How to Protect Your Business from Data Loss
Server failures and other types of data loss can cost you years’ worth of data. Worse yet, it can disrupt your business. Data loss could put the business’s survival at risk, since your customers are upset, you lack the data to prove your side in tax disputes, and you could be sued for your failure to perform as expected. Here are a few tips on how to protect your business from data loss.
Update and Upgrade Regularly
Small businesses in particular lack dedicated IT staff to update their antivirus and firewalls. Yet this is your first line of defense against hackers. At a minimum, you need to keep this software updated regularly and upgrade as necessary or hire a service to do this for you.
Perform Security Checkups
Viruses can steal data, and they can render computers inoperable. The solution is to have a cybersecurity expert conduct regular health checks on your IT systems. This allows you to find and fix vulnerabilities before they’re exploited. You want these checks done regularly, because the evolving technology involved in remote servers, cloud computers, and other computing infrastructure can create gaps that weren’t there before your latest upgrade.
Don’t Keep Trying Until It Works
Don’t try to rebuild a damaged RAID array if a prior attempt to rebuild it has failed. Trying to do so could cause corruption and, possibly, permanent data loss. If you’ve already attempted such a rebuild, the safer course of action is to power down the array and work with an enterprise data recovery service to recover the data.
Back Up Everything Often
Nearly all businesses rely on data storage, though this may be an internal solution or off-site vendor. Consider backing up your data regularly on-site and sending those backups to an off-site location. Then your business can’t lose all its data as a result of a natural disaster.
Have three copies of critical files in two different mediums, and one of these backups is stored off-site. Copying your laptop to the company cloud server counts as one backup, and its backup to a third-party’s cloud servers off-site counts as the third copy in a different location. This protects the data from local and distant disasters.
Understand when and how backups are created so that you can verify they are taking place as expected. Verify that they are actually happening, since the backup server itself could fail and no one will notice until the backups are recovered. Knowing where the backups are stored and how is invaluable in an audit, and it is necessary information if you have to hire a third party to do the data recovery.
Test Your Vendors
You need to know that your data backup service can deliver as expected. Almost immediately after signing up, test customer service by calling them after hours and on weekends. Ask technical questions and see how well they can answer them. If possible, test them with requests to restore something. If you can’t get the support you need, don’t renew the contract.
Run recovery drills and include your vendor. Create empty storage and determine how quickly they can be transferred over. Note that this depends in part on their performance and in part on your internet connection. Then verify that the data is in the same condition.
Your data is the lifeblood of your business; you cannot afford to have it corrupted or outright lost. Take proactive steps to protect yourself before it is too late.