Backup Your Data – Tips for keeping your information secure
RPO – If your business Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is to lose at most a day’s worth of data you are fine performing daily backups that can recover you to the desired time. Likewise if it is a personal computer contains information that is only updated with photos and key documents on a weekly basis you are fine setting an RPO of one week.
RTO – If you perform a risk assessment and determine your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is 3 days that means you must craft your backup and recovery program to allow system recovery within this time frame.
Data Backup Tips
- Backup frequency should be determined by your Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and the importance of the data.
- Automate your backups using scheduling software to ensure they happen regularly and to minimize the likelihood of human error
- Store the backup sufficient distance away from the primary source of the data. This helps ensure that both copies of the data are not lost if you experience a fire, flood, or theft. Good ways to do this include using a secure online backup service, a professional physical backup service, or by storing physical drives or media in a bank safety deposit box
- Verify that your technical support people are monitoring backup failure reports. Backups can fail for a wide variety of reasons so it is important to regularly monitor the success of backups.
- The ultimate proof that your data can be recovered is to perform a restoration test. This will validate the backup is of good quality and that you are truly protected. It is recommended backups be tested annually at a minimum
Ways to backup your data:
1. Online Backup Services – Online backup is both cost effective and a convenient way to ensure the information is far enough away from your primary data source. For a business I recommend sticking with large reputable providers and avoiding free services that may not be there tomorrow. I will review online backup services in a future post but for now you can consider highly rated providers Mozy, IDrive or Amazon S3 storage services
2. External Hard drives – An external hard drive is a great way to conveniently store backups that are smaller in nature and then storing it in an off site location. I would consider getting 2 2 TB external hard drives that would enable you to set up a small off site rotation plan.
3. Recordable Cds/Dvds – A recordable DVD drive is a great way to make a portable backup that can be stored off-site in a bank safety deposit box or other secure location.
4. Magnetic Tape – Is cost effective for larger corporations with large volumes of data but for smaller businesses I recommend one of the options recommended above.