How important is your data?

I have heard a lot of stories lately regarding the devastating effect on businesses due to data loss.

Could your business still function if it lost all of its data? I would imagine the answer is no – not for long.  So why do so many companies overlook such an important task as backing up their information?

There are many instances where companies have been hacked and data left badly corrupted as the hackers leave a trail of destruction on the way out.  Because these companies have inadequate or no security and a non-existent back-up policy it becomes virtually impossible to get the business back up and running. Payrolls, Invoices, customer information, contracts, etc. etc. are gone.  So, how important is it to make sure that your data is safely backed up?

Businesses need to have a back-up policy and choose a back-up solution which will protect their data. Let’s start with the policy:-

What do you need to have in your policy?

  • What is in scope
  • Responsibilities
  • Description of the back-up solution
  • Data Retention
  • Scheduling
  • Security
  • Location of back-ups
  • Testing

What is in scope to be backed up is a very important question to answer. Get this wrong and you could lose valuable data. So take time to look at all your systems.

Roles and responsibilities need to be closely defined. You need to know who is ultimately responsible for the entire process and individual roles appointed and documented for tasks such as changing tapes or restoring and testing a back-up.

You will need to write a short description of the back-up service you are using. Whether it is an in-house solution or hosted, having documentation to refer back to is key.

Data retention is a special consideration. Some companies are bound to keep their data for long periods of time. In these instances daily, weekly, monthly and annual back-ups are kept so that at any point upon request it can be restored and checked.

Scheduling back-ups is an important consideration. When should you start your back-ups and should you back-up more than once a day. This really depends on the amount of data you generate in a day. If you are a large company you may want to consider incremental back-ups throughout the day and a full back-up in the evening.

Security is a very important consideration. Whether on or off premise data needs to be secure, it is well worth looking into how you or your provider is going to do this. If you are thinking of a hosted solution ask your provider for details regarding their security.

It is also important to find out where your data is going to be stored. Tapes should always be stored in a fire proof safe or taken offsite. If you are using a hosted provider you may what to find out if your data is being stored within the UK or another country. This can be a problem for some companies who need to keep their data within the UK boarders.

You should always periodically test back-ups. You do not want to be in a situation where you want to restore a data base from a back-up only to find that your back-ups are corrupted.

Once your policy is in place it becomes far easier to assess your risk. You can then plan a strategy which best suits your company. If you are still unsure give FSI Cloud a call and we will look at the best solution for your business.






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Tony Cohen

Tony joined BT in 1987 and chose to develop his career in data communications. He moved from an engineering to programme management role with Global One before taking up a position as Global Account Director in 1999. Tony joined iPass in 2002 where he was Head of channel sales before moving to Intermedia to grow their European channel sales organisation. In 2012 Tony joined FSI Cloud as General Manager to accelerate the development of their hosting and managed IT solutions division.

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