Today, Symantec will participate in the 2009 Phoenix Awards at the National Small Business Week event in Washington D.C. Since 1998, the Small Business Association has given the Phoenix Award to business owners, public officials and volunteers who displayed selflessness, ingenuity and tenacity in the aftermath of a disaster, while contributing to the rebuilding of their communities.
Losing critical information in the wake of a disaster can be crippling for a small business and it is critical for small businesses to establish a disaster recovery plan. By putting basic best practices to action companies can protect against data loss and system downtime, establish business continuity and ensure rapid recovery from a disaster.
We’ve put together a list of simple tips that can help small business easily develop a disaster recovery strategy: 1. Know what needs to be secure and protected – This data includes customer information, human resources information, proprietary trade secrets, financial and business information. Companies need to prioritize their information needs to determine what is critical to secure and protect for your business. 2. …And for how long – Small businesses need to determine which information must be protected and for what period of time. It is not productive for any small business to secure and back up information that has become obsolete. 3. Understand regulatory and compliance requirements – A good example is a physician’s medical practice that has specific legally mandated requirements for the protection of patient data. Additionally, small businesses have specific requirements for the length of time by which tax and payroll information must be preserved. 4. Ensure all staff know the proper procedures for protecting business information – Business security is only as good as its weakest link. Small businesses must also ensure that staff knows how to retrieve information from backups if necessary, as skilled IT staff may not always be available to lead a data recovery operation. 5. Automate processes for protecting and backing up data – Approximately half of all small businesses that back up data do so manually, which puts them at risk for disruption. Automating the backup process ensures that it is not forgotten or overlooked when demands on staff time intensify. 6. Protect data with secure off-site backup facilities – Many small businesses back up their data onsite, which means that in the event of a disruption, such as a fire or flood, they will simultaneously lose access to both their primary data and the backup. 7. Test backups to ensure data is protected – The beginning of the data recovery process is the worst time to learn that critical files to the business were not stored as planned.