Backing up your Computer Data and Storing it Safely

The Business Backup Guide

All businesses should have a an IT Backup system in place, but how effective will your plan be in the event of disaster. Small to medium sized businesses may be exposed to risks that they have not considered.

How can I be sure that all my data backed up?

It is easy to assume that because you have a backup system in place that all data is currently being backed up. This may not be the case, many people assume that their companies web hosting company is responsible for backing up the company website, but this is often not the case. Hosting companies usually charge an additional fee for backups, and if you are paying this fee you need to check how often backups are being made, how long they are kept for, and how they will be restored should it be necessary to do so.

Who is responsible for your backup of internal computers?

Is it an employee, or an outside contractor? You can check that your backup routine is being carried out correctly by asking whoever is responsible for backups to restore a file that you have created and deleted the previous week.

Where should I store my backups?

You need to protect your backup tapes, hard drives and disks from fire, flood and theft. A small media chest will offer fire protection for up to 2 hours, but offers little security protection because it can be easily be carried away by burglars. You can improve security protection by putting these media safes inside a larger security safe which is bolted down, Try to avoid positioning this safe on or below ground floor if flooding is a risk. If your business has a large amount of data to store then you need a fire data safe, models such as Rosengrens Polaris or Chubbsafes Data Plus have been tested to EN1047-1 and UL Class 125 2H standards which guarantee a full 2 hours fire protection and are tested to the highest known standards.

Test Standards – Not all safes are the same!

Safe manufacturers use different testing standards. For instance a budget 2 hour fire that is tested to survive 120 minutes of intense heat will be put through a test that differs from the more expensive brands. On these as soon as the test has been completed the safe is removed from the heat source. To be considered for the ultimate test – EN1047-1 standard – a safe must be capable of withstanding 2 hours of intense heat in an oven and it is then left in the oven, which is then turned off. This provides a much closer environment to a real fire, and some insurance companies will insist on this standard. Most fires are extinguished within 2 hours, but if your backups will be stored in a high risk environment then you should ensure that you have adequate automated fire suppressions systems in place.

All my data is backed up remotely

So I don’t have to worry about any of this, right? WRONG! In 2009 a hacker gained access to one of the worlds busiest websites remote backup system, he used the information that he found within the backup to completely erase all the companies live data, before completely wiping the remote backup. The website had to restored using a backup DVD that had been created several months earlier. You always need to have a physical backup of your data that cannot be overwritten by a disgruntled employee or damaged by malware.