Online backup systems are becoming the best way to protect your business’ data and information. They usually provide a full backup not only on a daily basis but even every 15 mins with programs that collect, encrypt and transfer data over the Internet to a remote backup server. Even though this is a great step forward there are ways to make cloud backups even better. Here are ten things you can do to make sure your online cloud backup has a silver lining.
1. Understand your backup process
Make sure you understand the backup procedures and programs that you are using. Talk to your providers and read the product descriptions. You don’t want to make mistakes and have material that is not being backed up properly. Ensure that you are using a backup process that backups up everything including programs.
2. Test your backup often
Test your backup and recovery processes regularly, monthly if possible but at least every 6-9 months to be sure they work as you expect them to. Often people and businesses believe they have a full backup system in place but it doesn’t work when they need to restore and recover your information.
3. Keep records
If you have set up a backup system and software make sure you keep written, hardcopy records of security keys, supplier contact details, passwords and any other information that might be important if you need to get third party help with a system failure. You should also keep this information with your backups including any other recovery software that maybe required.
4. Reduce the amount of data
A lot of data that a business generates is copied into several locations or is repeated, therefore there is a lot of information that contains redundancy. Data deduplication can reduce the amount of data needing to be backed up by up to 80%. Also relocate unnecassary installation programs or temporary files onto a drive or volume that is not backed up. This reduces the costs and speed of cloud storage.
5. Simplify the first backup
A lot of businesses are still using ADSL, which can only handle small amounts of data, so the initial backup of a lot of data could take weeks. A solution is to backup to a physical storage device and ship the device to the cloud provider. The provider can also provide you with a hardcopy backup if you need a full backup restore.
6. Use incremental backups
The amount of data being transmitted in each backup needs to be controlled for cost and time reasons. The solution is to use incremental backups. These only transfer the information that has changed from the last backup.
7. Make sure your data security is high
Make sure that the cloud provider has security and encryption procedures in place that are at least as good as your own. The cloud backup should not be the weak link in your data security processes.
8. Use granular backup
Granularity refers to backups that can be accessed as either a full backup or a partial (or granular) backup. This means that if, for instance, you only need to recover one file, you don’t have to wait for a full restore to get the information.
9. Have a Plan B
To reduce risks make sure that you have at least two copies of backups , one on-site and one off-site. Make sure that your provider is not at risk of losing your data at the same moment that you do.
10. Choose a reputable cloud backup provider
When you choose a cloud provider make sure that they will give you the best solution to protect your business from the risk of data and information loss.