Data loss happens when you least expect it and can be caused by different factors such as human error, malware, hard drive damage, power outages, hackers, and even natural disasters. It disrupts the day-to-day operations of any business and when important files are lost, companies often need to spend time and resources recreating or recovering them.

Data loss also greatly affects productivity and can put your company and customers at risk, especially when sensitive data is compromised by hackers. According to CloudRadar, there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds, making sensitive business data vulnerable thousands of times in a day. That’s why you need to develop a comprehensive data backup and recovery plan.

What is a backup plan?

A backup plan is a strategy of creating a copy of data that can be recovered and restored in case the original is lost or corrupted. It should include a complete set of instructions for your backup process. There should also be a designated individual assigned to either perform backups or verify that backups have been accomplished.

What is a recovery plan?

A recovery plan is a detailed, complex plan that tackles elements such as system dependencies, the order in which systems are to be restored, and what permissions are needed to accomplish the restoration.

In a nutshell, a backup and recovery plan defines a business’s data backup and recovery needs and specifies the workflow that meets those needs. It is important to ensure that mission-critical workloads continue to function in times of crisis while your data can be restored to a previous state if needed.

Here are some best practices organizations should note when planning their data backup and recovery plan.

1. Leverage automation

Automated backups ensure that backups are done frequently and regularly. On the other hand, off-site backups require administrators to upload data to a remote storage center at regular intervals.

Remote and cloud-based storage help companies save on costs and tend to be more secure since a third-party vendor can monitor and maintain these servers.

2. Be time-sensitive

The speed of recovery is critical. Be mindful of your recovery time objective (RTO), which is the target time by which you have to recover data to ensure business continuity. RTO is determined by calculating how much downtime a business can sustain before it begins to feel the negative effects of data loss.

If your business generates large amounts of data, even incremental and differential backups can take a long time. The longer the period between backups, the greater the recovery point objective (RPO) window or the amount of data that’s lost between backups. More frequent backups will decrease the likelihood of data loss in case of a disaster.

3. Test backups and restores

All backup testing procedures should be automated and conducted on a regular basis to ensure that plans work accordingly even as the business grows and generates more data.

Recovery testing is also essential because it provides a wealth of information on how long it will take your business to get back up and running again in case of a disaster.

Take note of the accuracy and timeliness of your backup and recovery testing. Figure out and immediately resolve all glitches that you might encounter to ensure that the process meets your company goals.

4. Update periodically

Business operational requirements tend to change over time, so periodically assess the viability of your data backup and recovery plan to stay up to date with the organization’s needs.

For example, a backup solution that was created three years ago maybe ill-equipped to protect some of the workloads that the organization has today, especially when you have major hardware and software upgrades or changes.

Set a review schedule and review internal and external factors such as legacy applications, staffing changes, regulatory changes, and new vendor partnerships. Review your plan to ensure that it continues to respond to the risks and remediation necessary for business continuity.

Plan ahead for any disaster and protect your data at all times. Get expert guidance and service from Midwest Data Center. We offer customized backup and disaster recovery solutions that are budget-friendly and leverage the cloud to keep your data secure, recoverable, and compliant. Learn more by giving us a call today.