Data has effectively become another currency - and just like any other currency, some is much more valuable than others. This is especially the case where your business’ data is concerned, and why it is so crucial that you keep it safe.
Data backup tends to carry with it the association that your business could end at any moment, and while this is an important reason to implement data backup, there are countless others to consider as well. You might find that they are just as important to your organization as saving it from a devastating data loss disaster.
If you don’t consider the worst-case scenario when preparing your business’ disaster recovery strategy, you’ll inevitably suffer from it when it does happen. Taking into account all of these nuances is one of the main ways your organization can prepare for such an occasion. All of these instances need to be considered when putting together your organization’s business continuity plan. We’ll discuss some of the major parts of it, and why they are crucial.
It should come as no surprise that the practice of business continuity planning is one that every business needs to undergo. This planning serves as essentially your only insurance against some form of data disaster or another. Consider your own business for a moment--could it survive a fire, a critical failure in part of your infrastructure, or theft? With a business continuity plan, there’s a chance it just might.
As a business owner, you expect to stay in control of what your business does. Unfortunately, there are certain variables in running a business that simply can’t be controlled, like the weather. Therefore, you need to take special care to ensure that these uncontrollable instances don’t become a threat to your business’ prolonged existence. To this end, we recommend a business continuity plan.
While many may consider an audit of any kind to be a pain in the neck or worse, they can actually be an effective way to ensure that businesses are following best practices and remaining compliant. After all, nobody wants to be the company that failed an audit. Despite this, many companies aren’t up to standard where their IT is concerned, and it has an impact.
“It won’t happen to me.” This is a common excuse amongst business owners who refuse to equip their network with a comprehensive data backup and recovery solution. They may feel like they’re careful enough to avoid a major data loss-causing disaster. Yet, the inconvenient fact remains that a disaster can happen to any business, no matter how prepared they may be.
Simply put, there are some disasters that are just beyond your control. Take for example these four common disasters that can unexpectedly strike and destroy your data.
Natural DisastersWhile it’s true that some geographical locations are safer than others, the fact remains that no place on Earth is immune to a natural disaster that’s capable of disrupting your IT infrastructure and wiping out your data. Severe wind and thunderstorms can happen almost anywhere, and no spot on this planet is 100 percent earthquake proof. Then there are more region-specific natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, tornados, etc. that you need to account for.
While backing up your data won’t prevent a natural disaster from happening (nothing can), it will ensure that your data will survive--even if your IT infrastructure does not. However, simply backing up your data isn’t enough. In order to make sure that operations can resume as quickly as possible, your business continuity plan must include a reliable data recovery option.
Man-Made Disasters Whether the disaster is natural or man-made, the fact remains that it’s impossible to dodge a major disaster. Man-made disasters like warfare, terrorism, and fires can do some serious damage, while even minor man-made disasters can negatively affect operations, like a power outage. The trick to coming out on top of any disaster is to have a data backup solution in place that creates redundant copies of your data and stores your files offsite, like in the cloud. A BDR solution from Network Solutions Unlimited provides this kind of protection for your business.
Hardware FailureEvery hard drive comes with a chance of failing and crashing. To think otherwise is to kid yourself. Therefore, you need a data backup solution in place that can protect and recover your digital assets, should your hard drive crash on your watch. This is one reason why a BDR solution from Network Solutions Unlimited utilizes redundant copies of your backed up data by storing them on different drives in the cloud, should a hardware failure ever strike the backed up copies. For companies that are serious about protecting their data, it takes this level of redundancy to ensure that your data will be available for when you need it the most.
User ErrorPeople make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes result in the deletion of data. In fact, user error is the number one cause of data loss, so you never want to become overly confident that your well-trained team can never make a mistake. However, with a reliable backup and disaster recovery solution in place, you can be confident that, should a major “whoops” ever happen, you’ll be able to easily revert back to a previous copy of your data and keep operations humming along.
Natural and man-made disasters, hardware failure, and user error, all of these culprits can derail the productivity of a business, or worse, cause a company to go out of business within a year if there’s no data backup solution in place. While you can’t erase the reality of disasters from putting your business at risk, you can do something about it by implementing BDR. Call Network Solutions Unlimited today at 217-428-6449 to learn more.
Data backup is foundational to every business continuity plan. Despite this, many businesses don’t realize that data backup and disaster recovery are two very different solutions. This oversight could leave a company high and dry in the face of a disaster causing data loss.
To help clear things up, let’s dispel three myths that many have about data backup and disaster recovery.
Myth #1: Having Multiple Copies Guarantees Successful BackupsWhile it’s true that it’s a best practice to store multiple copies of your data throughout your IT infrastructure, this practice doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your backups will work properly when you need them. Typically, organizations will store one backup in-house, while another copy is sent to a secure, off-site location, typically in the cloud. The idea here is to have at least one backup completely separate from your in-house network, should anything disastrous happen to it. However, in addition to taking multiple backups, you need to routinely check to see if these backups actually work, seeing as they could still be susceptible to user error or data corruption. Therefore, make it a habit to test your backups, or have an outsourced provider do it for you.
