One of the most important aspects of maintaining a smooth running, safe and secure network comes down to data management.
How you or your company manages its data is important because if managed improperly, or not managed at all, you risk losing years of important confidential data due to failed hardware or even worse, theft.
Data management needs to begin with an audit of your various assets and how they should be managed properly.
This is the first step because you need to know what you have to manage and more importantly how it needs to be managed (can you use a simple flash drive backup, do you need a NAS, how secure does the data needs to be, should data be encrypted, etc.)
An audit should take place at the beginning of your data management plan as well as at the end which will be touched on later.
During your data management audit you need to first lay out what data is being used, when it is in use, when your slow periods are, and how securely you need to store this data.
For example client credit card data requires much more security than say your pictures from the company party.
After establishing what data you have as stated above you need to separate it into its various classes.
Generally people will store all of their data together so if that is your plan, you need to plan your security based on your most important and confidential data sets.
Some people may have a very large amount of data and smaller data sets that need more extreme security.
In these cases backup sets can be separated to allow less confidential data to be backed up to a less secure and much cheaper backup device while you could have a more secure setup for your confidential data.
One major consideration when it comes to backing up your data is encryption.
The stronger the encryption on data the longer it will take to recover in the event of a data loss.
Encryption is one of the best methods to store data, determined by level of security – it can be high or low.
Again the amount of encryption contributes greatly to recovery time. Data can be managed and stored in many different manners.
Some of the various storage solutions are; a network drive to another computer, a NAS, a flash drive, an external hard drive, data drives and tapes, offsite backups, etc.
Depending on your needs and the amount of recovery time needed, your choices can vary.
For instance, if you have 1 TB of data you are backing up chances are you would be doing an onsite backup rather than offsite to decrease down time in the event of a crash.
A terabyte of data in an offsite backup is going to take a very long period of time to download to your server if your only recover option is to download from the Internet.
A much better solution for this amount of data would be a data drive like a “REV” drive. A REV drive in combination with good backup software offers plenty of space to backup and encrypt your data.
Backups via tapes or data drives should have at least the previous night’s copy taken offsite each night to ensure that you keep one data set safe at all times. It is a horrible idea to store all data onsite.
After you have a plan in place, run through the audit again once things seem to be running smooth to see what is in place, how its running, how secure it is in the event that a data set is stolen, and is the backup time/recovery time acceptable.
If the answer to any of these questions makes you feel your backup solution may be inadequate, it may be a good idea to try something different.
Even though it would cost more money to change data management solutions, it will save you money and hassle in the long run if you find it does not meet your company’s needs.
For a full data management audit give us a call today and we can happily sit down and discuss with you possibilities for your backups and data management as this only touch on a very small portion of data management.
Your data is very important and generally people do not realize just how important it is until they’ve either lost it or had it stolen due to poor management practices.
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