In our last blog, we talked about backups and why it is essential to do them regularly. Briefly, if your organization has data, it must have the ability to recover, restore, and retrieve that data in the event it is lost. That is why it is important to know what makes good IT backup policies and practices.
Just as essential as executing backups are the policies and practices that are associated with them. These policies need not be written as a formal document, but they do need to be organized and available for reference to those that are responsible for following them.
The first thing you need to do is to create a policy. That means you must determine a backup schedule, what data will be included in the backup (user files, emails, etc.), where it will be stored, and how it will be accessed if necessary. Once your backup is defined, you will need to determine with whom it should be shared.
Let us take each piece separately:
1. The back-up schedule – if your organization has critical data such as medical or legal files, financial information, or similar data, the back-ups should be performed daily. The best time to run these backups is during off-peak hours.
2. Included data – sometimes choosing what data should be backed up is the easy part, especially if you want to backup all your data. However, depending on the amount of data your company deals with, you may want to determine which ones are critical and therefore should be backed up on a daily schedule and what areas can be safely backed up on a less frequent basis, perhaps weekly.
3. Storing data – there are several choices of where to store the data. Again, the size of your files/data may determine not only how often they need to be backed up but also where they should be saved. If your company’s data needs are small, a thumb drive might be adequate, at least for the short term. If, on the other hand, your company typically has large quantities of data then you might want to look to a cloud.
4. Accessing the back-up – be cautious as to who has access to your backups. Too many employees accessing them can result in intrusion, accidental loss, or other security issues. Choose a few trusted employees with whom to share access.
5. Many organizations have their own recommendations regarding Backup Policies and Procedures. One of them, The Library Network (TLN), recognizes some additional considerations you may want to contemplate when securing your data. For example, whenever possible, all computers should be configured to save data to one central server rather than to individual drives. This provides for one vital backup rather than multiple backups and eliminates the possibility of some data being missed. It also reduces the number of employees who have access to backups.
We are experts at backing up client and customer data. We would love to discuss and evaluate your current systems and help you determine the best way to back up your Small Business. Please visit https://workforceitjax.com/ to learn more.