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Which is better: a solid data recovery process, or a good data backup system?

For companies of all sizes and industries, data has become the new currency of the 21st century. Businesses strive fiercely to collect more information on their customers and unlock new analytical insights, giving them a competitive advantage.

Despite the tremendous value of this information, however, not every organization is taking adequate steps to protect it. According to a 2017 survey, 58% of small businesses say that they aren’t prepared for a data loss catastrophe. Perhaps that’s why data loss can be so devastating: the same survey found that 60% of SMBs who lose their data will go out of business within 6 months.

Organizations that want to safeguard their information in the event of data loss have two major options: data recovery and data backup. In this article, we’ll discuss the definitions of each of these options.

We’ll also cover why any robust data protection strategy must include both approaches.

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What is data recovery?

Data recovery is the act of trying to salvage lost, corrupted, deleted, or damaged data.

In the event of an unexpected outage, you may introduce errors and corruptions in data that was “in transit.” This means that the information was being written, read, transmitted, or processed at the time of the outage.

Other data loss incidents may occur when your employees accidentally delete important files and information, or when you physically lose a hard drive or laptop to a thief.

How does data recovery work?

For one, you’re not actually removing the files and data from your hard drive when you empty the trash.

Instead, the data remains on the drive until you overwrite it with additional data. The sooner you act after deleting a file, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to recover it.

If you encounter a corrupted file, you still may be able to recover it if you ask fast using specialized software. Even if you can only recover part of the data, this might save you hours of wasted effort as your business gets back on its feet.

Data recovery is a reactive strategy for data loss because you implement it after a catastrophe. Remember, you really need to perform data recovery as soon as possible after the catastrophe to ensure that you get back as much data as possible.

This is both to maximize your chances of a successful recovery and to return to normal operations quickly.

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What is data backup?

In contrast to data recovery, data backup is a proactive approach that creates redundant copies or archives of your files and information before disaster strikes.

While not the most frequent cause of data loss, natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, and floods can wreak havoc on your recovery plans. However, your organization is far more likely to encounter disasters such as power outages, cyberattacks, and even user error.

In other words – if the physical drives and machines that contain your backups are destroyed, then you might as well not have made the backup in the first place.

For this reason, you should store your backups off-site in a separate physical location. To be most effective, you should also conduct your backups at regular intervals. You’ll also need to test them to ensure that they’re fully functional and ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.

How do data backups work?

Growing organizations have a wide selection of data backup tools at their disposal.

Using cloud software suites such as Office 365 and Google Drive can be helpful because they automatically save your documents in the cloud whenever they are changed. However, remember that you can’t manage and back up all of your files and information automatically using cloud software.

You need a dedicated source of backup that can securely capture and contain your data.

Remember that your backup solution should reflect your business needs. If you prioritize recovery speed, there’s a specific solution out there for you. But if you’re more interested in more methodical, large-scale backups, you might need a different solution.

Regardless, your smartest move is to talk to a data backup expert that can help you determine (and implement) a tailor-made solution.

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Why SMBs need both data recovery and data backup

You need data recovery and data backup for different situations. However, you need both to be truly resilient in the event of a data loss catastrophe.

Businesses with particularly large or complex operations may need to back up their data at daily or even hourly intervals. Nevertheless, even the most powerful data backup solutions can’t preserve all of your information all the time. To fill in the gaps between your scheduled backups, you’ll need a data recovery solution that retrieves the unsaved changes that haven’t yet been backed up.

Getting your operations back on track after data loss is critical – but far too many businesses fail to do so. It doesn’t matter how large your business is or what services you provide. You need a comprehensive strategy to protect your enterprise data that includes both data recovery and data backup.

Working with the right managed IT service provider will be essential in the event of catastrophic data loss. Contact us today to learn more about our solutions for data backup and recovery.

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