Implement and Test Your Backup Recovery Plan: A Step-by-step Guide

– 5 steps to your recovery plan

Companies are increasingly being required to protect their data. Owing to the escalating threat of cyber security attacks and common network server crashes in general, the need for a stellar backup and restore plan is imperative.

Companies that use the public cloud network in particular, are exposed to theft of confidential data of their customer and employee accounts and other sensitive company information. Although efforts to effectively combat cyber attacks are always underway at pretty much every institution, having a recovery and backup plan is neither complex nor difficult.

It is for this reason that we will highlight a step-by-step guide to creating a secure backup and restore plan.

1. Know the backup infrastructure

Before you get started on your backup recovery plan, evaluating the current backup infrastructure first can help greatly. This could include your systems’ backup servers, backup media and system storage components.

The objective of this assessment should be to consider how effective the existing infrastructure is in recovering affected data amid a network security breakdown or other disasters. Secondly, there also needs to be a focus on identifying critical data from non-critical ones and the storage capacity of the components. This will help determine the extent to which critical data can be backed up using existing storage capacity.

2. Conduct capacity planning

The aim here is to understand the gap between the existing and expected storage requirements and anticipate how storage requirements will grow over the next 6 to 12 months. It will also help to know how the organization seeks to scale its existing backup infrastructure to meet this growth and how many different types and number of backup clients will it involve.

3. Evaluate user policies and procedures

In this step, the company policies, requirements, and procedures need to be reviewed to decide best practice. This includes deciding on the optimal backup schedule so that all data is backed up automatically.  This could vary from organization to organization; however, it will essentially depend on the nature of data that requires back up. For example, some companies may require a daily backup of their customer account database especially if it is being updated regularly; others however, may only need a weekly or monthly backup.

4. Identify resource needs

This step is crucial to a successful backup recovery plan. Issues relating to financial constraints, organization infrastructure constraints and personnel constraints need to be taken into account. For example, in the case of personnel constraints, a CIO needs to ask whether their number of employees is sufficient to perform a backup recover operation and whether they have the required skill-set to perform such an important task.

More importantly, infrastructure constraints could involve adding more data center resources or a backup recovery system to store files and other data. In addition, are there enough funds to accommodate for the backup recover plan upgrade requirements?

5. Test your backup and recovery plan

Once you have made the necessary actions to have a backup and recovery plan, run simulations to ensure it works well, helping you to be prepared in the wake of a real security breach or a disaster.

To test your backup recovery plan, it is important that backups on all critical data be performed and no areas or servers are excluded. Your staff also needs to be trained on how to shut down the applications and load them upon restarting.

Furthermore, the backup recovery plan should also be timed to assess the speed at which it can backup and store critical data. Knowing how responsive your backup process is can be critical in an emergency scenario.

Could Your Business’s Data Backup Survive a Disaster?

hurricaneCloud services have moved the process of backing up data from on-site personnel to trained professionals. Whether you’re contracting with a third-party provider or storing your data on premise, it’s imperative that you ensure that data is safe and accessible in the event of a disaster.

The Facts

Despite the massive natural disasters that occur each year, many businesses are vulnerable to data loss and financial devastation in the event of a flood, hurricane, fire, or other occurrence. A recent study found that while 75 percent of small businesses use some form of backup for data, a whopping 63 percent rely on on-site methods such as external hard drives. Only 39 percent report that they rely on cloud services to ensure their data is protected.

Even those businesses who regularly back up on-site server data may be vulnerable. If those backups aren’t being moved to a safe, off-premise location, a natural disaster could take out a business’s equipment, backup media, and paper documents in one swoop. Insurance won’t make up for the damage, since most business insurance doesn’t cover data loss.

Understanding the Options

For SMBs, there are more options than ever for data backups. As recently as a few years ago, these businesses were required to assign a professional the task of creating backups and moving them to an offsite location. This process not only cost money, but it was also prone to human error, since the assigned staff member may have had numerous other responsibilities.

With so many cloud storage options now available, however, businesses have access to providers that specialize in keeping data safe. These providers usually have secondary data centers located in other areas of the world to disaster-proof client data. But knowing data backups are in the hands of a team of professionals who are 100 percent dedicated to protecting against data loss is perhaps the biggest benefit to cloud data storage. For this reason, the days of on-site data storage and backup are likely limited for businesses of all sizes.