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.

5 Tips for Improving Your Business Continuity

Today, any company needs to plan disaster recovery around cloud-based solutions. In the digital landscape, you must protect your organization from unplanned downtime or, worse, loss of critical data. Luckily, IT and cloud technologies help you to better manage your teams and data in scale.

Get Executive Buy-in

Before any IT or cloud-based technology can help you recover from data disasters, you need to purchase and deploy it first. For this, you need support from top-level management. However, executive buy-in is only the beginning of the process. Support from relevant C-suite executives ensures harmonious interoperability, which is essential for business continuity solutions that usually cut across departments.

Manage Traffic on the Cloud

For businesses that rely on traffic, global traffic management and server load balancing are critical operational considerations. Just minutes of downtime can cost the company not only lost revenue, but also lost customers.

IT and cloud-based disaster recovery allows operations to continue by switching between a number of redundant infrastructures. This allows you to maintain uptime while your tech team identifies and addresses the problem.

Virtualize for Agile Solutions

Share, replicate and back up workloads and images using virtualization to minimize the risk of data loss. Virtualization can span departments, locations and compatible technologies. Better yet, you can align virtualization with your company’s compliance policies by giving access and data rights to only specific personnel. This keeps your disaster recovery and redundancy fail-safes agile and flexible enough while maintaining data privacy.

Customize Company- and Process-Specific Practices

As downtime occurs, the IT department tracks down the problem while the customer-facing teams minimize brand damage. Meanwhile, the company shifts from standard operations to disaster recovery policies. Business continuity is an orchestra that cloud-based technologies not only assist in making more efficient, but ultimately empower to become as company or process specific as possible.

The Tech Solution for Business Continuity is Not Just an IT-only Issue

You need to get rid of the mindset that any technological solution belongs solely to the IT department. This creates barriers to more efficient reactions to downtime and hinders departmental cooperation. Any cloud-based solution that your company adopts needs to have a responsibility matrix aligned with your business continuity plan. This ensures that only the valid personnel execute the proper procedures that safeguard your company’s sensitive data.

Business continuity relies on the fact that everything fails eventually. Cloud-based technologies allow you to recover from data disasters and grow your business in scale in spite of them.

3 Top Ways Businesses are Protecting Data in a Cloud-Driven World

dataprotectFor any business today, data protection is a top priority. Whether this is through safeguarding against viruses and hacking attempts or ensuring all files and applications are safely backed up on a regular basis, it’s important to have procedures in place. Here are some of the top things every business should consider when safeguarding data in today’s cloud-driven business environment.

Cloud Services

Third-party cloud providers are giving businesses a new choice when it comes to data storage and security. For a small monthly fee, a business can send all or part of its operations to the cloud, where files can be accessed from any internet-connected device, including smartphones and tablets. Services like Dropbox and Carbonite automate the backup process, ensuring every time a file is updated, that updated version is synced to the cloud.

Data Destruction Procedures

Every piece of equipment a business uses has a shelf life. When it’s time to retire a PC or smartphone, you’re probably faced with a dilemma. Even if you take every effort to erase all of the files on a device, how can you be sure something won’t remain? Through using applications like KillDisk or procedures such as degaussing, you can make sure your hard drives are completely erased. If you are disposing of a tablet or smartphone, you’ll want to remove any SIM and micro SD cards to prevent data from falling into the wrong hands.

Intrusion Protection

Even if you’ve taken every measure possible to protect your data, savvy hackers may find a way into your enterprise through your server or one of your devices. It’s important to ensure your firewalls and virus protections are operating at optimum capacity, with regular updates and cross-checks. You should also implement strict password standards for your employees to prevent someone from getting in by guessing a password.

Data protection is one of the most important issues facing business today. By taking a few steps to ensure you’re protected, your business can prevent a data breach or loss of important files and keep customer information safe.