The whole world is experiencing the brutal spread of pandemic called COVID-19. The most dangerous thing about this virus is its attribute of being a silent killer. Apart from being contagious, if this virus enters the body of the receptor, it won’t show symptoms on the spot. Instead, it shows its presence after 2 to 14 days of affecting the receptor’s respiratory system. Seeing its danger and contagious nature, almost the whole world is experiencing either partial or complete lockdown.Due to this condition, businesses are also suffering. Though, companies have adopted the policy of “Work From Home”. But this policy cannot be made completely effective because resources and security measures in a home are quite scarce as compared to official vicinity. Those companies who have adopted the mode of online backup can still manage to go on with their businesses. But with this, arises an implication which questions, is your backup safe? Let’s find in detail that how can one ensure that data backup is safe in this pandemic.
Tips to Backup’s Operations and Safety
As mentioned earlier, COVID-19 has forced companies to manage their business operations from home. Home networks aren’t secured, and regular maintenance of backup infrastructure cannot be scheduled as they used to be. So, the following are some of the guidelines and tests one can conduct to ensure the safety of the backups:
Test Backup Functionality
Whether backups are being managed on the storage devices such as external hard drive, cloud storage, or any other offsite or onsite storage media, it is mandatory to check them periodically. It is the same as smoke detectors are advised to be checked regularly for ensuring that they are working fine. Taking on the same practice, it is vital to test the backup process so that any glitches or problems can undergo early troubleshooting. Another important tip is to ensure the final backup before undergoing any such test. It is just to make sure that if any file gets overwritten during this phase, data loss can be minimized.
Availability of Crucial Data
The sole purpose of a backup and recovery system is to make sure that important data remain available points in time. This need escalates much more than usual days as everyone is working remotely. For this, the user must ensure the availability of crucial or mission-critical data.
Depending on the business nature, it can be photos and videos, important files or folders, or any vulnerable individual files. To also ensure that accidentally deleted files should undergo a smooth backup process, mark those vulnerable files and see if subscribed backup service restores those files or not. For the testing purpose, it is recommended to choose desktop as the ideal destination as it won’t hinder original backup copies and restores files while serving the testing purpose.
Test Random Files
This step is very important to ensure the safety of the backup process. Random files testing will ensure that the backup service is working fine enough to adapt to the changes in the backup directory. For this, just pick a random file from the system. It must be kept in mind that subjected files must belong to a directory other than the one listed in the original backup system.
If the backup system creates a well-defined backup of these random files, then the next step involves the test to see if they’ll be restored at the hour of need or not. For this, try restoring them to the location other than the designated restore point. If it restores completely, then one can stay assured that at least their backup and recovery service won’t be a hurdle in this COVID-19 affected business operations.
Data security is the foremost thing to look for in any data backup service. Especially in the situation when most of the work is done remotely, and all of us are quite well versed with the security of home networks. In any way, home networks cannot be made as secure as an office or organizational network. Therefore, to cut down any data backlogs and to make sure that cloud backups remain safe from data theft, it is advised to conduct regular security checks. If unusual activity is detected, it is advised to either increase security layers of cloud storage or go for data encryption, if the subjected backup system does not have the one.
It is more of a preventive measure, but if someone wants to make sure that in this critical time, backups must work, then it is advised to adopt a checklist method. The checklist may contain the above-mentioned drills as well as the reconditioning of the backup infrastructure. A network administrator must prepare a checklist regarding methods to restore backed up data. This checklist must be forwarded to everyone responsible for retrieve data in case of data loss. Furthermore, it should also be displayed in the data center to enhance accessibility.
This method can be very helpful in ensuring the safety of the data backups. Apart from the on-site data, this method is equally applicable for cloud backups from third-party backup service providers such as Backup Everything or Google Drive.
It is well said that a modern problem requires a modern solution. Since the world hasn’t experienced a situation like COVID-19 ever before. Therefore, the conventional backup checks cannot work in this situation. Furthermore, ‘Work from Home’ culture also demands effective and efficient backup strategies so that the company does not lose its data. This is vital to make sure that every employee is granted uninterrupted access to the data.
Above mentioned backup checks are not only applicable just for this COVID-19 situation, instead these measures should be taken periodically. Not only will it make an efficient backup system, but it will also identify any problem at a much earlier stage.