The "Dos" of Data Recovery

Whether it's file corruption, hardware failure, or human error, the mere thought of data loss is unsettling. While it's natural to drift into meltdown mode, impulse decisions only tend to make matters that much worse. There are right ways and wrong ways to approach data recovery. On that note, here are five strategies we recommend incorporating into your IT strategy.

Have a Documented Recovery Plan

A written plan of action is the first step in avoiding those costly impulse decisions. This plan should read as a map of your IT environment — data-sets, software and hardware components, system configurations, and anything else that is critical to restoring business operations. You also have to consider emergency contacts, defined personnel roles, and recovery options. There's a lot that goes into the process, so revisit your existing plan to look for any vulnerabilities that need to be addressed.

Accommodate Your Staff

The technical aspect is such a strong focal point that it's often easy to forget that the human element ultimately drives data recovery. Even the best-laid plan is incomplete without people to execute it. For this reason, one of the most critical tasks on your to-do list is making sure employees have the resources to respond accordingly. Are they safe and sound after a disaster? Do they have the access needed to restore data and maintain production? These questions and others must be answered to ensure your staff is in a position to succeed.

Streamline Your Recovery Efforts

Many backup solutions copy data into a single file. The good thing about this approach is that it ensures that most of, if not every bit of data on your system is protected. On the other hand, tracking down individual files and folders is akin to finding a single needle in a haystack when it comes time to recover your data. Whether it's banking on the cloud or a file-based solution, targeting your recovery efforts in advance based on how your data needs to be restored can spare you much grief in crunch time.

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Your IT systems are just as critical as the data they manage. However, not all systems are created equal. Each system has its own level of importance, which factors into backup scheduling and whatever costs are associated with protecting them. Prioritizing each system enables you to develop backup frequencies and restore capabilities that align with your recovery objectives. In a nutshell, how you rank them will determine how fast your data-sets can be reconstructed.

Consider Help

From GDPR to HIPAA, compliance violations can lead to legal action, hefty fines, and irreversible damage to your reputation. If your internal IT resources are strained, it may be time to consider outsourcing a portion of your data recovery responsibilities to a third party. A managed service provider, for instance, can help you understand new rules and ever-changing standards, risk factors that might affect your ability to meet compliance, and security measures that protect sensitive data.