Saturday, April 28, 2012

Data Loss - How to Be Prepared

We all buy insurance, for our homes, our cars, and our businesses. Being prepared for disaster, whether natural or otherwise, is just the smart thing to do. It's also smart to be prepared for a data disaster to protect your business.
To prevent the catastrophic loss of critical business data, your customer's data or your own, you must have IT systems in place which will help you recover from data loss, and get you up and running again as quickly as humanly possible.
It is a simple fact of life that 70% of small to medium sized businesses are out of business within 6 months of a data loss disaster without a business continuity solution. By using the proper procedures and strategies to protect your business data, regardless of the type of disaster which might strike, you can prevent a catastrophic loss to your business, including the loss of your business.
Here are our my 5 Tips to minimize the chances of a disaster doing permanent damage to your business
1. Take a full inventory of the data you can't live without.
2. Write down all your software product keys, license amounts, passwords, configuration notes, and encryption codes and keep them in a locked safe -- preferably both on premises and off.
3. Write down a detailed plan for restoring data in the event of a loss.
4. Run backups regularly and test them often.
5. Find out from your data backup provider how long it would take to recover in the event of a complete data loss. Some data backup providers can take days or even weeks to ship a full set of disks; others may take less than 48 hours.
Why you need to do these things to recuperate from a data loss
Your data inventory will place priorities on material critical to the operation of your business. As you rebuild your systems following a data disaster, you will know exactly what needs to be done first, and you can leave less important tasks for later. In this case, it's always good to recall that urgency and importance are not the same thing.
In this computer age, we tend not to write things down. We store them on our computers. With a catastrophic data loss however, important information, information required for renovation our systems can also be lost if they are not saved in a separate, secure location.
Knowing what you need to do to advance from a data disaster is not the same as knowing how. Having a plan in place pre-disaster will speed the process greatly, allowing you, and your business, to recover from the loss more quickly. Keep your recovery plan in the same secure location as your other written recovery materials.

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