When Was The Last Time You Tested Your Data Backups?

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How Long Has It Been Since You Last Tested Your Data Backups?

If you are a small to medium sized business, you probably don’t have time to be an expert in IT services in addition to knowing your own product inside and out. This is why it is so important to have a highly reliable IT services firm that has experience working with businesses just like yours every single day. Data backup and recovery is one of the most important things you need an IT company to help you with. Unfortunately, it is sometimes ignored until it is too late.

Also, an IT company that understands the importance of data backup and recovery can help take quite the load off of you. You won’t have to worry about data backup and recovery if you have an expert handling it for you.

When Is The Last Time Your Data Backups Were Checked?

Backing up data can be critical to your company’s success. Unfortunately, oftentimes data is backed up once and forgotten about. If it has been years since your data was backed up, imagine how much work you will lose if you have to go back to the last time it was backed up. Is that a painful thought? If so, you need to back up your data more regularly.

Ideally, not only will you be backing up your data regularly, but you will also be checking to make sure it’s backed up. However, sometimes it can be like the dentist. People know preventative care is important, but it’s just not fun and you might wait until you get a toothache instead. By then, it’s too late and you are facing a root canal.

Do your preventative work and backup your data!

Dealing With IT Failure

The sooner you know a critical part of your IT infrastructure failed, the better. You can immediately work to rectify it. Preventing a failure is the best, but if you don’t do that, the easiest way to recover data is to start immediately, which you can’t do if you don’t even know it failed or was hacked. Many companies who suffer from a catastrophic IT loss do not survive.

Think about that. Would your IT systems going offline for a period of time wipe out your entire company? If so, isn’t it worth it to get the help you need before that happens? Unfortunately, data loss does happen from time to time, which is why it is absolutely vital that you are backed up and protected.

Regular Testing

In addition to backing up your data, regularly testing it is crucial. How often should you be testing your data recovery and backup options? It really depends on your comfort level. How much trust do you have that your data is backed up sufficiently? Do you feel comfortable waiting weeks or months between testing? It’s OK if you don’t, there are IT teams that can do this backup testing on a nightly basis.

Some of it depends on how big your company is. Do you have 100,000 people? If so, losing data even just for a day could be catastrophic, since there will be a lot of work lost. If you just have a handful of employees, maybe you can get away with testing less frequently. Then again, a smaller company will have less resources to fight to recover with if you are knocked offline for any period of time.

Working with your IT team, you will be able to decide upon the right amount of testing for your company. Just remember, the only real way to know if your backup is working is to test it, and test it regularly.

Document Results

Just as important as testing the backups is documenting the results. If you are using an IT company, it is safe to trust them to run tests, but you do want to see some results. A good IT team will be able to show you proof of their tests, so you can see where any weak spots are, or gain peace of mind knowing that all your data is shored up and protected. Trust, but verify. Trust your IT company, but verify and take a look at their results from time to time.

Simulate Failure

At least once a year, you want your IT team to simulate failure. This is critical. What happens if all your systems go down? You should be running worst-case scenarios once a year. This way, you know with confidence that there will be a plan to recover your data. This is not being dramatic, this is being prepared. What happens if a natural disaster or terrorist attack knocks out power and servers for a period of time? A little preparation now could save the life of your company in the event of a true disaster.

During this simulation, you’ll want to use your backup systems to get your IT back up and running. What lessons did you learn? It’s OK if there are hiccups. That’s why you ran the simulation – to iron out the kinks. Work with your IT team to ascertain what went well, and what went poorly, when you ran your simulation. Work to make it better for next time.

Simulation exercises are critical to your backup and recovery plans. Do not be afraid to test for the worst! It’s how you can save your company in the future.

Contact Us Today

By engaging with Schilling IT, you are actively choosing to protect your business from all the cyber threats and ransomware threats out there. Reach out and contact us today, so we can help set you up to protect your data. Don’t wait until your systems have already been hacked. While we can, and will, certainly help you recover your data if you have been hacked.

It’s always easier, cheaper, and more effective to backup your data ahead of time and do everything you can to prevent a cyber attack. With the right IT services company, you will be protected and you will not have to stress about IT problems your company might face.

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