What is Your Disaster Recovery Plan?
A SIMPLE 9 STEP DISASTER RECOVERY PLAN
A Disaster Recovery Plan basically is a plan to save and store your data in a manner in which your data can be recovered and restored in the event of catastrophic loss while not being able to be taken and used by anyone without your permission. A good disaster recovery plan will start with the presumption that all methods of backup and storage WILL FAIL in one of the eleven ways listed HERE. The question is not “if” it will fail, but “when” will it fail? Based upon this presumption, a good disaster recovery plan will back up critical data to at least two of each available medium of storage, one of each to be stored in at least two different locations.
Here is A Simple 9 Step Disaster Recovery Plan that you can follow to increase your success in storing your critical data.
1. Identify and organize your critical data. – I start with this as the first step because you want to make sure all of your critical data is backed up and you may want to make sure some data is not backed up. Create a well organized folder system of documents, photos, videos, pdfs, excel spread sheets, etc. to ensure that all of your data is backed up and that everything is easy to find and verify.
2. Determine the locations where you will keep your data with a minimum of two separate locations.
3. Determine how you will keep the data secure, such as by using passwords to access the data and a fire proof safe to protect the data in the event of fire. If you use a safe, make sure it is hidden and/or bolted down. I use a large safe that is fire rated for 2 hours at 1880 degrees.
4. Determine the methods of data storage you will use such as the computer hard drive, other computers, CDs, DVDs, external hard drives, and online storage.
5. Before you back up your organized critical data, scan the files and folders to make sure there is no malicious corruption of the data. Check the files to make sure they load properly by your computer when you access them. Then defragment the files to make sure they are in the most efficient form to back up.
6. Next save your organized critical data to as many different types of storage devices as you can, including at least two of each to be kept at separate locations. In other words, save it onto at least two separate locations on your hard drive, and at least two computers, two CDs, two DVDs, two external hard drives and two online cloud storage services. Make sure each method of storage is stored in two or more locations.
7. Verify that each method of storage actually did back up completely and without corruption to your method of storage by actually accessing the information to make sure you can recover it.
8. Routinely update your organized critical data and create routine backups.
9. Keep up with technology and back up your critical data to any new method of data storage that is created through advancement in technology. For example, we used to store data on cassette tapes, then 5″ Floppy Discs, the 3.5″ Floppy Discs. If we have data in these forms, we probably cannot access it anymore unless we pay extra to have that type of disc drive installed on our computer (if it is even available). Who knows when the CD and DVD will become obsolete as a method of data backup as well? CDs and DVDs tend to break down as time goes along. If we have CDs or DVDs as our only means of backup, we may find that they do not work when we access them. They do market gold impregnated discs that are guaranteed to last up to 100 years. But, we have to ask ourselves if we will be able to access data off of a CD or a DVD in 100 years. Therefore, it is imperative to add the latest methods of data storage to our plan as they are introduced to the market place.