Everyone has lost a document or some type of data at some point since technology entered our daily lives. Whether it’s something simple like the grocery list or something of high importance like company records, nothing is more frustrating than losing data and starting from scratch again (if you can). If you’re lucky it wasn’t anything important, you didn’t spend hours of your day working on it and it wasn’t critical data to your business. However, you can’t just rely on luck when it comes to important files and simply hitting “save” isn’t enough insurance to keep your work safe.
Even storing data within onsite servers isn’t always enough. If a natural disaster strikes your business or even if the power just happens to go out and your servers don’t power back up, what would your recovery look like? Not only could you lose internal data, but client data is also lost, which could lead to the loss of business from that client altogether. Take the steps to be prepared and ensure your data is secure.
TechNet Magazine lists nine questions to ask yourself when you begin to look at a backup plan. These questions are the first steps to keeping your data safe.
1) How important is your data?
Determine which data needs to be backed up and if the data is of high importance it will need to have redundant backup sets in case one of the backups fails, it will still be protected by other methods. Ready.gov recommends that data is backed up by at least three different methods. If the data is of a sensitive nature then it will also need to be encrypted.
2) What type of information does the data contain?
Consider the fact that different types of data are important to different people in the company. What may not be important for you to have backed up may be crucial to another department.
3) How often does the data change?
If the data changes frequently then backups should be scheduled everyday, but if changes are less common backups can be scheduled less frequently.
4) Can you supplement backups with shadow copies?
Shadow copies are point-in-time copies of documents in shared folders. The copies make recovering documents easy because you can go back to an older version in case a document is deleted. These copies should be used in addition to your regular backups and are not meant to replace them.
5) How quickly do you need to recover the data?
If the system is critical and you need to get back online quickly this may change your backup plan.
6) Do you have the equipment to perform backups?
Backups require hardware and devices. This can include includes tape drives, optical drives, and removable disk drives. Or you can use offsite backup solutions, such as the services DataCave offers.
7) Who will be responsible for the backup and disaster recovery plan?
Designate a person to be in charge of overseeing your recovery and backup plan. Have this person be responsible for reviewing the backup log to be sure no files were missed in the process. He or she should also check to make sure your backup solutions are functioning properly and actually backing up your data.
8) What’s the best time to schedule backups?
Try to schedule backups when the system use is as low as possible. This will also speed up the backup process.
9) Do you need to store backups offsite?
Similar to #6, but this step goes a little further. When you store copies of your data offsite it can safeguard your data in case of a natural disaster. Consider also storing copies of software that could be lost in case of a disaster.
Work through this checklist with your team to make sure your valuable data is safe. That way if disaster strikes, your company will be prepared because you were proactive and took the necessary steps to backup your data.
If you need a safe place to keep your critical business data or would like some more tips, give us a call or check out some of our Disaster Recovery whitepaper for more information.
The Relationship Between Technology and Security
We’ve talked a bit about CES. Now that we are a few weeks beyond, we can look back more objectively. What are the big trends that are truly emerging? In the hubbub of the event, new features and products capture our attention, but we wanted to look at what major shifts in the industry these products indicated.
It is not the least bit surprising that increased security emerged as a trend. With advances in technology and increased information availability comes concerns regarding data security. New technology exhibited and demonstrated at CES and throughout 2013 shift toward security awareness and complete integration with software and hardware improvements.
For example, Griffin Technology revealed Kiosk Retail, which is a “new iPad case designed to turn the familiar tablet into a fully-fledged POS kiosk, complete with a built-in encrypted magnetic card reader.” It can also be tied into a cash desk and into software from ShopKeep.com, which handles business transactions and keeps track of inventory.
Similarly, iTwin Connect builds on existing iTwin hardware-encrypted file sharing tools, where you “take a pair of iTwin USB sticks and leave one in your PC at home or in the office, carrying the other with you for secure file sharing.” No data is stored on the second key—it only sets up a secure connection so that you can access files on your computer. The iTwin connect “takes the concept several steps further, adding support for remote control, for VPN connections to a corporate network and for access to public internet connections via an iTwin-hosted VPN.”
“The result is an intriguing response to many of the issues thrown up by BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). There’s minimal corporate management required, but the increased security makes it easier to justify giving employees access to files and applications from home PCs or while on the road.”
Ultimately, the security trend demonstrates a shared feeling of responsibility throughout the technology community. They say, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” It is reassuring to see technology security evolving to stay on track with emerging technologies. As engineers and developers create more, you can expect to see security considerations. And doesn’t that give you peace of mind?
Colocation – locating servers and high-tech equipment away from the bricks-and-mortar location of a business – is no longer just for the big boys of the data world. It’s also becoming an emerging consideration for small- to mid-sized business owners.
Many small business owners find themselves burdened and overwhelmed with the task of keeping a server running 24/7 for their business and Internet hosting needs. Colocation facilities at a data center can provide small and mid-sized business owners peace of mind about their IT needs with state-of-the-art security, safety, performance and reliability at a price that is more economical than one might think.
Common colocation services include:
- lockable rack cabinets or cages
- power in a variety of formats
- network connectivity
- proper cooling and ventilation
- physical security, including video surveillance and key card access
- real-time, live monitoring of all systems