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How confident is your business in its backup and recovery solution? Many companies set up their backup and recovery strategy and simply put faith in its ability to work in the event of an outage.  Small vault

Most companies treat backup and recovery like an umbrella: they only think about it when it rains. The 2016 State of Disaster Recovery report found that 40% of companies fail to test their backup and recovery regularly, doing so only once a year.

If you haven’t tested your backup and recovery in a while, you might want to perform a quick assessment to see whether it’s meeting your data protection needs.

Here are 5 indicators that you need to rethink your data protection solution:

1) Lack of Integration

When companies develop their backup and recovery strategy, they often build it out of disparate solutions. As organizations add features and functionalities, they draw on software from different vendors. Often, these various solutions aren’t integrated.

When a problem arises, your IT team scrambles to figure out which vendor it needs to contact to solve it. Different pieces of software need to be upgraded at different times, making it hard to be sure your solution is up-to-date.

2) Limited Visibility and Disorganization

Jerry-rigging a backup and recovery solution makes it difficult to manage and monitor. Without a centralized management platform, your company may be overlooking backup failures. Backup failures may be more frequent than you realize, leaving you unaware that you are relying on inaccurate or incomplete data to make decisions after a breach or an outage.

You may also be unaware of where certain backup data is being stored, making it difficult to recover after an outage. If you lack reporting tools, your team is forced to spend valuable time manually sifting through records.

3) Insufficient Capacity

Backing up information often means doubling the amount of data you need to store. As data volumes increase, so do the capacity demands placed on your backup and recovery resources. If your business hasn’t planned for workload increases, you may not have enough room to store all your backup data.

To prepare for future backup capacity needs, your business needs to be able to scale easily. Data management tools also help to lessen the burden of backing up data. Compression and deduplication make backing up and archiving information more efficient.

4) Dependence on On-site Infrastructure

The consequences of natural disasters and ransomware attacks are lessons in why backing up on-site is unwise. The same gale-force winds or flood that take out your primary storage will disable your on-site backup systems. Recent incarnations of ransomware automatically delete backup files.

In the current risk landscape, using a colocation site or cloud data center for backup makes more sense. If your primary data center is compromised, your vital data will be safe at a secondary location.

5) Lack of Access to Current Data

Today’s companies rely on real-time analytics to make the right business decisions. Setting rapid recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs) is the key to accessing fresh data after an outage. The faster your business can recover data without losing much information, the better.

If your company backs up infrequently, you may not be able to meet recovery point objectives. In 2017, GitLab lost 6 hours of data after accidentally deleting information from the wrong server. GitLab lost so much information because it was only taking snapshots once every 24 hours. Ask yourself whether you have reasonable RTOs and RPOs and whether you can meet them.

Don’t Be Caught Unprepared

A data breach or an outage is inevitable. An incident can be caused by system failure, employee error, cyberattack, or natural disaster. Your company should assess your current backup and recovery strategy before it’s too late.

Weaknesses in your data protection plan can be remedied by switching to cloud backup and recovery. As an experienced cloud provider, FirstLight can guide your transition to backup and recovery as a service (BRaaS). Our cloud services eliminate downtime and guarantee access to current data by enabling lightning-fast recovery times.

Is your backup and recovery strategy where it needs to be? Let FirstLight help you get there.