One thing budding entrepreneurs should learn from successful IT firms is that to address tomorrow’s data disaster; you need to start the prep work today. Although it may sound cliché, firms always have to go by the saying prevention is better than cure. And, by prevention, we are talking about proactive maintenance and disaster recovery preparedness. Data is the backbone of business organizations and is one crucial element that helps firms in achieving their goals and business objectives. Having an effective data recovery plan will help firms to tackle various data breach situations, malware intrusion, or data storage problems. One thing certain about data disaster is that it can take place anytime and anywhere. So, what’s the one thing you can do to protect your data. Trust us; it’s the data recovery plan that will come to the rescue of firms in the event of a data disaster situation.
What is a data disaster?
Before we talk about the steps firms can take to prevent data loss, we first have to understand what data disaster is all about. There are various situations where users are unable to access the data. The reason for this can be unintentional deletion or accidentally overwriting data. Such situations also constitute to data disaster. Other events of data disaster include failure of storage system, loss of data due to virus or malware, or even deliberate data sabotage. Trust us; nothing is worse than realizing that you have entered the dark world of data loss. In a blink of an eye, you can lose precious data and valuable files, leaving you in a state of shock. Before you can even understand what went wrong, you will lose data forever. But, fortunately, for every data disaster situation, there is a solution. So, without further ado, let’s talk about the steps firms can take in the event of a data loss situation.
- Conduct a data assessment: To prevent any data loss situations, first, firms need to have a solid grasp on what files are important and how to use them. Knowing the usage will help your firm to determine which chunk of data is more critical and needs more protection. After allocating priority to deferent pieces of information, the next step is to create a blueprint of which data firms will require in the event of disaster and, more importantly, who will need the data. Trust us; there are millions of documents that firms read and review each day. But, all these files are not of the same importance. Assigning value to each piece of information aid firms in securing business-critical information. By conducting data assessment, experts will be in a better position to protect sensitive data by segregating the essential data from less critical files. After categorizing the data, the next step is to start the backup process.
- You have to create a reliable data backup: What’s essential thing firms can do to mitigate and prevent loss of data in the event of a disaster. It’s the ability to create reliable data backup. After performing the first step, i.e., conducting data assessment, the next step will become much easier. After you prioritize data, you will know for which data you have to create a backup. When it comes to data backup, you have to take certain things into account.
1. Always back your backup
2. You can opt for modern data backup technologies like the cloud platform. Cloud storage is popular because of two reasons, less overhead cost and high security.
3. Go for automatic backup
4. In addition to the data, you should check essential backup applications.
According to tech experts, the rule of thumb is to create a 3.2.1 data backup strategy. In this strategy, you have to create three copies of data. Store the data on two different kinds of media and store one of these offsite. By following this rule, firms will get optimal coverage for future data disasters.
- Store data in the cloud: At present, the cloud is not a platform used only by large firms. But, the popularity and cost-effectiveness of cloud storage is making the small firms to adopt modern data backup technology. In the cloud platform, firms move their network into a hosted cloud environment, which is then delivered to employees within the organization. The main reason why the cloud platform is the preferred data backup choice for firms is that it handles all the redundancy, updates, and security on behalf of the user. Since the cloud vendor will handle everything, firms can enjoy a reduction in the overhead cost of managing data in-house. Also, the cloud adds an extra layer of security to the existing data disaster recovery plan.
- Encryption of data: One way to secure your data in the event of a disaster is to encrypt the data. Proper encryption helps you to add that extra layer of security if you are storing data offsite or in the cloud. But, firms should get one thing right. Sufficient encryption practices must support the data backup process at the time of both transit and while data is idle. Firms have to make sure that no unauthorized person can access data when you are retrieving data from the backup, or while data is at rest or even during the backup session. If the data backup plan incorporates secure encryption, chances of reducing data security breaches will increase. Also, if you are using the cloud platform, ask your vendor to use secure encryption techniques to prevent unauthorized people from accessing data. But, make sure you take the encryption key from the cloud vendor.
- Test your data recovery plan: If you want to prevent data disasters, start creating and documenting the disaster recovery plan. It’s always in the best interest of firms to map down the data recovery plan and then test the effectiveness of a data recovery plan. Firms need to test the encryption, integrity of the data backup, and any other element that plays a crucial role in disaster recovery. Also, if you don’t test and practice the plan you have created, you will not be able to protect data in the event of the next data disaster.
- Incorporate security measures: If you don’t want to face any data loss situation, you need to improve the network security and data storage methods. But, every business has different needs and objectives; hence you must develop a tailor-made strategy to cover all the security vulnerabilities. The last thing you want is to expose your business to the risk of overshooting and paying for service your firms can’t benefit from. To explain this, let’s take an example. For instance, if all your data is not critical, there is no point in wasting your storage space by keeping the data in it. In such a situation, it will be better for firms to opt for a more precise recovery plan and storage option. Firms can also benefit from backing only the relevant and crucial data.
- Always audit your data and systems: In addition to testing your data and system, you need to audit your data and system. By auditing data systems, you will determine whether the current configurations are as per the specifications and secure. By auditing the pool of data regularly, you will be able to recover data quickly in the event of a data disaster.
- Protect your hardware: It’s not always about protecting your software. But, you have to pay equal attention to hardware security. Ensure all the network components are in a secure, air-conditioned area to reduce the chances of accidental data loss. For additional security firms can install access or monitoring systems to detect theft.
- Make use of MDM: Almost all firms at present make use of a diverse data management system. But, there are only a few who implement mobile-ready security policies for the employee-owned devices. And, for creating company-wide mobile device management policies that will protect essential data, firms need to establish clear boundaries and give proper guidance throughout the length and breadth of the organization. The MDM policy must address a few points like:
1. Acceptable use of a personal device
2. Access to the company-owned resources
3. Use of reliable device locks for additional security
4. Use of strong passwords
5. Data wiping to strengthen data security.
- Always watch out for software updates: With the help of software, updates firms will be able to patch the known security vulnerabilities. To eliminate security loopholes, you need to keep the software up to date at all times. Never postpone any update and regularly check for pending software updates.
By taking action today, you can prevent the mountain of headaches in the future. Whether you want to avoid loss of valuable data or want to maximize productivity, its time to create an effective data backup plan by taking the above things into account.