For organizations that need to ensure the sustainability of their data, documented backup and recovery procedures are an excellent way to do so. According to estimates by Gartner Inc., 70% more businesses will be making use of disaster relief planning solutions within two years due to other recent high-profile breaches; these types of policies create an additional level of protection for companies’ sensitive information as well reduce risk exposure when you’re already prepared.
Documented procedures can help achieve regulatory compliance. These policies ensure that the data you need for your company is always accessible so it doesn’t get lost or damaged, which makes sure everything runs smoothly in terms of business transactions and processes like taxes.
With documented backup and recovery procedures, an IT team can ensure that its systems are up-to-date.
A system is only as good as the data on it so if you’re not careful about backing everything up then there will be significant reconstruction time after a disaster strikes or even just routine maintenance for things such as software updates which should never take longer than their standard release cycle duration (normally 2 weeks) and product updates (think BIOS), hardware replacement, and operating system reinstallation.
You don’t want to get blindsided by a disaster, but what if it happens?
Documented backup and recovery procedures can help ensure that your business is always in tip-top shape.
A well-thought-out plan for maintaining records of all aspects related to the running or closing down process will leave you prepared at any time there’s an emergency situation–whether natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy which hit New York City last year; cyberattacks from criminals hoping to gain access into server cabinets where valuable data may be stored (recently Target was hacked); human error on our part such as accidentally deleting irreplaceable documents because “you know better than that!”; or even just the everyday wear and tear of doing business.
The following are some of the most important aspects to include in your disaster recovery plan:
- Backup Systems – A robust backup system is crucial whether your company deals with electronic files, cloud data storage, Scannable ID Cards, paper files…you name it! Ensure that you have at least 2 copies (physical & virtual), preferably 3 (2 physical & 1 virtual). Store one copy off-site but near enough for employees to access quickly if needed.
- If your business deals with highly confidential information such as Scannable IDs where security is paramount–such as hospitals’ staff rosters; office buildings’ staff personnel lists; health care facility personnel cards; university student rosters; student medical records; financial aid documents–then you’ll want to be especially careful not only with the file backup but also with any USB devices that go in and out of your company. Keep all USBs locked up when not in use (or even while in use if it is an employee’s personal drive).
- Change Passwords – Ensure your passwords are all different for each account. Don’t make them easy to guess either! For example, don’t name 2 separate accounts “Bob” or “Jane.” Make sure they are completely unique. Also make sure they are long enough consisting of numbers, symbols, capital letters & lower case letters. Having said that, please do not use common phrases or words that can be found in the dictionary.
- Upgrade – If you haven’t already, it may be time to upgrade your operating system. Making sure your software is always upgraded with the latest security patches can help prevent many common exploits. You should also consider installing antivirus software that will scan for viruses and malicious programs daily or weekly, depending on your needs. It is important not to forget about this task because most viruses are spread via email or by opening infected files. Keeping up-to-date on all of these tasks will both help secure against hackers as well as protect you from any internal mistakes.
- Monitor Emails & Files – For larger companies, scanning emails for spam and potential malware infections may be necessary depending on how large the company gets.