Why is data backup and data archiving so mission critical? Many companies feel it is a bothersome function that can be “put off til tomorrow” when in fact, if your company does NOT deploy daily data backups and data archiving operations, you can literally be shut down on a dime. Scary, huh?

The fact is, your company emails, company documents, company files reside on your corporate network and on various computers around your facility. Well, that’s assuming you have a corporate network in place to begin with. Actually, no company, no matter how small, is too small for a network system to be in place. It is a safeguard and doesn’t have to be complicated. Moving on back to backups and archives.

Let’s say a couple of computers get the hiccups. Let’s say a board or chip inside your network server goes bad. Let’s say by accident some important files were deleted off a single computer or worse, off the network. How do you ensure that your data is safe, secure, and always accessible? What if you have the need to restore files to an earlier time due to a technological or natural disaster? What was that you said? You never did backups or only did them sporadically? It would never happen to your company?

Your company faces the loss of daily income, daily operations are interrupted, point of sale operations may be shut down, client files may be lost or may have been deleted by accident, and oh yeah, you may fail security audits and fall out of compliance with such regulations as PCI DSS – Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard and HIPAA – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. You’re looking at lost revenue, possible lawsuits, expensive legal fees and government fines.

In order to figure out what sort of solution is best for your company, you need to evaluate several factors

Hardware Solutions

What data will need to be accessible all of the time, or only on demand. For the data that needs to be accessible at all times, you have a variety of storage drives – RAID, DAS, NAS.

RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks; DAS – Direct Attached Storage and NAS – Network Attached Storage.

On demand data can be stored on magnetic tape drives or DVD’s, depending on the storage size needed, and file sensitivity since files are backed up in a more simple style, so that finding actual file names needed is somewhat of a fishing expedition.

Storage Solutions

On Site or Off Site.

Again, this needs to be examined and the decision has to be made based upon what’s best for your business. If you decide to store your backups on site at your facility several factors have to be taken into consideration.

Most notable – Security – the storage area needs to be more secure than a drawer in an old filing cabinet. Ideally your backup files and archived files should be in a fireproof floodproof storage area, locked, secure and non-transportable. Meaning if there is a fire or flood in your facility, the files should be protected to withstand heat and water. Locked – meaning that only secure, trusted personnel have access to the files. Non-transportable – no one should be able to simply pick them up and walk away with them.

On site storage is nice, because it is convenient. However, you should have the security of a duplicate set of files backed up at an off site location as well. Why? What if a tornado transports your building across Oz, then drops it in a million pieces? How about an earthquake? Crushed under tons of steel or concrete, guess what – no device in the world will ever be able to read your files. Just as good as never having them backed up at all.

You can also subscribe to a hosted storage solution – be it in another area totally, or cloud based. Outsourcing the responsibility of data backup and archiving leaves the burden of responsibility for backups, archiving and security not on the shoulders of your staff, but on the vendor you have contracted for the job.

Of course, when hiring a vendor who will backup and archive your data, there is a trust factor involved. You should carefully examine the vendor’s track record, reviews and be able to contact current clients to get feedback. The security and confidentiality of your data – both backups and archives, must never be compromised.

You also need to be able to trust any contractors your vendors might hire as well who will be involved with your data. Your vendor must have an acceptable level of security already in place, at or above standards for uptime, and the appropriate measures in place for any hardware or software malfunctions on their end.

Security Solutions

In order to comply with government regulations for data storage and archving, you must always consider security. Data encryption, data compression, and network security all play a huge part in this consideration.

Compliance Issues

For whatever your specific type of business there are compliance regulations for data backup and archiving – these must be adhered to for transparency, good accountability, financial and legal concerns. Often times your chosen storage solution preference will result from the rules regulating your particular industry. Your company is responsible for developing the appropriate procedures and policies that will create your backup and archiving strategies. You will be responsible for saving records for a specific amount of time to be in compliance or at the very least for your financial and legal reporting needs.

The key to data backup and archiving is to have a plan in place before disaster strikes, not after the data is lost. Solution 32 has several proactive options to choose from. Contact Solution 32 LLC today for your data backup and data archiving needs!