Every responsible computer user understands the need to backup their data, but things are a little more complicated in the business environment where mission-critical data is stored across many different systems and platforms.
In fact, data backup is just one aspect of disaster recovery. If you think off-site copies of your files are enough to keep you safe from an IT catastrophe, we’d like to point out a few things to consider. Because what really matters is whether you’re able to get your systems back up and running following a disaster without suffering unacceptable losses, and that often requires a plan with a broad scope. Here are some things to keep in mind:
#1. Hardware failures
All computer hardware comes with a limited lifespan, and storage devices can fail without any notice. For example, hard drives have a limited number of file creation and deletion cycles before the drive simply breaks down. Beyond hard drives, any computer system can be rendered inoperable by a power outage, a short circuit, or other unforeseen events.
Being one of the most common causes of data loss, hardware failures should be avoided by having redundant systems in place. Hardware should also be stored in an off-site facility, such as a colocation facility or cloud data center.
#2. Human errors
When something goes wrong, it’s usually technology that gets the blame. However, studies show that at least 29% of data loss incidents are caused by human error. The most common human errors include accidentally formatting the wrong drive or deleting the wrong files from the recycle bin.
Although you can sometimes retrieve data using specialized forensics software in such cases, it’s highly unreliable. Another risk is physical damage to your data-bearing devices. If you’ve ever spilled coffee all over your laptop, then you know how that feels.
#3. Natural disasters
Floods, storms, fires, and tornadoes can happen at any time and without notice. Aside from the ability to render your workplace inoperable, such events can also destroy all your data-bearing systems. Due to the localized nature of natural disasters, your business continuity plan must incorporate off-site redundancies far from your physical location.
By using a cloud-hosted backup and disaster recovery solution, you’ll be able to access your data from anywhere. Add online collaboration tools and cloud storage into the mix, and your employees should even be able to continue working from home when your regular workplace becomes inoperable.
#4. Data breaches
Almost every organization has either suffered a data breach or has been targeted by hackers. Worse still is the fact that most breaches aren’t discovered for over half a year after they occur, which leaves little time for remediation efforts.
Disaster recovery (DR) planning isn’t just about backing up data; it’s also about recovering systems that have been taken down by a disaster or are deliberately brought down while a data breach is dealt with. Your DR plan should clearly explain the roles and responsibilities of everyone on your team when it comes to reporting a breach, recovering any lost data, and overcoming security flaws.
#5. Ransomware attacks
Recent years have seen ransomware rise to global infamy with various high-profile attacks targeting organizations across all industries and in countries all over the world. All the data on a victim’s device is encrypted until the decryption key is exchanged for a ransom payment. However, paying a ransom is a very bad idea, since there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever get your data back.
Computers infected by ransomware should be disconnected from the network before being wiped and restored. However, proper DR planning can proactively prevent ransomware infections by having off-site data backups that are regularly updated but disconnected from your in-house network to prevent ransomware from spreading.
Binatech Solutions provides proactive care and expert IT advice to businesses in Hamilton, Mississauga, and Buffalo. Call us today to schedule a free network assessment and put your technology frustrations to rest for good.