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Challenges to backup today are numerous, and each is equally important in the grand scheme of business survivability. Formal backup policies and procedures, periodic testing of backup arrangements and a backup infrastructure designed for each business requirement are all essential data backup procedures.
Here we drill down into three specific backup issues and how you can improve your overall business continuity and disaster recovery strategy.
- Ensure backups are secure and cannot be compromised. When an organization backs up its data, there are three important necessities, known as the "CIA":
- Confidentiality -- the data cannot be accessed by anyone other than authorized personnel;
- Integrity -- conservation of the data and protection from unauthorized alterations; and
- Availability -- access to the data by authorized personnel.
This is especially true when evaluating third-party backup arrangements. Security capabilities must be diverse, robust, cost-effective and readily available, or else you may run into serious issues with your data backup procedures.
- Deal with rapidly increasing amounts of data. Assuming the amount of data being generated continues to increase, it is essential to have backup arrangements that are scalable and that such scalability is cost-effective. This is especially true of infrastructure elements such as virtual environments that are increasingly prevalent in corporate settings.
- Design and implement a backup infrastructure that maps to business requirements. Given the number and variety of backup options available, data managers need to take a global view of their organization's data backup procedures, and then map products to specific business requirements. Multiple backup strategies may be needed, depending on business requirements. Some data may need to be replicated almost immediately, which requires specific platforms. By contrast, other assets and data may need to be backed up less frequently. The good news is that backup options are extensive and diverse, pricing is competitive and security and reliability are a high priority.
Data backup procedures are an intrinsic component of business continuity and disaster recovery initiatives, as they ensure that an organization can recover its critical systems and data, and resume operations. And let's remember that backups do not focus exclusively on systems and data. Vital records include documents of incorporation, copies of regulatory documents and copies of original documents with employee signatures. Protection of these corporate assets may be just as important as daily, weekly or monthly data backups.
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