Myth #2: Data that’s Frequently Backed Up Can Be Restored From its OriginalIf your data is only partially wiped out, then it usually can’t be restored from the original. Plus, rebuilding data from scratch is too time-consuming and expensive to be considered as a viable option. For example, think about how long it would take to reaccumulate all of the data stored on your company’s IT infrastructure--an impossibility for most organizations. Instead, having complete backups on hand ensures that you’ll overcome any disaster.
Myth #3: Data Backup and Disaster Recovery are One and the SameAt the core of this problem is the fact that many people don’t understand the differences between data backup and disaster recovery. Rather, they’re two equally critical parts of the same concept: business continuity; i.e., you can’t have one without the other. To be clear:
Data backup is the process of taking the backup itself, while disaster recovery is when these backups are recovered.
To further explain these differences: data backup represents a figure called the recovery point objective (RPO), which is how much data needs to be recovered in order to keep operations moving forward. Whereas disaster recovery makes use of RTO, (recovery time objective), which factors in how long this process takes.
To be clear, your business continuity plan must include both RPO and RTO. The best way to go about this for your business is to implement a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution. A BDR from Network Solutions Unlimited can help your organization get the most out of data backup by providing you with an enterprise-level solution designed to optimize uptime and efficiency.
BDR takes backups of your data as often as every fifteen minutes, making it exceptional for keeping your data up-to-date and functional. These backups are taken automatically and are sent to both the cloud and a secure, compliant off-site data center for storage. This gives you the option to restore your data remotely, directly to the BDR device, in the event of a disaster. Plus, the BDR can take the place of your server while you work to resolve the disaster.
If you’d like more information concerning BDR and business continuity, our trusted experts would be happy to consult you. To learn more, reach out to us at 217-428-6449.
Computer hardware doesn’t last forever. Sooner or later, you’ll need to replace your equipment, or risk operations slowing to a crawl due to outdated equipment still in use. Do you have a timetable for replacing your equipment? Do you have a procedure in place to properly dispose of your old hardware? Every organization needs to think through the end-of-life and the afterlife of their computer hardware.
Plan Ahead to Replace Your TechnologyTechnology is no different than every other aspect of business in that it pays to have a plan. We call this an IT roadmap, which is a plan detailing what equipment needs to be replaced and at what time. A typical IT roadmap takes into account your company’s technology needs over the next one, five, or even ten years. The advantage to having an IT roadmap is that it’s easy to come up with an IT budget so you can set aside money for the equipment you need, instead of running your equipment into the ground and having to replace it when you least expect to.
Alternatively, you could put off replacing your old technology for as long as possible. Although, doing this won’t save you money like you might think it would. Instead, the cost of having to make constant repairs, losing productivity due to downtime, and missing out on the performance-enhancing solutions of the latest technologies, will all eat into your budget and set your company back.
Be Sure to Wipe Your Old Hard DrivesIf you’re completely done with an old hard drive, then you’ll want to be sure to wipe all of the data on the drive before disposing of it. Getting a hard drive wiped by a professional is your safest option, which is something Network Solutions Unlimited can handle for you. Also, it’s important to remember that simply deleting your files won’t cut it, seeing as your old files will still be able to be recovered.
Properly Dispose of Your DevicesA way to properly dispose of your old technology needs to be included in your plan. Electronic equipment is made up of components containing toxic chemicals that can leak into the environment. Therefore, you’ll want to properly handle and recycle your e-waste, a task which Network Solutions Unlimited is specially equipped to do. Additionally, be warned that if you simply throw your e-waste in the trash, you’ll never know what will become of it. For example, your old hard drives could end up in the hands of hackers--which can lead to identity theft if the drive isn’t properly wiped.
When it’s time to think about new technology, you’ll find that having a plan and a schedule to replace and refresh your company’s technology will keep operations running smoothly and make these expenses more predictable. Network Solutions Unlimited can assist you in coming up with an IT roadmap that prepares your business for all of your upcoming technology expenses for years to come, as well as properly disposing of your old equipment. To get your very own IT roadmap customized to meet your company’s needs, call us today at 217-428-6449.
We get asked all the time, “What’s the best way to back up my company’s files?” For businesses, we give the same answer every time: a Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution. BDR is far superior to any other data backup solution on the market, as evidenced by these three awesome features.
Technology is always changing and evolving to suit the needs of modern society and business. Organizations that fully understand technology’s impact on business are always trying to make the most of their technology. Here are three ways that your company can better leverage its technological investments to meet your organization’s needs.