Data security is a hot topic, and one that’s on every small business owner’s mind. We often receive questions from small business owners looking for answers about data backup and recovery strategies. Here is our list of the most frequently asked questions and answers.
Q: Is there a rule for how often I should rotate my backup media?
A: Not a rule, no, but your offsite rotation is designed to bring your company’s data back from the brink in the case of a disaster. So the more recent the off-site backup is, the less recreation of your company’s lost data will be necessary. A backup strategy that incorporates daily, weekly and monthly data rotation will enhance your organization’s disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities. No matter how often you backup, the right data protection partner will help you rotate and manage your media more efficiently and cost effectively. Be sure your backup strategy includes the long-term history required to recover data that that may older. For instance, in some cases month-end backups are kept for seven years or more.
Q: What if I need my backup media when it’s stored offsite?
A: Data loss emergencies are impossible to predict. Fortunately, when your backup tapes and hard drives are stored in a media vault they are still available at a moment’s notice. Emergency requests can be made by phone, fax or online for delivery in as little as 90 minutes—even on holidays, weekends and after business hours.
Q: Can I transfer my data off-site over the Internet?
A: Depending on your internet capabilities and volume of data, online data backup may be an option for your business. Many businesses use online data backup to augment physical full-backup strategies. For example, a business may send just their critical files off-site via the internet to maintain a copy of every file ever backed up—even if the files have long since been deleted from the company server.
Q: What is the best way to prepare my backup media for offsite storage?
A: You should keep an inventory of all media stored offsite. Bar coding allows your data to be uniquely identified and provides a highly efficient system for indexing, accessing, tracking, and auditing your information. Your media rotation partner can offer an integrated bar coding and inventory management solution that lets you track and manage every tape stored offsite.
Q: What is the biggest risk to my backup media?
A: There are several risks to your backup media. The first is theft. Incidents of stolen backup media are on the rise. A tape or hard drive with credit card data, social insurance numbers and other sensitive data can fetch thousands of dollars on the black market. As a result, it’s important to maintain a chain of custody process for your data storage devices at all times.
Second, environmental factors can permanently damage your backup media. Heat, humidity, dust, and magnetic interference can drastically shorten the shelf life of tapes and hard drives. Ideally, they should be stored offsite in a climate-controlled media vault to ensure long-term protection and preservation.
Third, if your media isn’t handled carefully, you risk losing your data. Like most mechanical devices, backup tapes and portable hard drives are vulnerable to shocks. As a result, they should always be transported in protective cases.
As you devise a backup protection and recovery strategy for your organization, use these questions and answers to guide you in the right direction.
FileBank offers off-site data security solutions to businesses throughout Canada. For more information about our services, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.