Four steps to protect your data from disaster

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Businesses are at greater risk than ever from data loss, from human errors to cyberattacks or plain unforeseen incidents.

As a highly experienced managed IT support provider for small businesses, Adelaide-based Forerunner Computer Systems have come across their fair share of data horror stories.

One recent incident occurred when a fire broke out at a family GP practice, a long-term client. The incident caused a breakdown of their server connection and rendered their crucial data inaccessible. Thankfully, the Forerunner team was able to bring back their damaged files on-site, quickly identify what was needed and managed to restore the files within a couple of hours.

Here are four ways to ensure your data stays safe and secure.

1: Never stop testing

The Forerunner team relies on frequent testing of their data recovery solution to ensure they can reliably restore their clients’ valuable data.

The last thing you want is to rely on a backup that ends up not working and then lose your data in an emergency, whether it’s a fire, a cyberattack or a system failure.

While having a backup is essential, recovering all data completely and quickly is just as crucial for business continuity. Testing your data recovery plan and your ability to restore from existing backups is the only way to ensure that you can recover the data you depend on if it’s lost.

2: Embrace multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is one of the most critical security features for protecting your data. According to the latest Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, MFA is especially crucial given that 61% of all breaches involve stolen or compromised credentials.

Adding a second factor of authentication is vital for protecting your accounts and locking down data. By requiring employees to enter more than just a password to gain access to their data, you make it harder for a criminal to impersonate that employee.

3: Encourage employees to back up their data

When employees work remotely, they tend not to be as vigilant as they would be in the office, putting your business data at greater risk. It is important to encourage employees to be responsible and back up their data regularly.

The 3-2-1-1 data protection strategy directs that you have three backup copies of your data on two different media, such as disk and tape, with 1 of those copies located offsite for disaster recovery. The final one in this equation is immutable object storage.

4: Make data protection a priority

Consider implementing a data storage solution that can protect your data from human error wherever it lives—on-premises, offsite, or in the cloud.

Next-generation solutions provide immutable object storage, which safeguards data from human error by taking snapshots of that data every few seconds. Because the object store is immutable, it can be quickly restored even if someone tampers with the data. As the Forerunner team and the medical practice found out, the most effective solutions can quickly recover individual files and systems while ensuring that the data is always available, no matter what happens.

With the right strategies and systems in place, you can prevent data loss even in the worst possible scenario. Data backup and recovery safeguards your valuable data as well as your revenue and reputation.