‘I just spilled coffee on my laptop. Can you recover my work?’
‘We accidentally saved over the AutoCAD file for our project. Can you restore the version from this morning?’
‘Our server room flooded. How fast can we get back up and running?’
These are just a few examples of real situations where a good backup solution saved the day. But as important as backups are, a surprising number of businesses still aren’t getting it right. So we’ve put together our top 5 tips to help ensure your business is prepared when the unthinkable happens.
Tip #1: Backup Files Regularly
Not backing up files often enough is one of the biggest mistakes a business can make. Imagine having to recreate days or months of work – scary thought, right? Setting a regular schedule for backups of your data (i.e. client files, accounting info, HR records) will help to ensure critical info is not lost.
The ideal frequency of backups can vary based on your business’s requirements and how often your data is updated. While more static data may only need nightly or weekly backups, critical files that are constantly updated may require a more frequent backup schedule.
Tip #2: Test and Test Again
You have to back up your data as if you will need to get it back one day. A critical part of that process is testing to make sure files are restorable from your backup.
We’ve all heard the horror stories of businesses who thought they had a good backup, only to discover that files were corrupted or missing when trying to restore after a disaster. Testing your backups regularly will allow you to discover and address issues ahead of time. Backups should be tested quarterly, if not monthly, to ensure you can get back to business as usual with minimal downtime.
Tip #3: Ditch the Tape Backups
In terms of reliability, tape backups are not the best option – up to 71% of all magnetic tape backup restorations fail. Without proper care and climate conditions, tape backups will deteriorate over time. Opt for more reliable methods, such as cloud or disk backup.
Tip #4: Back up Critical Files Offsite
Even the best backup in the world won’t do you any good if it’s under water. Critical files should be backed up in a secure, offsite location (or multiple locations for added security). Offsite backup will help ensure your files are protected, even if your office is affected by a fire, flood, theft, etc.
Tip # 5: Don’t Forget Your Laptops & PCs
Although your server may have a solid backup solution in place, all of your company’s files may not be backed up. While it’s not best practice, many people save documents directly to their desktop or laptop instead of the company server.
Laptops get lost, viruses strike, and hard drives crash – and any files saved only to these devices can be lost forever. Investing in a backup solution for your team’s PCs and laptops will add an extra layer of protection against losing company data.