A guide to developing an effective data backup plan

A guide to developing an effective data backup plan

From earthquakes to wildfires to cyberattacks, disasters could strike at any time and cause considerable damage to California businesses. Unfortunately, small- to medium-sized businesses tend to be the most vulnerable. According to Ready.gov, 75% of businesses without a disaster preparation and continuity plan will be forced to close their doors within three years of experiencing an earthquake.

So should your California company suffer from a natural or man-made disaster, a solid data backup plan could be your only lifeline. That said, not all backup plans are the same, so you need to make sure that yours will protect your data, keep your employees safe, and get operations back up and running within a specified time frame.

Is your data backup strategy good enough?

To ensure that your plan will work as intended, there are some things you need to note when creating or testing your backup and disaster recovery plan.

First, your strategy should include a data retention policy, which addresses the question of how long you need to keep your data. It should also have a data destruction policy to answer the question of when to destroy data. The details of these policies will depend on the type of data your business collects and your business's compliance requirements.

You must also consider storage options and determine where your backup data will be stored. When it comes to storage, here are the common options:

  • On-site storage is the most common type of data backup. This involves storing your backup data on a local computer or server. The main advantage of on-site storage is that it is easily accessible and can be quickly restored in case of disaster. The downside is that it is vulnerable to the same disasters that could damage your primary data, such as fires, floods, and earthquakes.
  • Off-site storage entails keeping your backup data in a location other than your main data center. The main advantage of off-site storage is that it protects your data from local disasters. The downside is that it can be more expensive and time-consuming to restore your data in case of disaster.
  • Cloud storage uses a cloud-based remote server to store copies of data, making it the most modern way to back up information. The main advantage of cloud storage is that it is highly scalable and can be quickly restored should disaster strike. However, it can be more expensive than other storage options and may be affected by internet outages. One good option to consider is hybrid storage, which combines both local and cloud storage and enables you to enjoy the benefits of both setups.

Related reading: The 5 types of data backup technology: What you need to know

3-2-1 Rule

One rule of thumb in data backup is the 3-2-1 rule. According to this rule, you should always have at least three copies of your data stored on two different types of media, with one of these copies stored off-site. For instance, you could store one copy each on a local computer, an external hard drive, and in the cloud. This gives you a high level of redundancy and ensures that you will be able to access your data even if one storage medium is lost or damaged.

How to test your plan

Regularly testing your backup and disaster recovery plan is crucial in ensuring its effectiveness. You can do this by simulating a disaster and seeing how well your plan works. This is an effective approach to identifying weaknesses in your plan, thereby allowing you to make the necessary changes.

No business should be without an effective backup and disaster recovery plan. If you need assistance in developing a plan for your California business, consult the IT experts of USWired today.

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