil of 21st century. It can be the difference between a successful company and one that falls to the wayside. To maintain your competitive edge, you must have a reliable backup and recovery policy in place for both hardware and software applications. Do not let your data get lost or corrupted without warning! This is where a backup and recovery policy come into play.
A backup and recovery policy is a document that specifies how data will be backed up, what measures will be taken to recover from a disaster, and who has access to the backups. This document can help you avoid costly mistakes when it comes to your business data. With the recent ransom ware attacks on organizations, many people are talking about backup and recovery policies. The term "backup" can be defined as a copy of data that is used to restore files or systems in case they are lost, deleted, or corrupted. This copy may reside on another device or medium for protection against physical damage to the original source. Every business needs to have a backup and recovery policy in place. There are many reasons that can cause your data to be lost or inaccessible, such as natural disasters, hardware failure, human error, malware attacks on the network/server, etc. It is important to take preventative measures against these events so that you do not lose valuable data from your company.
These are some of the objectives for a good backup and recovery policy:
- Identify what your business needs are for data protection in terms of both hardware and software. This includes everything from server backups, virtual machine backups, desktop systems, mobile devices, email servers and more.
- You need to decide how often you want these backups done as well as when they will be taken. This depends on your company's requirements such as regulatory compliance or disaster recovery timelines.
- In case of errors, the data must be restored consistently with a minimal loss of updated data.
- Data should be backed up as close to real time as possible. The frequency of backups should depend on the type of data that needs to be protected
- Backups should always have at least two copies - one local copy and one offsite copy
There are many types of strategies that can be used to create a successful backup plan.
- Offsite Backup Policy: The objective of this type of backup policy is to store backups at a location that is different from where they were created. This protects against on-premises disaster such as fire or flood.
- Passive Backup Policy: The purpose behind the passive strategy is to have someone else responsible for backing up your data while you focus on your core business objectives
- Active Backup Policy: With this strategy, organizations are responsible for both creating and storing their own copies during regular intervals.
- Encrypted backup: If your company has customer information or other sensitive data that needs to be protected against unauthorized access, then an encrypted backup is necessary.
- Full backup- A full backup will back up the entire server, these will be used for a longer period.
- Incremental backup- This will only back up what has changed since the last time it was performed. Incremental backups grab any file that has been added or changed since last full backup.
Advantages of backup and recovery policy
- This type of policy will provide peace of mind in case something goes wrong with your data.
- You can recover quickly from any sort of disaster due to backups being readily available at any time.
- Keeping a solid backup and recovery policy in place can prevent downtime that may cost you thousands of dollars per hour if it happens during your peak business hours
- A backup also provides protection against accidental deletion or corruption, if something happens to one file within a backup, there are usually many more copies available from which you can recover what was lost without any problems whatsoever.
- A backup policy clarifies the procedures, schedules, responsibilities assigned to various resources to perform backups smoothly. It also allows you to control when backups are likely to happen, what tools/software must be used and the location of backups.
- This policy keeps accountable the resources responsible to perform backups and provides their contact details. It also identifies when how and when they will be performing the backups.
Best backup practices-
Follow these best practices to ensure your data is safe:
- Automated backup- This type of backup requires less or no human intervention to backup and store the data from local system to backup facility. With automatic backup, you never have to worry about manually backing up your data again. This process protects against human error and corruption of files. It also reduces the risk of total system failure.
- Data Encryption - This provides protection from unauthorized access of the data by hackers or other malicious attackers who may try to steal personal information or intellectual property from your network when it's being transmitted over the internet or stored on a computer hard drive.
- Cloud backup- Cloud storage utilizes the power of an internet connection to back up all your files and documents so they can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. This is a great way to keep your business running smoothly, even in the event of an unforeseen disaster.
- Backup retention – How long each backup is kept is another important task. Retaining every backup is not desirable. The retention span will vary depending on how often you back up your data, what type of backup method is used, and where the backups are stored.
- Perform routine tests- Testing the recovery plan will improve the recovery process in case of unforeseen issues. Testing a plan will help an organization to know what exactly went wrong so that they can improve their recovery process, this will also make sure the plan works as expected.
- Hybrid data backup solutions- This is the latest innovation happening in the backup world and becoming increasingly popular as organizations seek to protect their data from both natural and manmade disasters. With a hybrid backup solution, you can keep your data safe and secure both onsite and offsite - without having to worry about paying huge monthly fees like with cloud storage services.