In an online world, data runs the show. As we grow and progress as a society, we are becoming increasingly reliant on online operations and data management. However, this ease of access and use also leaves us susceptible to data loss. Companies need to become more and more aware of the reliable backup and storage of critical information, so there are no catastrophes.

When you run a small business, chances are you’re not only the CEO, you’re also PR, HR, business operations, the investor, and the cleaner. It’s often the case that you have so many plates spinning at once, therefore it’s inevitable that one of them will fall. We’re always telling our clients: “It’s not a matter of if you experience data loss, it’s a matter of when.”  As a small business owner, data recovery is often something that is an afterthought. Something that needs to happen after the loss has already occured. Studies have shown that small and medium sized businesses are most likely to be affected by data loss, but it is something that is easily preventable. 

Backing up is the process of creating copies of your most important data in various forms, to ensure data is safe and can easily be accessed or recovered in the event of damage or compromise. At the very least, customer data and accounting information should be the priority for back-ups. Then, staff work and programs, to ensure productivity and time isn’t lost. 

Data recovery can often be an expensive venture. Not only in restoration, and loss of critical information, but also in lost time and productivity. 

To keep your clients happy, data recovery is something that surely has to be at the forefront of your mind. Reputation, authority, trust and subsequently sales are at stake. 

Prevention Rather Than Cure

The best practice for data recovery is to not need to stress about recovering it in the first place. Preparing for the worst case scenario is always the way to go. 

We recommend having a company Data Guidebook. A list of all your processes, your management, who has access to the files, and where they are stored. Here, you will outline a recovering planning crisis management guide, and backup strategies for your employees. Here’s our cheat sheet to get your started on putting together your own company guide. 

Your Backup Strategy

If you haven’t gone one already, your business needs one. This should be a staple document, especially for new employees. This covers best practices, what needs to be backed up and where, and how to store documents safely. The general rule used by a number of companies is the 3-2-1 Strategy.

  • You need at least three different back-ups,
  • On at least two different storage drives,
  • At least one of which should be stored off site. 

Of course, not all of your employees need to worry about offsite storage, and some may not even be in charge of the separate drives, but colleagues being aware of the processes makes everyone’s lives easier in the long run. 

Best Practices

Yes, it might seem stressful, working out what might happen in case of a data recovery crisis. But it’s something that needs to be addressed so that in the face of adversity your business can thrive.

  • Use online calendar apps to add reminders for yourself and your employees to check their back-ups and take charge of their own workflow. 
  • Keep your antivirus/cyber protection up to date. This is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid disaster altogether, so it’s important you schedule in time to check it is all running smoothly. 
  • Make sure everyone is aware of your backup schedule, and know to ask for help if they’re unsure. 
  • Test your back-ups regularly by running health-checks, and document when your more important backups were done. That way you have a record of when things went wrong, need be. 
  • Train your staff and run regular refreshers. Ensure they know the importance of backups, data protection and data recovery. Allow them to take charge of their own data recovery, but let them know where to go if they have stumbled across something  that may be out of their remit. 

In Case of Emergency

If the worst happens and data is lost, the first port of call is: don’t panic. It’s very common for clients to panic and unfortunately make their situation worse. There are a number of steps you can take, but here’s what we recommend, feel free to put these tips in your Data Guidebook!

  • Identify where the issue is. Assess how big your crisis is, and how important it may become in the short term. Is it a loss of critical accountancy data? Or is it a backlog of blogs or social media posts?
  • Do not run any tasks that may interfere with data recovery. Tasks may include CHKDSK or de-fragmentation processes. Stop using the disk or space that has been affected by the loss, to ensure no data is overwritten or lost beyond recovery by professionals. 
  • Have your crisis management sheet to hand with your data recovery professionals direct contact on there. Most of the time, they will be happy to talk through your issue and ensure you’re getting the best service before making any decisions.

To learn more about our data recovery services, by use of the cloud or otherwise, or any of our other IT solutions, then get in touch! Contact us today on 0203 137 7273 or by filling out our interactive online form.