Category Archives: Data Backup

Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR) Plan: Preparing For A New Year

Businessman hand using laptop with backup disaster recovery concept

Reviewing your disaster recovery plan is critical in keeping your network up and running.

Every business needs to be properly prepared for anything these days, including disasters. There will be plenty on the line for your business if a disaster strikes. If a disaster does strike, you could lose sensitive data that you may not be able to get back. If a disaster does strike, will your business be ready to handle a data loss incident?

People from all parts of the world have made their resolution as the new year was set to begin. One of the best ways your business can enter into the new year is to have an effective and efficient Backup and Disaster Recovery(BDR) plan that will greatly minimize any downtime and keep your business safe from any events that you cannot control. We want to help you create a BDR plan that will meet all of your business’s needs.

An Effective BDR Plan

Many small business owners do not always understand how valuable their business data is, but it is a very valuable asset to the business. This is why it is so important that you are able to protect your business data at all times. One of the best ways to do this is to find a BDR solution that will provide you with the tools and resources you need to restore your data. In addition, all of your data will not be created equally. You will find that some of your data will have a high value and others will not. If you want to build an effective strategy that will protect your business from any unfortunate data loss, we recommend that you sort through your data so you can determine what data you will need at all times and what data may not be as useful as the others.

Improving Your BDR This Year

We know that everyone wants to strive for better each year, and it should be no different when you have a business. Implementing an effective Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan this year is a great way for your business to improve this year. We know it can seem like a daunting task when it is time to implement the strategies that fit your business, but we recommend that you try some of the following guidelines and suggestions:

  • Make sure you are communicating with your IT team to plan the right recovery strategy for your business. You will need to have a plan that will fully outline your goals, missions, and objectives.

 

  • Find the right Backup and Disaster Recovery(BDR) platform that will give you every opportunity to back up your data without having long wait times and downtimes.

 

  • When you find the right platform and implement your platform, we encourage you to test your backup on a regular basis. When you regularly test your backup plan, you will be able to determine its efficiency and effectiveness. With a regular test, you will have the assurance you need in knowing that your BDR plan will be ready to roll when you need it.

Every year, small businesses, mid-size businesses, and large businesses are hit with threats, malware attacks, viruses, natural disasters, and more. Also, some businesses lose data due to a human mistake. Unfortunately, many of these businesses do not have the proper Backup and Disaster Recovery(BDR) plan, which will result in a significant amount of downtime as the business tries to recover its data.

We know the new year has just started and you have so many things on your plate already, but we encourage you to make room for BDR. We want to make sure your business’s data is available at all times, even when disaster strikes. For more information on our Backup and Disaster Recovery(BDR) solutions, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

The Pros and Cons of Common Backup Storage Options

Backup Storage Options - Backup on laptop screen - cloud

What are some of my backup options?

There has been a great deal said about the importance of having a backup and recovery system in place. And, naturally, the first step to building a great backup recovery system is to take backups of all your important files and configurations. Some backups simply repopulate a vital database with all the right values while others are complex enough to restore a computer from factory-reset to functional workstation.

But however you build them, backups are essentially just compressed files that will need to be stored somewhere until they are needed. Each company has a different storage solution for their backups and the storage option you choose matters more than you may realize. Where you store your backups determines how easy they are to retrieve and whether they are at risk when the network itself is threatened.

Locally Stored Backups

Most of us still remember the days when the only data you controlled was data on your own hard drives and disks. For traditionalist businesses, this may still be the way backups are made and maintained, by creating copies of data stored on another local system.

Pros:

Locally stored backups are completely in your control. You never have to worry about a third party wiping, corrupting, or losing your data because it is on your local systems.

Cons:

Your local network is not as safe as it used to be. Network-wide malware attacks (like ransomware) can compromise your entire computer system including your backups. In fact, anything that threatens your main computers can also threaten your backups. Including physical disasters like power surges and outages, flooding, or earthquakes.

Offline Backup Drives

A safer approach to keeping local backups is to store them on offline drives and disks. This option has never been popular, but there are always a few individuals and businesses that decide their backups are safer offline than online. And they have a point.

Pros:

External hard drives, USBs, and disks can keep your backups securely off any existing network. This is the best way to defend from hackers and malware because there is no network for them to access or damage your backups through.

Cons:

Unfortunately, though safe this approach is also impractical. Given the amount of data most modern businesses need to back up, the cost of external storage and the wear-and-tear rewriting offline storage devices is quite high compared to online storage options. And, of course, offline storage can still be physically damaged.

