Is Your Company Protected – Why Your Firm Needs a Data Protection & Disaster Recovery Plan
Many companies do not realize the importance of backing up their data until it is too late. This article deals with the importance and strategies of data protection.
No matter what the nature of your business, your data is essential to the survival of the firm. If you fail to protect that data adequately with a comprehensive plan for backup and disaster recovery, you put your entire enterprise at risk.
In addition to the very real risk of data loss, your firm could face serious legal problems if the information contained in your servers and computers were to be lost, stolen or damaged. For instance, health insurers, medical offices and other heath care providers are bound by state and Federal privacy laws. The loss or theft of data could place those firms in serious legal jeopardy and invite a range of severe repercussions, from the loss of certification to stiff fines and penalties.
Companies in other industries can be just as much at risk, and no business owner can afford to assume that their own firm is safe from the loss of data. Hacking attempts are becoming increasingly sophisticated as data and identity thieves continue to evolve their methods and adapt to changing technology.
The theft of data from insiders can be just as serious a problem, even though many companies still fail to take it seriously. In fact, insider theft of data can be even more dangerous than the threat posed by hackers and identity thieves, providing yet another reason for managers and owners to institute the proper security.
Having a comprehensive plan for data protection, disaster recovery and file backup is essential for every firm, no matter what industry they are in or how large or small they may be. Simply put, no company can afford to take the protection of their data for granted, and the world is littered with failed businesses that failed to take the proper precautions.
In some ways, the advances in technology have made it easier for companies of all sizes to protect the information that lives on their servers, networked computers and employee desktops. Companies today have mo choices than ever before when it comes to data protection —from cloud-based storage and instant snapshot backups to mirrored drives and portable hard drives.
The plethora of backup options can also make data protection and disaster recovery a bit more of a challenge, especially for company owners who are not particularly tech-savvy. It can be difficult to know which backup and data protection strategy is the best, and it can be just as hard to evaluate the firms that promise to protect all that vital information.
Companies considering offsite backup or cloud-based disaster recovery need to carefully read the contracts before they sign up. It is essential for company owners to understand exactly what they will be getting. and what promises are being made. Cloud-based storage models offer 0-eat promise. but there have also been some high-profile failures in that realm. Choosing the wrong company could mean the loss of data, and signing the wrong contract could mean that your firm has no legal recourses in the event of a hardware failure or software glitch.
Many firms choose to protect themselves by implementing a disaster recovery and data protection program that combines several different elements. This kind of failover protection can seem like overkill at first, until you realize that your data, your reputation and the very survival of your company is at stake.
Companies that want the ultimate in data protection can start by using mirrored drives on all of their servers. Mirrored drives work by striping data across a series of identical hard drives If a single drive, or even a group of drives, fails, that data can be restored by simply replacing the failed drives with new hardware. Since hard drives are frequent points of failure, simply implementing a mirrored drive strategy can provide a high level of protection.
After the mirrored drives are in place on all company servers, businesses can further protect their data with removable hard drives and portable drives on their most critical workstations This provides yet another level of protection. although care must be exercised to prevent those portable storage devices from unauthorized access. Encrypting those portable devices is one of the best ways to ensure the data remains both protected and secure.
Implementing group policies that force workers to save their work to a central company server instead of their local hard drives provides another important layer of protection. Many companies faithfully back up the data stored on the file server, only to find out that their workers have been saving their most important files to their local computers. Since those computers could fail at any time, this represents a serious risk to the firm. Simply creating a login script that runs each time a user logs on can restrict users from saving data locally and ensure that all files are stored in a central location that is backed up every day.
Smart companies are just as diligent about protecting their networks from intruders as they are about protecting their computers and servers from data loss. A hardware firewall is an essential piece of equipment that every company needs to have in place. These devices connect to the company network and detect attempts to break into the servers, routers, switches and other equipment. Firewaiis can also be used to block incoming and outgoing traffic coming to and from the company. The IT staff can then review the logs to look for patterns that could indicate an attempt to break into the company network and steal its data. The same logs can also be used to detect attempts at unauthorized file access by employees, another important part of a comprehensive data protection plan.
Smart companies know that data protection is not a one step process. Smart companies need to develop a comprehensive strategy that incorporates everything from choosing the right hardware to selecting the right offsite data storage provider. From mirrored drives on the company file and email servers to portable hard drives protecting vital workstations to cloud-based storage for extra protection, savvy business owners know that the more protection they can provide their data the safer their firms will be.