Why backup your data?
It is often that Club’s put resources into securing their private data, but many times not as much detail goes into ensuring proper backup procedures are in place. Having a secure network against hackers and unauthorized users is important, but if your data is lost the tightest security measures can’t bring back vital Club data.
Not properly backing up can result in:
- Loss of member trust
- Loss of non-reproducible data
- Damage to the image of your Club
- An enormous amount of wasted time attempting to rebuild what was lost
Tips for achieving proper backup and recovery
- Map where your club’s data is stored:
Properly backing up your data requires knowing where your Club’s data is stored. Do you have data stored on servers in your Club’s office? On manager’s laptops? Is your critical data stored on a server in an off-site location? You will want to work closely with your IT team to determine what data you have and where it is housed in order to properly back up all of your Club’s data.
- Multiple Locations for Backup:
Having multiple backups is important because its never failsafe to depend on one backup. Just as important, is ensuring that your backups are stored in different locations. In the tragic event that weather or other unpredictable occurrences damage some of your Club’s hardware, it is vital
to have a copy of your backup in a different location.
- Point of Recovery:
Most backup systems are flexible in regards to how much historical data you can recover. Ask yourself do you always need to recover the last five months of historical data or will two week’s worth suffice?
- Remote Workers:
There are many clubs that have employees who travel with their laptops. You will want to have a plan in place for properly backing up their devices as well. Have you provided them with an external hard drive or USB to backup their devices while on the road? Are those external devices as well being properly backed up? Remember it’s always important to have 2 forms of backup.
- Online or On Site:
Traditional forms of back up include backing up to a local hard drive, external drives/USB’s, and external media such as cd’s or dvd’s. More recently online solutions have become a popular method for backing up. Online solutions are great for those remote workers you have and for anyone that is backing up small amounts of data. However, it is important to keep in mind that your backup and recovery speeds are determined by your bandwidth and thus larger amounts of data will take longer to backup and recover. For users that have larger amounts of data to backup you will
want to ensure that the data is in several locations to speed up the recovery process.
- Don’t Forget about your Email:
Your Club data is not what is just in “My Documents.” A common mistake when backing up your computer is to forget to take the proper steps for backing up your Outlook files or the items that are located on your email server. It is critical that you have procedures in place that your staff can
follow to properly their email files.
- TEST! What more can we say:
Nothing is more important than backing up your data in a club environment but what’s worse than not backing up your data is not backing it up properly. Your backed up data is only as good as what is being backed up. Be sure to test periodically and make certain that your data can be recovered in the event that it is lost.
- Backup Policies:
Like with any of the tasks at your Club, it is important for more than one employee on your IT team know the steps for recovering lost data in the event of an emergency situation. Make certain those with permissions on your IT team have proper authorizations, information, and the overall
IT competence needed to perform a recovery mission.
- Backup Documentation:
Backing up your data is a critical part of your day-to-day business and Club operations. Have a plan and documentation in place so that each member of your staff knows their duties in performing proper backups.
- Engage Trusted IT professionals:
If your Club does not employee an IT professional it is important to consult with one at least once a year to review the systems you have in place to prevent loss of data. Be sure to have them test your procedures to make certain that your data is being properly backed up.