Just before you press "save", your system crashes, and you must reboot your laptop. Not very helpful. You now need to rewrite your last few paragraphs. Sound familiar? It's happened to all of us. But what if that happens to your entire business data or portions of it? This is why you need a backup and recovery policy.
In this week's IT Soho guide, we'll be taking you through what you need to consider and some best practices so that you can implement an effective policy with meaning.
What is a backup and recovery policy?
A backup and recovery policy outlines how you will safeguard your company's data through two specific processes:
Regular backups that secure information in it's last updated state
Data reboot files that are used in instances of data loss.
Remember your company's data is its lifeblood - from customer information to proprietary processes, a loss could have severe repercussions. A backup and recovery policy is your shield against data loss and lengthy downtime, offering a structured framework to mitigate risks.
Mitigating risks of data loss and system downtime
Beyond data loss, system downtime can be a significant setback for SMEs. A well-defined policy preserves data integrity and ensures a swift recovery, minimising disruptions to your business operations.
Critical components of a backup and recovery policy
You need to consider several things in your backup and recovery policy. These include:
Identifying critical data - Not all data holds equal importance. Start by categorising and prioritising your information. Identify what data is vital for daily operations and must be safeguarded at all costs.
Establish your 4-3-2 backup rule - An industry-standard approach, the 4-3-2 backup rule, simplifies your backup strategy. It suggests having four total copies of your data stored on three different mediums, with two copies located offsite. That ensures comprehensive protection against various threats.
Understand who has access to your data and their needs if data is compromised or lost - Your network access policy will help you establish this quickly.
Aligning with your Incident Response Plan - Having a well-defined plan ensures that your team responds promptly and efficiently when a security incident occurs.
Delegate responsibilities - Who is critical to your backup and recovery workflow? Most SMEs won't have an IT guy on site, so it makes sense to outsource these services to a company that can remotely monitor your cyber security and manage things like backups. They will also be critical in your recovery process, as their expertise will get you up and running in a shorter period. Need help with that? Check out our IT support packages.
Providing compliance - The ISO 27001 standard, specifically designed for information security management, offers a comprehensive framework to follow.
Practical tips and best practices to ensure your policy works
A well-drafted backup and recovery policy is a crucial first step, but its effectiveness lies in successful implementation and regular testing. Consider working with these best practices to ensure you remain vigilant and compliant.
Conduct regular drills and simulations
Just as your team practises fire drills, simulate data recovery scenarios. This proactive approach ensures that everyone knows their role and that your policy meets real-world challenges.
Update your policy based on lessons learned
Every drill and real-world incident provides an opportunity for improvement. Regularly update your policy based on lessons learned, technological advancements, and changes in your business eco-system. And that's important - your business eco-system will change over time as you introduce new software and hardware components.
Invest in employee awareness and training
Your policy is only as strong as the people implementing it. Invest in employee awareness and training programs. Ensure everyone understands how important data protection is and what their role is in the process. For most staff, this will be reporting potential concerns and findings. Training them helps your IT team stay ahead of the curve.
IT Soho can help you with your backup and recovery policy
We are expert IT service providers working in the central London area. We work with many SMEs from various industries - managing your hardware and software as well as practical compliance policies. Understanding how to implement and act on backup and recovery policies is part of what we do.
If you need an expert team to help you safeguard your data, contact Eric today.