12 Top tip for protecting your data
At Computer Troubleshooters we are always seeing situations where data loss has been experienced and the consequences of not taking precautions before the situation arises. A concise backup strategy for personal devices and office equipment won’t prevent all loss, but it will go a long way towards protecting the organisation in the event of the device being damaged or stolen. Three practical backup strategy tips are:
- Invest in a quality non-mobile external storage device to backup valuable data. Always check that the backup is working correctly and accessible. Also, keep the storage device in one place to prevent damage or shocks.
- Create a backup of the backup and use a different type of storage device.
- Develop a data recovery strategy and invest in Data Recovery Insurance to minimise the cost and downtime in case of a data recovery emergency.
For portable memory devices including flash and SSD (solid state drives) you should also:
- Backup to a traditional drive storage device and keep the device in a safe location.
- Remember the passwords of your device encryption solutions. Store them where you can find them and not on the device itself.
- Understand that the devices are not indestructible and can make it far more difficult to recover data. Treat flash and SSD devices just as cautiously as you would a traditional storage device.
For companies whose infrastructure involves the use of virtual machines, I have three more tips:
- Restore backups to a different volume to make sure you do not overwrite data.
- If there is a RAID problem, test the backup by restoring it to a different location or image each drive from the RAID before attempting a rebuild.
- Do not run FSCK or CHKDSK file system repair tools on a virtual disk unless a good backup has been validated by restoring it to a different volume.
Finally, if you have chosen the outsourcing route and your data is maintained in the cloud, it’s still being stored on hardware components and therefore open to failure. To avoid data loss in these environments, check that at the bare minimum your cloud provider:
- Offers data recovery service options or will engage an external data recovery expert.
- Treats all your data in the cloud – from production to test data and temporary projects – with due safety diligence.
- Verifies where your data resides to prevent data jurisdiction issues.
The impending financial year end is a natural time to review the past 12 months and to plan for the year ahead. It’s time to consider whether your IT practices support business needs and whether any improvements can be made. In the current climate of uncertainty plans that include the flexibility to scale up or down may introduce beneficial cost benefits but they also highlight the imperative to protect your existing information investments. It is a cliché, but one of your most precious business assets is your data so when preparing plans that may change the way you gather and process that data, don’t forget the need for protection.
If you need expert advice talk to you local Computer Troubleshooters.