Data protection and disaster recoveryYou love technology – until it fails.

And fail it will!

It’s not a matter of if, but when your data storage devices fail. Hard drives all have a certain life, and some time or another, they will fail.

You know it’s important to have a data backup plan in place, and the same goes for data recovery.

But many small businesses don’t!

About a year after Superstorm Sandy, Wakefield Research conducted a survey on small businesses and their disaster preparedness. 40% believed they would be hit by a natural disaster in the year afterward. While just 22% felt they were very prepared for such a situation, about 33% also said they would never be able to recover their data if it was lost.

This research agrees with what many other researchers and studies have found: a good portion of SMBs do not adequately prepare for natural disasters.

To get ready to restore your data when disaster strikes, you should do this

1. Always Encrypt Backup Data, No Matter Where You Keep It

Ideally, you’ll store your backup data offsite in a bank vault or data storage facility. Or, you’ll have it backed up in the cloud. No matter where you decide to keep it, you should have it encrypted.

Many large Fortune 500 corporations have lost backup tapes to thieves…and the information was not always encrypted.

2. Always Use Strong RAID Encoding

If you store data on hard drives at your physical location, it can be corrupted by a variety of factors. Manufacturer defects, fires, floods, employee error, and dirty tape drives can all corrupt your data.

3. Can You Access Your Data?

So you have a great backup plan in place. But what if, for example, your area gets flooded and you can’t access the location with the backup data?

Or, say you have it stored in a bank vault and you need the data during non-banking hours?

Or what happens if a single employee is in charge of it, but they are on vacation or tending to a family emergency?

Whatever data recovery plan you have in place, make sure you have 24/7 access to your data. If you do use tapes, keep one set at your physical location and another off-site.

4. Make Sure Your Data Protection/Recovery Strategy Scales Well

You don’t want to be in a position where you have to upgrade your existing servers. They should have adequate room for growth for the foreseeable future. Make sure your data recovery strategy includes enough bandwidth to allow you to simultaneously restore your data and perform your business’s most critical functions.

That’s Not All…

But it’s a good start for your data recovery processes. Simply by getting those basics down, you put your company in a terrific position to recover from a disaster as compared to many other small businesses.

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Learn more about the author Bob MartinLearn more about the author Bob Martin