Data loss can have dire operational and financial consequences, so it’s critically important to ensure that your business’s data is backed up. Should the worst happen, a properly backed-up company can restore its data with minimal downtime. In contrast, a business with no, outdated, or inadequately protected backups may have no way to recover from incidents as common as accidental data deletion, ransomware attacks, and hardware failure.
However, backups and backup systems are not equally effective. If your backup process involves manually copying business-critical data to a five-year-old hard drive you keep in a desk drawer, you can’t really claim to be backed up at all. But even automated backup systems that copy data daily to redundant storage may not adequately mitigate the risks your business faces.
So, what does a good backup look like? At the very least, your backup system should conform to these five server backup and recovery best practices.
1) Back Up to an Offsite Location
Local backups can be useful for fast restores, so it makes sense to keep at least one copy close by. However, locally stored data faces similar risks to production data. Ransomware can often discover backups hosted on the same network. A fire or natural disaster could take out production data and the local backup at the same time.
Storing backups at an offsite location ensures that data can be recovered even if the primary location is compromised. Additionally, offsite backups provide an added layer of security against theft or physical damage to the primary location. By regularly backing up to an offsite location, businesses can ensure that they quickly recover from any data loss event and maintain continuity of operations.
2) Make Sure Backups Are Automated
Manual backups are prone to human error and can be easily forgotten or delayed, leaving the business vulnerable to data loss. Automated backups, on the other hand, can be scheduled to run at regular intervals, ensuring that data is backed up on a consistent basis. Automated backups reduce the risk of data loss and allow businesses to focus on other critical tasks.
3) Ensure that Backup Data Is Encrypted in Transit and at Rest
When data is encrypted in transit, it is protected from unauthorized access, tampering, and eavesdropping as it moves from your servers to the backup location. Similarly, encrypting data at rest helps safeguard it against unauthorized access, theft, or exposure. Implementing strong encryption measures for backup data significantly reduces the risk of data breaches, ensuring that sensitive information remains confidential and secure, even in the event of a security compromise.
4) Test Your Backup System Regularly
Regularly testing backup processes ensures that your backup and recovery strategies can be relied on in the face of system failures, human errors, or cyberattacks. Testing helps identify potential issues, such as corrupt or missing data, hardware malfunctions, and software incompatibilities before they become critical problems. If you don’t test your backups, you may find that you don’t have the protection you thought you did when disaster strikes.
5) Document Your Backup Processes
Accurate and up-to-date documentation ensures that all team members understand their roles and responsibilities, both for managing backups and during a data loss incident. Having a documented backup process will help your company to respond quickly and effectively to data loss incidents and system failures, minimizing downtime and expediting recovery efforts.
Documentation also plays a key role in audits and compliance reviews, so companies hoping to comply with information security and privacy regulations should make sure their backup processes are fully documented.
Liberty Center One can help your business implement reliable and compliant backup systems that follow best practices. Veeam Cloud Connect Off-Site Backup automatically backs data up to a secure offsite location. We also offer a comprehensive range of disaster recovery and data protection solutions. To learn more, talk to a backup and data protection specialist today.