While the majority of small and mid-sized businesses back up their data regularly, less than one-third check to make sure their back ups actually work.
Backups are not the time to cross your fingers and hope for the best. Technology has come a long way over the past couple of decades, however even the most sophisticated equipment is not safe from crashing, being hacked or malfunctions. For this reason, those who rely heavily on stored data, need to make sure that it has been successfully backed up.
Here are some of the reasons why it’s important to find out if your backups are really working.
- Backup Software Can Fail – In the same way that a program, or piece of hardware, can fail, so can a backup. Not only is it important to make sure that the backup has been performed, but that you can recover the information in full.
- Data Recovery May Take Longer Than Expected – The reason for backing up your data and applications is so you can get back to work as quickly as possible after a loss. Therefore, when you backup your data, find out how quickly you will be able to have it restored. By testing how long it takes to restore your data, you can make sure that the systems you have place will meet the needs of your business. Many times, recovering information can take longer than expected with some providers.
- Compatibility Issues – A common problem that can happen when backing up data is that changes in technology cause old data to no longer be compatible with new servers and hardware. These issues can occur when upgrading your servers for example. By testing your backup and recovery procedures regularly, you will find and be able to fix, any incompatibility issues before they turn into a big problem.
- People In Charge of Backup can Fail – Lastly, it is no coincidence that scheduled backups have become popular. Manual backups run the risk of human error, or simply being put off for another day due to more pressing matters. If you still opt to have your data manually backed up, ensure that the person responsible is reliable, capable to carry out the process correctly and held accountable.
No matter how or where you backup your data, it is key that you test your backup and recovery plans. No system is 100% fail-safe, so regular testing is important to make sure that your systems are working properly. As a result, you can rest assured that your business is not at risk, even if your data is temporarily compromised.