The "Don'ts" of Data Recovery

At the beginning of this week, we talked about what you should do in case you need to recover data. However, knowing what "not to do" is just as important as knowing a correct and reliable procedure. That's why today's article is going to be focused on the things you should do your best to avoid while dealing with data recovery.

1. Don't Underestimate the Challenge

Unfortunately, data protection isn't as simple as scheduling backups every few days. The standard IT infrastructure is a complex environment that houses data at multiple levels. For example, many organizations have files, databases, and application data sprawled across both physical and virtual servers alike. As a result, backup procedures and recovery objectives can vary considerably from one level to the next. Obtaining a fundamental understanding of your IT inventory is necessary to ensure that each data-driven system and process can be recovered.

2. Don't Value Backup Over Recovery

Backup is undoubtedly an integral cog in the data protection machine. However, recovery is equally important. It is so vital that it makes sense to put even greater emphasis on your restoration capabilities. How do you plan to restore your data? Where to? How fast? Recovery is a complex undertaking that requires careful planning to achieve success. Know this — it doesn't matter how many copies you make. Your backups are virtually useless if your data can't be restored in a timely fashion.

3. Don't Underestimate Security Threats

A good backup plan is arguably the best protection against security threats. According to a Barkly survey, 81 percent of IT professionals were confident that backups would allow them to recover their data in the event of a ransomware attack. After following up, Barkly found that only 42 percent of respondents who suffered a ransomware attack were able to recover their data from those backups successfully. These findings further illustrate the importance of thinking beyond the backup process with your data recovery strategy.

4. Don't Ditch Out Testing

As we've eluded to, a data recovery strategy is only as useful as your ability to restore that data. The only way to ensure a full recovery is to test your backups on a regular basis. Otherwise, you are exposing your organization to the risk of failure. How often should you check your data recovery strategy? That answer depends on many individual factors. What's important is committing to a plan that allows you to evaluate your level of preparedness under as many simulated disaster scenarios as possible.

5. Don't Get Stagnant

Once upon a time, magnetic tape was the de facto standard for data storage and backup. Though still in use today, it is widely viewed as a slow, unreliable medium whose better days are long buried in the past. Your business must evolve as technology changes. That's not to say a complete overhaul is required. However, periodically ensuring that your data recovery strategy is up to date with current trends will go a long way in protecting your most valuable asset.