When Was The Last Time Your IT Company Tested Your Data Backups?
written by Mark Veldhoff posted on Jul 11, 2021
Everything You Need to Know About Data Backup Testing
Backing up your data is a big step in ensuring your business continuity, data security, reducing downtime, and losses associated with data loss. However, if you are not testing your data back up, you may be operating on false hope while, in reality, you have no data to restore in case of a data breach.
Read on, and we will tell you everything you need to know about data backup testing. Let’s begin by exploring the importance of backing up your data.
Importance of Backing Up Your Data
Prevent Permanent Data Loss
Data loss is common in most organizations. You may lose it after a calamity like a flood, earthquake, or a fire that affects your devices and IT infrastructure. You may also lose your IT devices, or they may break down.
In other cases, you lose data when external malicious intruders bypass your cybersecurity solutions. Whatever the case, having a backup helps you recover the lost data to ensure the continuity of your business processes.
A data loss incident may disrupt your operations. Prolonged downtimes may affect your reputation, lead to loss of business opportunities, and create anxiety in your employees and customers. Back up your data to restore your operations promptly.
Quick Access to Files
If you use cloud-based backup systems, they allow you to access your data from anywhere as long as you can access an internet signal. When you cannot access your on-site backup systems, you can access your files from the cloud-based systems.
This may help you to continue your operations remotely as you await your premises to become accessible. It also helps your remote teams recover lost data without needing to come to the office.
With an effective backup system, you maximize your uptime, creating more time for your employees to be productive. You also have quicker access to the data you need to continue with your operations to avoid keeping your employees idle.
Uninterrupted operations give your customers an excellent user experience, earning their trust and loyalty. With a proper backup system, you will experience minimal systems failure, helping you get clients’ respect and loyalty.
Some laws, such as HIPAA, make it mandatory for organizations to back up and secure clients’ data. If you lose clients’ data, or if cyber criminals access it, you are required by law to inform the affected clients.
Why Should You Test Your Data Backup?
To Determine the Value of Your Backup System
Testing your backup will reveal if your employees follow your data backup policy. You may see the departments without data to recover or those that don’t back up as frequently as they should.
Testing will also help you see if your backup systems are doing what they are intended to do. Through testing, you can tell the amount of data you can recover from your backup. Test if your Wide Area Network (WAN) and Local Area Networking (LAN) can recover heavy data in a short time.
In addition, you can tell if your system allows you to recover parts of your data or all the data depending on what you may need. Besides, you may know the reliability of the IT Company you contracted to backup your data.
Your data backup testing should indicate if the recovered data is restored in the appropriate devices and systems. You can also test if your backup system is secured. Check if you need to update any software and backup systems to keep your data safe.
To Determine Your RTO and RPO
Your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) refers to the maximum time you can take to recover all your data. Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is the maximum data you can lose without hurting your operations. When you know your RTO, you can determine how swiftly you need to initiate your data recovery. Your RPO will tell you how a data loss is likely to affect your operations.
Your files may be interfered with when in storage or during recovery. Some files may be recovered in the wrong order, creating distortions that may affect the flow of information. Involve subject matter specialists to scrutinize the accuracy of the files that you recover.
Data Recovery Uniformity
Your backup testing helps you determine if you can recover data in your devices and systems uniformly. In some cases, some data may load successfully in some devices but fail to load in others.
You may remedy this by ensuring the software in your devices are compatible with the ones in your backup devices and systems. Also, ensure you can recover data from your on-site devices and systems and your cloud-based backup uniformly.
How Often Should You Test Your Backup
The frequency of testing depends on how important the data is and how much you want to risk failing to recover it. Ideally, you should test after every backup.
However, few people can do so practically as it is disruptive and time-consuming. Set a regular schedule for your tests. Experts recommend regular monthly testing, but you can decide your frequency based on how much data you process over time and its importance.
Nevertheless, always test before and after a system change or upgrade. Testing reveals incompatibilities in devices and systems configurations, and you can remedy them to ensure you can recover and restore data in your devices and systems effectively and efficiently.
Who Should Be Involved In Your Backup Testing?
Your in-house IT team and an external IT services company should execute your backup testing jointly. While the external team gives feedback on the effectiveness of your backup recovery policy and strategy, your in-house team will assess the accuracy of the recovered files.
The joint venture may also equip your team with new skills to help them back up data more effectively. The IT company may have more skilled employees and experienced employees since they work with different organizations. They may also have more recent data backup and recovery technology.
Are you looking for a reliable IT service company with fair and predictable rates in Michigan? Get in touch with Envizion IT.
At Envizion, we help organizations improve their IT infrastructure through high-quality IT managed services, cloud services, IT planning, and PC and mobile device management. Contact us today to schedule your IT cost saving analysis.
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