World Backup Day is a yearly event that falls on March 31st, serving as a reminder to businesses about the importance of keeping their data safe to ensure business continuity. Business continuity is critical for any successful organization, and it can be achieved by implementing an effective data backup and disaster recovery plan.
Unfortunately, many businesses make mistakes when it comes to business continuity management. Here are some common pitfalls to avoid on World Backup Day and beyond:
1. Backing up data infrequently
When it comes to data backup, many companies take a “set it and forget it” approach. They think that backing up their data once a month is enough, but this could leave them vulnerable if any data changes between backup sessions.
If your business loses a week’s worth of data, that means employees have to redo the work that was lost and potentially miss deadlines. What’s worse is that a data loss incident makes your company look unreliable in the eyes of customers and partners. Generally, if data is changing minute by minute, you should be scheduling backups multiple times a day.
2. Storing backups in the same location as the original data
Storing backups in the same physical location as the original data is simply a bad idea from a business continuity standpoint. While it may seem convenient to have everything in one location, all your data will be gone if your data center is hit by a natural disaster, power outage, or theft.
A more prudent strategy is to back up data to an off-site location. This ensures that your backups are safe and accessible even if something happens to the original files. Forward-thinking companies will typically back up their data in cloud servers, which are often located in multiple data centers that are geographically dispersed.
3. Failing to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment
Risk assessments are crucial for identifying and understanding the likelihood of potential threats to business continuity. For instance, you may think that a cyberattack is the biggest risk to your operations, but you could be overlooking other risks like employee negligence or equipment failure.
A good risk assessment can evaluate the impact of different types of risks and determine your overall preparedness for them. This will help you prioritize risks, draft plans of action that are tailored to each threat, and determine what resources are needed in the event of a crisis. Without this kind of risk assessment, you won’t be adequately prepared for the worst-case scenario.
4. Crafting underdeveloped disaster recovery plans
Without a disaster recovery plan, businesses may struggle to recover from a disaster or outage, which could lead to prolonged downtime and financial losses. A good disaster recovery plan should include a detailed step-by-step process for restoring data and systems, as well as contact information for key personnel, vendors, and stakeholders. It should also define recovery objectives and timelines so you have a clear idea of what business operations need to be restored first and by when.
5. Not testing backups and recovery procedures regularly
If backups are not tested regularly, businesses may be in for a rude awakening when an actual disaster strikes. Testing backups allows businesses to identify and address any issues that could prevent successful data recovery, such as corrupted files or incomplete backups. It’s important to test backups in a simulated environment to ensure that they can be restored successfully and that the recovery process is fast and efficient.
6. Neglecting recovery drills and training
It’s one thing to have a detailed disaster recovery plan, but it’s another to ensure that personnel are trained and prepared to execute it. When it comes to training, personnel should be familiar with their roles and responsibilities during a disaster, who to contact, as well as the steps they need to take in order to quickly restore data and operations. Training in this context may involve tabletop tests or simulations where personnel can practice their responses to different disaster scenarios. These tests ensure that your business is fully prepared for a real emergency and that personnel know exactly what to do when the time comes.
7. Keeping outdated business continuity strategies
Business continuity and disaster recovery plans are useless if they’re not updated regularly. As technology, infrastructure, and business processes evolve, your business continuity strategy should be adjusted accordingly. That’s why it’s important to review and update your plans at least every quarter or when major changes occur. This will help ensure that your business is always prepared for any eventuality and that you are implementing the most appropriate strategies to deal with different disaster scenarios.
At Intouch IT, we understand the importance of having a comprehensive business continuity plan in place. We have an experienced team that can help you assess risks, develop an effective data backup and disaster recovery plan, and ensure your data is always secure and accessible. Contact us today to keep your business safe.