Remotely Stored Backups

Remote storage is when you store your backups on a computer located somewhere else, much like remote web hosting or file storage. Rather than storing your backups on your own system, you buy server space in a data center or even with a sister company where your backups are occasionally updated and wait to be accessed.

Pros:

Remote storage is a very effective answer to many worries about backup security. Because it is on a separate network, local malware attacks cannot corrupt your backups. And if the files are stored far enough away, local natural disasters are not a concern either.

Cons:

There are a few risks related to remote storage. If the third party storing your backups is compromised, so too are your backups. Likewise, if you store your backups in only one remote location, disasters in that area could wipe out your backups even if your home region is unaffected.

Cloud Stored Backups

Finally, we reach the modern solution to backup storage. Cloud storage is more than just remote storage because of the way the cloud handles data. Rather than storing data in just one remote location, cloud storage replicates your backups across several data centers on the globe.

Pros:

The distributed nature of cloud storage allows you to more quickly access your data from anywhere. No specific network access is required because cloud-stored data can be accessed anywhere with internet access. And the distributed nature of the data means that even if one data center is completely wiped out, your backups will still be available in other data centers and therefore safe.

Cons:

The only downside to cloud storage is the challenge of choosing the correct storage provider. Make sure your chosen cloud server providers have high security standards and a good reputation in the industry for protecting the backups of others.

Backup data security is an important concern for any modern business. The way you store your backups matters a great deal and many careful businesses choose to pair up their backup storage solutions just to make sure there is always a backup available in times of need. For more information about choosing the best backup recovery solutions for your business, contact us today!

Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR) Plan: Preparing For The Worst

Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR) Plan concept with laptop on water

Be prepared and you can weather the storm

Recently, multiple sudden natural disasters have left millions of people stranded on roadways, stranded at work, or left in their homes and unable to leave, and without electricity, All of these sudden floods, thunderstorms, hurricanes, etc. should all serve as a reminder that we have to be ready at all times just in case a disaster does strike. Today’s weather is completely unpredictable, and with the winter season approaching, there are sure to be more unpredictable weather on the way.
Regardless of where your business is located, it is always important to have a full Backup Disaster Recovery(BDR) plan in place. If you have an effective BDR in place, you will be able to effectively respond to any type of disaster that takes place. Whether you currently have a Backup Disaster Recovery(BDR) plan in place or not, we encourage you to ask yourself these questions:
What would your business do if you ever lost access to data?
How long do you think it would take for your business to recover from a major loss?
If you no longer had access to your server, would your business be able to survive?
How much do you think it would cost to recover from the loss?
Many businesses do have a backup solution ready just in case a disaster happens, but not every business will be able to recover quickly when something does happen. If your business loses data or if there is a power outage, it can be difficult for some businesses to restart their operations quickly. For some businesses, the entire operations can be shut down if there is no access to the server for less than two days.
When creating a Backup Disaster Recovery plan, it is very important that you start by making preparations for the worst possible thing that can happen. When you start by preparing for the absolute worse, you should have an easier time resolving the issue when something minor occurs.
Are you making plans to have a telecommuting plan in place just in case your employees will need to access business data from a different location? When your employees who have access to the data can obtain the information when needed, this will keep your business from losing revenue. Your employees will be able to access vital business information from their new location until they can gain access to the workplace again.
When your employees are able to use file sync services and cloud services, all employees will be able to do their jobs despite the disaster that took place. The use of these services and technologies can be the difference between losing revenue and bringing in revenue. When employees are equipped with the services they need while they are working from home or another location, they will be motivated and prepared to get their work done every day, regardless of where they are working from.
A BDR plan can save your business from completely losing everything and closing its doors for good. When you back up your data in off-site locations and other locations, you will have your business operating again in little time. You may also be able to run your business from another location.
Do you think it is time to rethink and reevaluate your current BDR plans? Are you ready to develop a Backup Disaster Recovery plan that will allow your business to continue operating despite what type of natural disaster or accident takes place? For more information on backup and disaster recovery plans, please do not hesitate to contact us today for more information. Our team is here to help your business plan for any unforeseen events.

9 Tips for Small Business Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery Plan written on a dart board

What is your Disaster Recovery Plan?

