Data backup strategy creation by a woman.

5 Important Questions to Ask When Planning a Data Backup Strategy

Whether you are conducting online sales, transferring information amongst teams and clients, gathering customer data, or working on projects using computer-based resources, there’s quite a bit of data being created on a daily basis.

That’s why creating a data backup strategy should be of the utmost importance.

A data breach or data loss can cripple a business — in fact, 60% of businesses that suffer a critical data loss without a backup strategy in place shut down within 6 months. And yet, even with that scary statistic, nearly 60% of small businesses still aren’t prepared for a major data loss.

A data backup strategy is vital. But before you implement one, there are several important questions you must ask so that you can develop a data backup strategy that is secure, effective, and well capable of protecting your important business information.

1. How Important is the Data?

The simple answer is, of course, that all the data is important. But some data, such as sensitive consumer information, or comprehensive databases, may require redundant data backups. These must extend back several periods. They also need encryption to keep the data secure in the event of an attempted breach.

Related: The Biggest IT Security Threat: You

Determine how regularly you need to back up the data, and what type of security the data backups require. Regular data backups ensure that you can retrieve the most recent data updates.

2. What Will Be Your Planned Data Recovery Time?

A crashed hard drive doesn’t put too much of a dent in data recovery time. If there is another computer system in the office, you can easily retrieve the backup data using the secondary system. However, in the event of a natural disaster such as a fire or flooding, you will likely need new hardware. That also means you’ll need some time to reinstall applications, software, updates, and the data.

Consider having an off-site system ready to go in case of such an event, as it will significantly reduce your data recovery time. You might also partner with an outsourced managed IT solutions provider that can create a customized data backup recovery strategy to suit your needs.

Related: 4 Factors of a Speedy IT Recovery After a Disaster

3. What Type of Equipment Will You Need to Backup the Data?

Do you plan to use a data backup provider, or will you be taking care of the backup equipment yourself? If it’s the latter, you will need to acquire several backup devices and backup media, and it’s recommended that you move the backups to a secure, offsite location each day.

Again, you can eliminate much of this hassle by using professional backup strategy and data recovery experts that automate the backup process and store your data in an offsite location.

4. When Will the Backups Be Scheduled?

The ideal time is at the end of the day when all updates to the day’s data has been completed. It also helps put less of a strain on the overall system throughout the day to wait until no one, or as few people as possible, are utilizing the system. Otherwise it could cause productivity slowdown.

However, there may be certain types of data that you would prefer to have backed up on a consistent schedule throughout the day. This is possible with more advanced data backup systems.

Related: How to Put Your Disaster Recovery to the Test

5. Will You Need to Store Data Backups Offsite?

Based on some of the above information, you probably realized already that storing backups offsite is a good idea. What good is an onsite backup system if that system is also destroyed in a disaster?

While there are certainly other aspects to planning a strong data backup strategy, answering the above questions will give you a good idea of what you need to do and how best to keep your data protected.