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Data backups Assume nothing... 
Business has changed and we only need to look back a generation or two to see by how much, data used to be written in ledgers, books and stored in files, writing the information took ages, looking for it took forever and it all felt a little fragile. 
Business today is electronic, we store all our data in our applications, computers and smart phones, funnily even though we may not understand the new technology, we seem to trust that it will be safe, however in this world of Cyber Crime the irony is that the old way is really the safer of the two. 
We have had many sad conversations with businesses who had Assumed that their data was backed up, always by someone else, automatically or by their applications, the damage caused by this assumption was catastrophic to their businesses, when needed they had no data to restore. 
When it comes to your data, Assume nothing, start the protection process, ask yourself 3 simple questions:- 
What data is important is to your business? 
Where is that data stored? 
Who has access to that data? 
These seemingly simple questions, will reveal some rather interesting information on how data is actually managed within your business, information such as this :- 
What critical business applications you actually have and what data they store i.e accounting, CRM systems, databases. 
In many cases the only place the critical data is stored, is actually within those applications. 
Many Staff may have priviledged access to company data that they shouldn't. 
This process may have highlighted other issues to do with staff access (which will need to be addressed), however for this article we will focus on data backups. 
Your Backup Process should include as a minimum 
Generational backups (daily, Weekly, Monthly etc) of your data, daily backups as a minimum. 
Data should be stored Off Site with the right cloud provider (Not all Clouds
The backup process should have minimum human interaction, however backup success needs to be monitored. 
Avoid local copies of backups, if additionally required for compliance ensure they meet security standards with access controls. 
Ensure any new applications, data locations are added to your backup schedule as required. 
Validation, regularly check the data is able to restored and it's integrity is intact. 
Important Notes on Data Backup 
Assume nothing, manage and review your backup process regularly. 
Performing data Backups and not checking their integrity, is as bad as not performing a backup. 
Ensure the media you use, is safe, secure and complaint for your business. 
Data Backups are the minimum that any business should perform as part of their Business Continuity plan. 
Document the process and ensure that this is part of your business continuity plan. 
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