World Backup Day!

Make a commitment to ensure your information is truly recoverable.

For many years, our firm has been invited into companies of all sizes to evaluate their IT infrastructure and identify any risks to the client’s business.  Lately, for obvious reasons, the focus is on security.  Proper information security is crucial, but it includes more than just networks and access points.

Almost every month our team conducts IT Assessments for new clients.  Our team estimates that at least ten percent (10%) of the time, we discover that the client would be unable to recover all of their data in the event of a catastrophic loss to their servers, despite having backup systems in place.

Some may think that this data backup issue is associated with small businesses who have tight budgets.  Not True!  That ten percent spans clients of all sizes, including large enterprises.

We have concluded that the primary reason why data is not fully backed up is not due to a lack of funds, but instead a lack of knowledge.  Far too many business executives and IT leaders assume that, because a backup job is running and a log looks correct, everything is backed up.  That is a dangerous assumption.

We’ve seen plenty of cases where most of a firm’s data is backed up, but recent databases were never added to the backup job.  Or other cases where companies who still use tapes for backing up data never realize that their tapes have deteriorated to the point where they cannot restore information.

How to solve this situation?

Simple.  Trust and Verify.  It seems obvious that an IT staff or IT partner will handle your backups properly, but there should be a check to ensure you can recover your information.  Make sure that someone confirms that each type of data or file location is included within a regular backup routine.

Ask to test the restore process by requesting that the IT team restore a few arbitrary files to a separate temporary location as a spot-check — you would have to do that in a disaster anyway.

Are your files hosted with a hosting provider?

Great – ask them to do the same thing, then check the results.  While most hosting providers do a great job, there are some who don’t notice when you add a new database or new file storage area.

I’ve heard clients say “We have a hosting provider who handles our backup – they are responsible.”  Could be.  But regardless of who performs the task on a daily basis, the client’s officers (CIO, CFO, etc.) are still accountable to the firm’s shareholders and should confirm the firm’s data is backed up and protected.

If your firm has files on company laptops in the field, there are simple solutions to getting that information backed up as well using a cloud-based backup provider, or synchronizing files with your home office servers.

There is much more that should be done to prepare for a disaster, but with March 31 being World Backup Day, this is a great time to ensure your company’s data (and your important personal data) is being backed up properly.

Trust –and– verify.

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