The importance of a robust Disaster Recovery Plan cannot be overstated.
Companies with a cloud-hosted IT solution will generally have a backup solution incorporated in the overall package. However, companies with on-site solutions should ensure a comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan is in place to ensure that they will not suffer critical data loss and/or major downtime. While this strategy will be different for each organisation here are some suggestions on best practise.
Plan your backup strategy
Develop a written backup plan that includes:
- What information is being backed up? The obvious answer would be Servers, Desktops, and Laptops. However, consideration should be given to other devices that may be used by employees such as personnel computers, Phones, etc. The company website should also be a consideration.
- Where is it backed up to? In an on-premises setup, you can copy your data to a second hard drive, other media, or a shared drive, either manually or at specified intervals. With a remote backup, your computer automatically sends your data to a remote centre at specified intervals.
- How often the Backups occur? Obviously, this will vary depending on the strategic importance of the data. Usually, dynamic data such as Accounts, Manufacturing records emails, etc would be the most critical. Static data such as program files and operating system software may not (in some instants) need to be backed up as frequently as dynamic data.
- Who is responsible for performing backups? In some instances, the responsibility is assigned to an individual. If this is the case there should be contingencies put in place for when the individual is not available.
- Who is responsible for monitoring the integrity of the backups? It is important to test the backups on a periodic basis to ensure that they are usable.
- Availability of Hardware? While most organisations would not have the resources available to provide backup equipment for all employee’s consideration should be given to the availability of a backup server in the case of a catastrophic server failure.
If you use on-premise backups, remember that storing copies of backup data off-site is crucial.
For on-premises backup solutions, we recommend rotating a set of backups off-site once a week. Ideally, you should store your backups in a secure location, such as a Fireproof safe. Another method is to follow the “2x2x2” rule: two sets of backups held by two people at two different locations.