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Posted by Stefanie | June 16, 2016

Do you know the basics of backing up your business?

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Did you know the amount of stored data across the world doubles almost every day? And with this data comes the need for businesses to make sure they are being redundant and secure – also known as safely backing up their information.

When most business professionals think about backups, they are primarily focused on their servers. While servers are certainly important, they are not your sole priority. In fact, they compose just one of the three main areas you should focus on.

Servers

Servers are considered mission-critical, meaning if they’re down, your businesses processes completely stop. Luckily, server backup is by far the easiest and most traditional piece of your disaster recovery plan. As a company, it’s important for you to know:

  • What you’re using to back up your server. Specifically, are you using a built-in backup utility or a third-party program or software solution?
  • Where your backups are stored. You should ensure your backups replicate to more than one location, not just a local USB drive that can easily fail. MyITpros replicates all of our backups to our datacenter, which gives us the added ability to restore virtually.
  • How often the backup is happening. We recommend running backups as frequently as possible, typically every 15–60 minutes during business hours.
  • Your plan’s level of security. Your backups should be encrypted, both at rest in local storage and in transit to their offsite locations.

At MyITpros, we like to use an image-based backup solution that takes a snapshot of the entire server, not just the data that resides on it. This speeds up recovery time and gives us greater flexibility to reconstruct your environment.

Cloud services

As companies move more of their data to the cloud, many assume backups are automatically happening. Alternatively, they simply forget to check the backup policies upheld by their cloud services provider, leaving them open to potential loss of data.

As a business, you need to know the specific retention policy offered by your cloud provider. Many providers will only store deleted data for a certain period of time, after which you will NEVER have access to it again. That’s right – there is no recovery option unless you have an offline backup or archive copy of your data hosted elsewhere.

We recommend that any company using a hosted service review the provider’s backup/retention policy.

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Workstations/Laptops

Many businesses have fairly lax end-user policies regarding what is stored on personal desktops or laptops, as it is quite difficult to enforce these types of policies without making your workers’ jobs more difficult. Even with the best policies and training in place, users are like kids – one day, you are going to come home and find a PB&J sandwich in your VCR/DVD/Blu-ray player and wonder, “What on earth were they thinking?” With this in mind, it is important to ensure that workstations – and especially laptops – are backed up.

I do not think I can name a single client who has not had something go haywire with a laptop, whether it fell off the top of the car, got lost, got stolen or was mistaken as a step stool by a child. Setting up a good working backup on your laptop ensures that no matter what happens, your business will always be able to retain and recover the data it contains.

In terms of mobile devices, cloud-based backups are best. Using this method, data copies stay current without the need for any end-user interaction, and can be monitored by IT staff or your IT provider.

Far too many customers have come to us with no idea where their backups are, how often their data is backed up, what provider they are using or even if their process is working in the first place. As a managed services provider, making the backup process as painless and transparent as possible is one of our highest priorities for our clients. After all, backing up and securing your data shouldn’t be a complex effort that negatively impacts your users or workflow.

Matt RohlerMatt Rohler, Director of Operations

The purpose of this blog is to answer the questions you ask. For more information around business security, cloud solutions and managed services, check out our resources section. We'd love to hear from you- so contact us with any questions or comments!

Tags » business security