“Better to be wise
by the misfortunes of others
than by your own.”
This caution, from a fable by a storyteller dating back to 600 BC, provides important wisdom to the IT Administrator of today.
We often see stories in the news about businesses devastated after becoming victims of bad actors, malware, and natural disasters. These businesses usually thought they were keeping their data backed up and secure. But then the heartache comes: they believed proper processes were in place to keep their data backed up sufficiently and protected, only to find out these processes were flawed or incomplete. Or, they did not have in place the security needed in the backup process to protect it from bad actors. Or even worse: the backups they thought were happening were not happening at all.
Let’s review some important reasons to test your backups regularly.
WHY TEST YOUR BACKUPS?
It’s absolutely critical that you test your backups. If you don’t test them, how do you know that they work? It’s not an ideal situation to realize your backups are faulty only after you have a major issue or failure.
WHEN TEST YOUR BACKUPS?
You should actually test them weekly. Keep in mind, there is software that can automate many of these functions for you.
Simple enough: The data you back up should be everything that you want to keep. You should have a daily notification that tells you if your backups are executing successfully.
You can spot test servers to make it easier but you should cycle through all your servers at some regular interval. But what should that interval be? Every day? Every week? Every month? Your judgement on this ultimately centers on your commitment to how much data could you stand to lose. In other words: If you are only testing your data monthly, you have determined that you can afford to lose a month’s worth of data.
The Aesop fable involves a fox who was wise enough to not get eaten by a weak lion who was offering a false sense of security, to lure prey to come into his lair and get eaten. The fox was observant and noticed the ruse, and exercised a life-saving caution when others did not. This morality tale will serve businesses well when it comes to protecting and managing data backups. If you need help establishing a data backup plan, we will be glad to help. Call us at 281.651.2254.