“Save early, save often” was the phrase drilled into us when we first started using computers- and even though most things save automatically these days, the same concept still applies to backing up crucial data.
Don’t let the “it’ll never happen to me” mindset cost you pertinent company information. Have a written plan/protocol and a designated person or team responsible for regularly backing up data, as well as the leadership to keep them accountable. Here are a few more crucial questions to ask yourself and your company when writing your backup plan.
1. What data is the most critical to back up?
Write a full inventory. Determine the most important data and prioritize it. Assess the potential risks of losing this data and choose accordingly.
2. How often do we need to backup data?
This depends on how much time between backups and what you can afford to lose. For data that is updated on a regular basis, backup may need to occur hourly. If your company rarely updates data, weekly might do just fine. Decide what fits best for your business and your data.
3. Do you have HIPAA or PII data that needs to be backed up?
If so, it’s necessary to encrypt this data to be compliant when it’s backed up.
4. What device or method will we use to get backed up data offsite?
These days there is little reason not to use a cloud backup service, although you can still maintain a disaster recovery plan using external hard drives or other removable media.
5. How quickly must we manage recovery?
You may have legal requirement dictating how fast you can recover from a disaster. Part of your written plan should include how this is accomplished as well as the details of how this is done. In a data emergency (or if you’re having trouble answering any of these questions), don’t forget to reach out for help. We’re always available at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone, (717) 431-5054.