As a modern business, you need your network, internet access, and business software. You need the servers to host data, the coffee machines to flow, and you need the constant current of electricity to the entire infrastructure to keep the lights and computers on. When something goes wrong from ransomware to hurricanes, it’s important to have a plan that will get everyone back online and work resumed as quickly as possible. This process is known as disaster recovery and is something that every business has to contend with. Without a disaster recovery plan, you’re at risk of being completely technologically wiped out by malware or a local natural disaster. With one, you could potentially have your employees set back up after a complete system wipe in less than two hours.

1) Identify Your Most Likely Risks

Every time you start building a disaster recovery plan, whether it’s your first plan or an update to one that’s been in place for a decade, it’s important to re-assess the possible risks. These days, you’re more likely to get phished by a hacker than hit by a hurricane, but let’s face it, mother nature has also been doing some serious damage lately. You’ll want a disaster recovery plan that assumes several different possible disasters including malware that must be wiped with a factory reset and small corrections as might be necessary to fix a data entry mistake. Build a plan based on each of the most likely disasters that could take out your IT infrastructure or damage files.

2) Conduct Vulnerability Management

Vulnerability management refers to the process of seeking out possible security holes and weaknesses in your infrastructure and closing them. One of the best ways to prepare for a disaster is to do your best to prevent it. Vulnerability management not only ensures that you close a few security holes with updates and patches, it also lets you know which security holes can’t be completely closed and will need to be guarded and planned for instead.

3) Plan Disaster Recovery from End to Beginning

When you’re building a disaster recovery plan, start with the results you want to see at the end of recovery. What state should the computers be in? Consider the possibility of starting from scratch and establish how much restoration is needed to get to that point for each device and network assets. Department computers will need specific software and possibly data loaded into them and your central network infrastructure may need both software and configuration settings re-established before it is fully restored. Define how much you need to be included in the recovery and then build the steps need to recover.

4) Prioritize Levels of Disaster Recovery

Of course, if recovery is going to take a few hours,  the right prioritization can have strategic departments up and working faster than others. You can, for instance, prioritize to get the customer service team back online first and answering client questions about the service outage or prioritize getting your machinery back online if you handle manufacturing or run tests for clients. By prioritizing, you can get the most possible work out of a disaster recovery day and ensure that your return to functionality is as smooth as possible.

5) Keep the Recovery Plan Current

Disaster recovery plans are very specific to the software, data, and backup protocols that are in place when the plan is formed. If your infrastructure, configurations, or backup schedule are changed in any way, your disaster recovery plan is outdated which could leave the company vulnerable. It is vital that your backup recovery plans are kept completely current and updated every time a change is made to something that will need to be recovered into the new state.

6) Test Your Disaster Recovery Plan Regularly

When talking about the security of your company data and technical infrastructure, you can’t simply trust that a plan works simply because you put it together. Just as you would need to test a new product or appliance before relying on it, a disaster discovery plan also needs to be tested. Make sure that you can restore your computers to full or desired function before relaxing and continue to run regular tests to ensure that no small change has compromised your plan’s effectiveness.

7) Get Top Management Involved

All too often, a security or IT solution is implemented for everyone except top management who seem to float above the normal power responsibility hierarchy. However, if a company is going to be completely secure, everyone needs to get involved. Make sure that top management understands the disaster recovery plan and the right people are ready to lead implementation should they be the highest authority on site when a disaster strikes. This way, recovery plans will both be more thoroughly upheld and more effectively implemented when necessary.

8) Write a Disaster Recovery Guide

Once you have the entire disaster recovery plan plotted out from beginning to end, write a guide that uses the simplest possible terms to explain how to implement the plan. This ensures that no matter what bizarre circumstances a disaster might occur in, including the possibility of a skeleton holiday crew and a new-years malware attack, that backup recover can be put into action. The guide also serves as a fallback plan in case the disaster recovery plan designer is not available when a disaster occurs.

9) Run Regular Response and Recovery Drills

Finally, often the most effective disaster recovery involves the coordinated efforts of whole teams. When every employee knows how to reload their system from the cloud backup, you can even trust them to maintain local units because they can always restore to default. If you want to get your entire office back online in the shortest possible time, train your team thoroughly in how to respond to a disaster. This is a great way to run disaster recovery tests and train everyone in quick disaster response in one unifying company event.

Having a variety of disaster recovery plans with a strong basis in cloud backups and practiced recovery procedures is the key to getting your business back on its feet after any kind of disaster. Whether you’ve been targeted by a hacker or a natural disaster takes out your office, the right disaster recovery plan can have you up and running in a matter of hours. For more great tips and tricks on small business disaster recovery techniques, contact us today!