A keyboard with the term "data recovery" on a stand alone blue key element.

There are three critical elements you must have in place to quickly recover your data and IT system in the event of disaster. Yet did you know that most businesses don’t even have one of them?

A natural disaster, server crash, ransomware attack or other data-erasing event can mean catastrophe for your business. So when it comes to backing up and protecting your company’s critical data, you need to know for certain—without any lingering doubts—that you can recover your files and be up and running again fast.

Here are your must-have elements to guarantee a fast, painless data recovery process when things go wrong.

Critical Element #1: Secure, Encrypted Off-Site Backup

While we recommend that your data recovery plan includes on-site backup, it’s absolutely crucial to keep an encrypted copy of your data off site as well. If a fire burns your office to the ground, a thief breaks in and steals your server and equipment, or a natural disaster floods your office or makes it impossible to access your PCs and server, your on-site backup will be useless to you.

The process to back up your data off site should be fully automated so you don’t have to think about it. Copying your data to an unsecure device and carrying it home every night (or simply leaving it in your car) is a high risk strategy that you should avoid. The data also must be encrypted in case it somehow falls into the wrong hands.

Critical Element #2: Data Backup AND Disaster Recovery

A HUGE mistake many business owners make is thinking that data backup is the same as disaster recovery, but it’s not. Your backup merely creates a second copy of your data; disaster recovery is the process to access and effectively use that backup data to get your business up and running again.

Many business owners are shocked to find out just how long and arduous this process can be, even if they have a good, clean copy of all of their data (most are surprised to find out they don’t). IT service providers don’t always include disaster recovery, or even think about it for you, so be sure to ask what their plan is to get everything restored for you quickly.

Critical Element #3: Test Restores

After you have a good backup system in place, you need to test it regularly to make sure it works. The fact is that no data recovery system is fail-proof! If you aren’t doing this simple check at least once a month, you are playing with fire.

If your current IT person is not regularly testing your backups, you can’t have any confidence in your system. Backup tests should be performed monthly from both local and off-site storage locations. There must be clear proof at each test that the backups are working as expected.

Neglecting any one of these three elements of data recovery could spell financial disaster for your business. So be sure to contact a qualified managed IT provider like James Moore’s Technology Solutions Consulting Team. We’ve seen the results of inadequate protection and can show you how to best safeguard your own data and IT systems.