by Zachary Fowler
It is not a secret that data backup is an essential part of any business. Many organizations have implemented policies related to their data backup and storage processes as part of their IT infrastructure. Even if an organization does not have a formal policy, odds are the organization is still performing some sort of data backup for the systems that are considered essential to the daily operations.
For organizations that have not yet considered data backup and retention processes, a few small steps can lead the organization towards a more secure future:
- Software and systems most important to business operations and the devices that hold those essential tools should be identified.
- Next, organizations should determine the appropriate timing of backup processes to occur. According to Ready.gov, “Data should be backed up as frequently as necessary to ensure that, if data is lost, it is not unacceptable to the business.” This could be weekly, nightly, or even instantaneously.
- The method of data backup and storage should also be considered. There are many effective options available, such as tapes, cartridges, USB drives, or other external hard drives. Some organizations choose to contract with a third party vendor to provide routine data backups that store data to external devices or utilize cloud-based storage. Alternatively, organizations are also shifting towards software and systems that are entirely cloud-based, such as virtual desktops and online-based software. While cloud-based storage, software, and system options can be convenient, they rely on constant internet access, so some organizations utilizing these options still opt to secure a local backup of essential data on a routine basis as well. Whichever method of data backup is selected, backups should be secured separately from the active system, in case a loss of data does occur.
- Finally, data restoration, or the testing of data backups, is just as essential as data backup, storage, and retention practices. Backups of essential data must be tested to ensure that restoration is reliable so that the organization will be able to continue operations in the event that data loss occurs. The ability to successfully restore and use the data backup in the event of an emergency is critical to the success of any organization. Business interruptions can happen at any time; knowing the data backup is reliable will provide peace of mind to allow the organization to continue running smoothly.
HBE LLP is always available to consult and help explore some data backup and retention options that might fit your organization specifically.