Here at Oracast, we want to help your business stay in business, by protecting the data necessary to keep your operations going. We encourage you to employ these tips and, whenever possible, tell your friends and colleagues about this blog.
It’s Monday morning, you have a busy day planned and the last thing you need is a problem with the computer. You push the power button, it begins to start, but then displays some kind of error on the screen. You turn off the computer, turn it back on, hoping it will load normally, but that damn error message is back. It finally happened. Your hard drive has crashed. You have heard of this happening to other people, but not you. How can this have happened? What do I do now?
The bad news: If you haven’t been backing up your data, your data is gone. Your only option now is to take your hard drive to a specialized data recover service. These data recover service companies work quite well, however, they can usually smell blood and sometimes charge an enormous amount of money. The big question is: how will this loss of data affect your business? Whether it’s financial data, important emails, client information, or product inventory, the sad reality is that a lot of businesses who suffer data loss have a hard time getting it back, and sometimes have to close their doors.
If you’re one of the lucky few who actually backup your data, you may be okay, but you’re not totally out of the woods yet. When backing up data, the common misconception is that your data will be available when you need it. But from our experience, most people who backup their data never test their backups to ensure the integrity of the data, and also many people don’t verify that the right data is being backed up. If done incorrectly, it’s the same as if you were not backing up at all.
If your business relies on a computer, it’s vitally important that you backup your data on a regular basis; preferably every business day (depending on how frequently your data changes). The medium(s) you choose for your backups is equally important. Mediums such as CD/DVD, flash drives, tap, or off-site data backups provide the ability to store data, but they differ when it comes to reliability and security. CD/DVDs, flash drives, and tapes can be misplaced, stolen, and easily scratched or broken; rendering the medium useless. If you have sensitive data such as patient files, these mediums are the least secure methods of backup, and can easily be viewed by inappropriate people if the medium is stolen or misplaced. For this reason, we promote highly-secure off-site data backups.
Conversely, we recommend that you plan for theft, vandalism, disgruntled employees, and natural disasters such as fire and floods. In situations like these, it’s important to keep your data off-site so it can easily be recovered. We tell our clients that you can’t have enough backups, but it’s critical that you remain organized, and know how to retrieve your data – quickly – when you need it.
To help understand the steps required to recover your data in times of disaster, as quickly as possible, we recommend that your business develop a Business Continuity Plan (BCP). A BCP encapsulates the process of backup up your data, frequently testing the backups, andd the steps required to recover your data when your business needs it the most.