Creating a Small Business Backup Strategy

Oct 18, 2019 | Uncategorized

Backups are one of the most important parts of the IT procedures for any Small Business.  Critical information, like the Accounts Receivables, Intellectual Property and Procedures, and Customer documentation, if lost can result in significant losses or even the closing of the business.

What is a Backup Procedure for a Small Business?

A backup strategy is a plan that identifies critical data and services that need to be backed up, how regularly they are backed up, and how quickly you want those backups restored the event of accidental deletion or a disaster. By taking regular and consistent backups, you can minimise the amount of impact a disastrous event would have on your business.

An event can be a number of various incidents such as:

  • Malicious Attacks– Encryption of files and data, often asking for payment in return for restoring access to these files.
  • Natural Disasters– Fire, floods, electrical storms.
  • Theft
  • Accidental Deletion
  • Corruption from power outages
  • Hard drive failure

Find out how much you could potentially lose in downtime using this calculator –

Two key phrases to understand when dealing with backups are:

•Restore Time Objective (RTO) – refers to the point in time in the future at which you want to be back up and running.

•Restore Point Objective (RPO) – refers to the point in time in the past that you will use as your recovery point. (Usually your most recent useable backup.)After setting your Restore Time Objective and your Restore Point Objective as goal, you can then determine which backup methodology would be best suited to your business. Keeping in mind that as a rule the decrease in restore time usually causes an increase in cost.

Factors to consider in setting your RPO and RTO are how much data you can afford to lose and how long you can afford to be without data.  Some organisations don’t create a lot of data and it is easy to re enter, others create a lot of data very frequently.  Some businesses can run quite nicely for a couple of days without access to their systems, others grind to a halt.  These considerations drive how long you can afford to be down for and low much data you can lose.

Disaster Recovery

How does your business respond to data loss?

Backup Monitoring and Testing

Of the IT professionals who have had experience with a ransomware attack, only 42 percent reported being able to successfully recover all their clients data from backup. Common reasons for incomplete recovery include unmonitored and failed backups, loss of accessible backup drives that were also encrypted, and loss of between 1-24 hours of data from thelast backup snapshot. This is why it is so important that your backups are not only monitored, but are frequently tested for recoverability, and most importantly, a copy kept off-site.

The key steps to planning a Small Business Backup Strategy:

  1. Automated.  Backups that have human intervention are most likely to fail.
  2. Reported.  Even automated backups fail, so reporting and checking is critical.
  3. Offsite.  If it’s not offsite, you haven’t mitigated against theft and fire.
  4. Tested.  Backing up isn’t the point, it is restoring and without a trial restore, you don’t know if you can restore.

Common Errors with Small Business Backup Strategies

We often find with new customers as we onboard them a number of backup issues.  These include –

  • Not backing up all of the data that the company needs protecting
  • Not having an automated system.  We sometimes find that the responsibility for backups rests with someone who has left the company months or years ago
  • Not having a trial restore procedure
  • Not having the backup tested with a trial restore
  • Not having the backup go offsite
  • Not identifying hardware that will be used to backup with

It is important to have a test regime to ensure that your data is recoverable.

To discuss your companies backup needs, call the Extreme Team today.

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