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Everything You Need to Know About Creating a Data Backup Plan

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Every business should have a dependable data backup plan in place.

In fact, every day that you don’t have data backup, you’re putting your business at risk.

Naturally, this is often easier said than done. Just how do you go about creating a data backup plan? Especially when your budget is tight and you’re concerned about reliability?

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We asked the top experts in IT security these very questions, plus others related to creating a successful and reliable data backup plan.

Here’s what they said.

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What’s the best way businesses can create a data backup plan?

First of all, according to the experts, this depends. Adam Rippon, Founder of Sydney Technology Solutions, says:

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“[Data plan creation] is very much determined by understanding the client’s environment, the type of data they have (and how often it changes), and the type of backup/recovery required. e.g.: file level, virtual machine level, etc.”

At the same time, Marius Nel of 360 Smart Networks gives this detailed outline for creating a reliable and trustworthy plan:

“1. All backups should have a local near-line copy and an off-site copy.

2. The systems should not be directly connected to the data being backed up (not on the same domain).

3. Data backups must be encrypted at rest and in transit.”

Additionally, when it comes to cloud providers, Nel says that vendor’s systems should never be the sole tool used for backups. Critical data should also have multiple backup solutions, meaning you need an off-site copy in addition to your on-site copy if the data is truly essential.

Finally, Nel adds that backups need to be checked weekly (at least).

Who should be responsible for creating the plan?

Hiring an MSP is the best way to create a data backup plan that is wholly dependable. Adam Rippon adds that “documenting business requirements, recovery point, and recovery time objectives should be an exercise that the MSP and client develop together … The implementation should be performed by the MSP and reviewed by the client to ensure both parties are in agreement.”

Orange Crew’s Laith Pahlawan weighed in on this question as well, saying that before your data backup plan is created, it “should have a committee [where] IT and Finance [are] involved. But it is better to communicate the plan with all department heads so that they know what is being backed up and know what to expect when systems crash.”

What specific details does the plan need to include?

It’s essential to revisit any backup plan on a regular basis. According to Jorge Rojas of Tektonic Inc., it’s critical to check on your data backup plan, “minimum yearly [plus] every time there is a major change in the organization.”

Marius Nel suggests that the plan be visited daily as well, saying that your plan, “should form part of the company’s day-to-day operations and should be part of the culture.” He adds that “A data backup plan is not a tactical event but rather a function that forms part of every decision.”

Does the plan need to be revisited? How often?

In a succinct list, Adam Rippon suggests that all data backup plans need to include:

  • “Type of Backups
  • Location of Backups
  • Number of Backups
  • Recovery Point Objectives
  • Recovery Time Objectives
  • Frequency of Backups
  • User Acceptance Testing”

When creating their backup plan, what is the most common mistake businesses make?

According to Adam Rippon, the biggest mistake is, “Failing to understand recovery time frames and failing to test backup recoverability.”

Laith Pahlawan has seen the biggest mistake be, “not monitoring the backup and believing that you can set it and forget it.”

Finally, Jorge Rojas has seen too many clients, “involve third-party support providers in the process.”

Speak to an MSP Today About Assisting With the Creation of Your Data Backup Plan

Ready to get to work on your own data backup plan? Unfortunately, criminals are ready and waiting to pounce on the company’s without backup. The sooner you get to work organizing a plan for your company’s data, the better. Speak to an MSP with data backup experience today to start building a plan.

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