What are the critical components of a data backup?

By Marketing

23 March 2020 5 min read

 

Do you know the four steps needed to create successful backups of your veterinary practice data?

In today’s fast-paced digital world, backing up your data is essential for all businesses. Losing important practice information as a result of human error, a natural disaster, theft or another scenario can cripple your business. Worst-case scenario, it could force you to close your doors. An automated, reliable data backup is the best way to ensure the information and data in your practice is stored securely and protected.

A study by global market intelligence firm IDC found that 40% of small and medium enterprises don’t back up their data at all. When they do, 40 to 50% of those backups are not fully recoverable. This highlights the fact that not all data backups are created equal, so it’s worth investing some time into ensuring you choose the right solution for your practice.

Four key steps for an effective a data backup

Identify your critical data

Find out what data and information your business must access for routine operations. A good rule of thumb is to back up all data that would cause problems in your practice if it were no longer available. This could include, but is not limited to, client and patient records, emails, invoices, documents and payment information.

Consider ‘hybrid’ data storage

Many small and medium businesses have an on-site backup, but relying on this alone is extremely risky. All it takes is an innocent error, theft, cybercrime, or natural disaster and you could lose all your vital practice data. That’s why many veterinary practices are turning to a hybrid model, which combines on-site backups with an offsite data backup in the cloud, thereby reducing the risk of data loss. This way, if one backup fails, you have another in place.

How often should you back up?

Backups should occur frequently, but exactly how often will depend on your practice. If you have a large clientele with high turnover you will generate new data more frequently than a small-town practice with a static population. This means you should run your backups more frequently; potentially daily, rather than weekly. Also, if your practice is located in an area prone to storms and other natural disasters, such as flooding and earthquakes, it’s also best to run a backup more frequently.

Automate to ensure the job gets done

Automating data backups is common practice and ensures backups are not forgotten in the daily bustle. Most automatic backups can happen in the background and don’t disrupt your workflow. The most effective way to do this is through installed software that is set to automatically backup and upload your valuable practice data

What does this mean for my practice?

With a data backup, your practice is protected from common causes of data loss. It also puts you in a much better position to recover if a significant compromise to your practice information happens.

While equipment and property can be insured, during a disaster your practice data can be lost beyond recovery. The permanent loss of any data can cause major disruptions, financial loss and inconvenience for your practice and your clients. Data backups ensure your information is organized, protected and stored securely.