Information security is crucial both personally and within an organization given the volatile nature of most of our information and data storage systems. Computers and other smart gadgets fill our lives and data is the most important aspect of these processing devices. These computer or computerized gadgets faithfully accommodate all sorts of information and data we throw at them, while spinning for hours without end, heating up, cooling down, taking hits and falls and having data regularly written into or erased from it. It is only normal that at some point the system may revolt by crashing, acting up or even completely blanking out. And like a flash of lightening, all your important documents may be lost.
Business wise, because data is the heart of the company, it’s imperative for you to protect it. And to protect your company’s data, you need to put into practice a data backup and recovery plan. Backing up files can guard against accidental loss of user data, database corruption, hardware crashes, theft and even natural tragedies. It’s your duty therefore, both as an administrator or as an individual to make sure that back-ups are carried out and backup tapes are stored in a secure location.
Putting a data backup and recovery plan into place is pretty easy, especially with all the software online at your disposal. To do a backup, you will need to assess the nature of data you have stored on your system. Is it constantly changing, unchanging, being updated, required long term or short term, confidential, large, small, etc. For some people a small flash drive could be all they need to do a backup while some others may require several hundred gigabytes of space. Either way, decide which of the following backup techniques suites you and implement it as soon as you possibly can.
- Cloud Computing: this is the most reliable form of data backup. It involves backing up your documents online. Most cloud services offer between 2 and 10 gig of space which should be more than sufficient for important documents. Acquiring more space can be quite expensive but is almost a full proof way of ensuring that your files never get lost.
- External Hard disks and Flash drives: these are the most convenient and widely used forms of data backup. They are simple and easy to use but may require more than one since they are also susceptible to crashing, theft and data corruption.
- Disks and Tapes: Backups can be implemented with easily obtainable software, using writeable CD or DVD disks as storage media. The cost per megabyte of backing up to CD or DVD disk and tapes is minimal and the hardware required is inexpensive. It also has the advantage of being less susceptible to crashing and corruption. They are however slow and may lose data long term.
Operating systems can be re-installed and applications can be downloaded but often times, original data, once lost can be very expensive if not impossible to retrieve. Where it cannot be retrieved, the consequences of the loss may be dire. Save yourself or business the trouble and heartache by putting a data backup and recovery plan into place; after all, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. What more? Many dedicated software packages are available to help you manage your backups at scheduled times.