The old saying, “Pack your own parachute,” comes to mind when I think of data backups or, more specifically, data RECOVERY. However, how many people actually know how to pack their pro-verbial data backup “parachute” and instead rely on someone else – be it an employee or vendor?

If that’s you, read on. Since the absolute WORSE time to check your backups is AFTER a data disaster, all company CEOs ought to know the answers to the following questions NOW so they aren’t unpleasantly surprised later when data gets erased and they’re scrambling to get back up and running:

  1. Where EXACTLY is your data being backed up, and how do you get access to it? If it’s being hosted in a remote place, you ought to have the account information and a direct contact you can call if your vendor or employee goes missing with this information. Ideal-ly, it should be in your network documentation that is kept in your operations manual or somewhere you can easily access it if neces-sary.
  2. Who’s responsible for monitoring the backups to make sure they are working? When data is lost, the finger pointing starts. It’s not uncommon to hear, “Well I thought (they/he/she) was in charge of our backups!” only to discover that this person (be it a vendor or employee) actually has no idea that they had such an im-portant responsibility. Keep in mind that many offsite backup com-panies allow you to store your data there, but they won’t agree to ANY responsibility for whether or not the data is being backed up correctly, completely or in a format that can be restored.
  3. How often do you run a test restore? The only way to know if your backups are working properly is to conduct a test restore or “fire drill” of your data. We recommend running this once a month at a minimum to verify that you can actually restore from your backups in an emergency.
  4. If your data is lost, what’s the process required to restore it? Some business owners don’t realize that their raw data back-ups would take a LOT longer to restore than they imagine. If you are not “imaging” your data (a process that takes a snap-shot of your server as is) you will have to reload all of your software, set up the network, reconfigure your settings and THEN restore the data – a process that can take the better part of a week PROVIDED you still have your original software discs and licenses.

Our Free Backup Audit will give you the answers to these crit-ical questions. If you don’t know the answers to these questions, give us a call to schedule a FREE inspection of your backup pro-cess. At a minimum you’ll know for sure that your data is safe and in a format that can get you back up and running again FAST. Call: 773-516-5718 or e-mail us at: b2b@cccc.us