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Things like the pandemic, cyber warfare and AI technology have forced backup plans to evolve tremendously over the years. Trying to find the best solution for your budget can seem like a daunting task, but that’s why we’ve put together these questions to help narrow down your options.  By knowing what to look for, these industry-recommended questions will simplify your backup plan strategy.

1. Is it actually designed for business continuity?

 You should be able to depend on your backup when you need it most and have the confidence that your company can quickly recover after a data-loss event. If your backup plan cannot reduce post-disaster downtime to hours, minutes or even seconds, then it’s time for a revaluation.

2. How quickly can you recover data after a disaster?

A backup is essentially useless if you can’t immediately recover your data. Businesses need to be able to recover in seconds or minutes, not days. When you don’t have proper backup services, finding ways to get back on your feet after a wide-scale outage could literally take weeks. Disasters not only cost you your data, but downtime. So what’s the bottom line of downtime? In the IBM Global Services Survey, the cost of outages added up to more than $400,000 per hour.

3. What kind of data is backed up?

Your backup needs to be able to capture your entire infrastructure, not just a few types of files. Relying on services such as Google Drive protects files but what about apps that power business operations? A concrete backup plan will recover everything – files, operating systems, devices, apps and everything in between.

4. How often are you able to perform backups?

Depending on how quickly your business’s data changes, i.e. customer data, accounting information, inventory, etc. will determine the backup frequency.  As a general rule, all servers should be backed up on a daily basis, but database servers, financial application servers, etc. should be several times throughout the day.

5. Does it have virtual backup capabilties?

Virtualization can significantly enhance a business’s disaster recovery plan when implemented properly. Performing backups on virtual machines is more efficient and eliminates disruptions. Virtual backups take image screenshots, allowing businesses to easily restore the virtual machine to the state it was in when the screenshot was taken. Virtualized backups speed up and even simplify the recovery process. 

6. Where are the backups located?

Backup solutions that are kept on-site are vulnerable to natural disasters such as fire or flood. Cloud backups present a different set of potential problems. How much control do you have over the data? If something happens to your cloud solution, do you have another copy you can access? For these reasons, we recommend a hybrid backup solution to ensure all of your bases are covered.

7. Do you feel confident your plan can recover business-critical data after a cyberattack?

Backup plans are an integral part of a business’s cybersecurity strategy. They allow you to roll back to a recovery point before the cyberattack occurred and restore the data.  Features like 24×7 monitoring and instant notifications of failures are crucial to have when cyberattacks are at an all-time high.

How does your backup stack up? Take the quiz to find out!

They say comparison is the thief of joy, but it pays to compare yourself to best practices when it comes to managing your data backup. We’ve created a quiz to help you measure how your data backup strategy compares to industry recommendations. Take the quiz and see how your backup stacks up.