The consequences of not testing data backups are critical
There are many reasons why businesses should regularly test and monitor their data backups. One of the most important is to ensure they can use the backup data to restore the system in case of a disaster. Testing and monitoring also help businesses identify any potential problems with the backup system so they fix them before they cause significant issues. Additionally, regular testing and monitoring can help improve the overall efficiency of the backup system.
Another reason businesses should test and monitor their data backups is to ensure the service is backing up the data properly. This includes verifying that they include all the necessary files in the backup and that there are no errors in the backup process. If there are errors or the backup experiences a compromise, it may not be possible to restore.
Weak backup plans have also become very apparent with the rising prevalence of ransomware. In ransomware attacks, a hacker will often first target the backup server or system for destruction before moving on to other data sets.
How can you make sure your backups will work when you need them?
There is no shortage of advice out there on how businesses can back up their data. But ensuring that those backups work is another story. Here are a few tips to help ensure that your business backups are in good working order:
- Be sure you are getting proper automated reporting for your backup system’s failures, successes, and testing. If you outsource your IT or your backup solution, they can monitor this for you but you should at least get a monthly report so you can review the success rate and your current backup situation.
- Test, test, test – Just like with any other critical system, it is important to regularly test your backup system to make sure it is working as it should. This means not only testing the initial backup process but also testing restores to make sure your business can retrieve data successfully when needed.
- Have a plan – Having a well-planned backup plan is essential for ensuring that you protect your data properly. This plan should include everything from what data your business needs to have backed up and how often, to where your business will store the backups and who is responsible for managing them.
- Automate – Automating as much of the backup process as possible can help to ensure your business carries out the service regularly. This might include using software that automatically backs up data on a schedule or setting up alerts to notify you if a backup fails.
- Keep it offsite – Storing backups offsite is important for two reasons: first, it helps to protect against physical disasters like fires or floods; and second, it guards against theft or other malicious activity. There are several ways to store backups offsite, such as using cloud storage or keeping them on removable media that your business can store at a different location.
- Go for redundancy – To further ensure you protect your data, consider using multiple backup methods and storing backups in more than one location. This way, even if your business experiences backup failure or loss, you will still have others to fall back on.
Following these tips can help ensure your business protects its data properly. However, even the best backup system will not do any good if you do not use it regularly, so make sure to put yours into action!