If you are working for a large enterprise, all your files are probably stored on a secure server that your company is continuously backing up – right? Let’s hope so.
That said if your company allows you to store files locally, like on a “C” drive on your laptop or desktop, then in all probability, those files are not backed up on a regular basis.
Perhaps you work for a small to midsized business and your files are stored in this hybrid situation with some on a local server on some on your computing devices.
Regardless, there are some key questions that you may not have asked yourself:
- How do you back up your data?
- How long will it take you to restore the data?
- Is our data stored on multiple, geographically dispersed servers?
- How is our data secured (128 bit encryption)?
If you knew the answers to all those questions and were satisfied with them, stop. Pat yourself on the back and take a look at how you are assessing your safely secured commercial real estate data. Otherwise, you might just want to spend a minute finishing this article for tips that can save you days, weeks or months…
Backups, Backups, Backups
You need multiple backups--both off-site, Internet-based backups as well as portable, external drive backups that you maintain locally. Secure, fast and reliable Internet-based backup services are relatively inexpensive insurance for any business to have. Additionally, with the relatively high capacity and exceedingly low price (1 TB for about $150) external drives give you the ability to securely back up your server files on a drive that fits in your pocket.
The advantage of the external backup is that you’re up and running immediately from an alternative location. By simply enabling 128-bit password encryption on your backup software you maintain the confidentiality and security of any sensitive data. So even if the backup drive got into the hands of a competitor it would be just a paperweight to them.
The big advantage of the Internet-based backup services is that your data is backed up to a secure computer far, far away from where you are. Depending on the amount of data, you should be able to pull down a server's worth in about a day. To retrieve the data all you need is a broadband connection and your password. Even if it's running on a brand-new computer you're back in business within 24 hours.
Having both backup strategies gives one “sleep at night” confidence. That said, it does require having the systems set up well in advance of any catastrophe as well as having the software in place; software that has been well tested and implemented. It requires a strict adherence to discipline backup procedures.
All this might seem to be common sense, yet ask yourself how many people employed these simple strategies on their home computers, that nowadays, contain their entire financial lives as well as cherished photos and videos?
Check back tomorrow for suggestions on the best back-up technology as well as more tips on how to keep your company prepared for the worst!