Sound Practices

You have to create your own best-backup plan, but here are some building blocks that go into the foundation of any sound backup program:

• Maintain more than one copy of critical data.

• Store the backups in a climate-controlled and secure area.

• Use secure, offsite storage of critical data. Many companies choose bank vaults for their offsite storage, and this is highly recommended.

• Establish a backup policy that makes sense and can be followed religiously. Try to back up your data when the system is consistent (that is, no data is being written), which is usually overnight.

• Keep track of who has access to your backup media, and keep the total number of people as low as possible. If you can, allow only trusted personnel near your backups.

• Routinely verify backups and practice restoring data from them.

• Routinely inspect backup media for defects and regularly replace them (after destroying the data on them if it is sensitive).

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