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What should you focus on for your data backup strategy and how does it affect business continuity/recovery?

Protecting your critical business data through a robust backup strategy is essential for minimizing downtime from data loss or system failures. Failing to have the appropriate security measures in place can spell disaster for your business in the future – particularly with the growing number of emerging cyber security threats emerging out there every single day. 

In this article, we outline the key elements to focus on for an effective data backup plan and how it supports business continuity.

If you are looking to safeguard your business and keep that business-critical data safe from external threats, read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know.

Why is having a data backup strategy so important?

Let’s talk about why you should have a data backup strategy in place:

  • The primary reason to have a data backup strategy in place is to protect all of your business’s critical information (e.g., financial data, customer records, employee details, operational processes, and other intellectual property you wish to keep safe).
  • Losing the above data in a potential cyber security breach can be devastating for a business with severe consequences (e.g., legal penalties, damage to your reputation, and indeed financial loss).
  • With a complete data backup and recovery plan in place you can ensure that your business is best able to recover from any potential data loss incidents as quickly and as efficiently as possible).

Minimizing downtime and ensuring continuity

One of the biggest dangers for your business is the downtime that comes with data loss. There’s nothing worse than struggling to recover your data, restore your systems, and get back to operating business as usual.

Downtime can impact the following:

  • Employee productivity.
  • Operational disruption.
  • Client relationships.

All of which result in financial loss – or even potentially the end of your business. The 202-2023 Annual Cyber Threat report developed by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) reported that the average cost for a small business (up to 20 employees) in Australia is $ 46,000 and for a medium business $97,200. Helps explain why 60% of Businesses do not survive a data breach.

Fortunately, with a well-structured data backup plan in place, you can minimize any potential downtime with a quick recovery and get back to normal ASAP.

Where do you begin with a data backup plan?

Now let’s talk about getting started with choosing the appropriate data backup plan and implementing it into your day-to-day:

  1. The first step is to conduct a business impact analysis (BIA). Identify what data you are keeping? If breached how will the data loss impact your business? Which areas will be impacted the most? And what would the result be if you fail to have the appropriate safety measures in place? Once you’ve completed this step you will better understand the dangers of not having the necessary fail-safes in place.
  2. Next, you are going to want to identify and prioritise all of the systems, data, and apps that are absolutely essential for business continuity. What can you simply not function without?
  3. Following that you will be ready to choose an appropriate backup and recovery solutions best suited to your situation. Fortunately, the team at Computer Troubleshooters can assist you in this regard, helping you to settle on the best possible strategy for you.
  4. Once you have identified the best data backup plan, you’ll be ready to implement it. Unless you have a dedicated in-house IT security department, we strongly advise that you seek third-party assistance from a reputable IT service provider (again, which is where we come in).
  5. Finally, once your data backup plan is in place, you should ensure that it is regularly checked, updated, and maintained to ensure that you are fully protected against any emerging threats in the future.

What are some examples of data backup strategies?

There are severalmethods that you can use to safeguard your business-critical data, such as:

  • Onsite backups: having a separate hard drive / removable media accessible on your business premises. This does however come with some risks (e.g., fire and theft can result in loss of data).
  • Storage of older backups: it may be worth considering regular data backups with multiple versions. So for example, if you are unable to access the most recent version of your data, you can recover a slightly older version.
  • Offsite / cloud-based backups: this is arguably one of the best solutions for data backup and recovery; keeping your data securely stored on the cloud with a reputable service provider.

Conclusion

Adhering to data backup best practices around prioritization, frequency, secure offsite storage, and testing supports effective recovery of business operations in the event of a disruption. This protects you, your employees, and your business continuity.

To recap; your main focus with regard to your data backup and recovery plan should be:

  • Risk assessment: what are the potential issues that will arise in the event, that your business-critical data is compromised?
  • Business impact analysis: how will downtime impact your day-to-day operations? This is a critical aspect of your data backup and recovery strategy.
  • Data: which data should be included in your strategy? Make sure that you prioritise accordingly.
  • Frequency: how often should you back up your data? Will it be a daily, weekly, or monthly process?
  • Process: what is your data backup and recovery process? How will you protect your data? Where will it be stored and backed up? Which products and programs will you need to use? What will the recovery process involve?

And that about sums it up! We hope that you have found this article insightful. Should you have any questions, or if you’d like to know more about how the team at Computer Troubleshooters can assist you, please do not hesitate to contact us today.