In today’s fast-paced digital world, backing up your data is essential. Did you know you could cripple your business if you lose important practice information as a result of natural disaster, human error, theft or other scenarios? A secure data backup gives you peace of mind and also lets you protect and restore your valuable practice data if the worst-case scenario happened.
Backing up your practice data doesn’t need to be complicated. There are many options available that are flexible and customizable for businesses looking to back up their data.
So what’s involved in a secure data backup?
Identify backup needs
What data do you need to run your business? The permanent loss of any data can cause disruptions to your practice and is simply not a risk worth taking. 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 includes emails, invoices, documents, client/patient records and payment information.
Consider potential risks to data
Knowing the potential causes of data loss in your practice will help you determine your backup requirements. The most common cause of data loss is human error; staff training, automatic solutions, regular upgrades, and data policies can help reduce these risks. Unfortunately, cybersecurity threats are an increasing occurrence and many have malicious intent. Natural disasters, too, can cause extreme damage.
Automatic, scheduled backups
With a growing reliance on technology in modern veterinary practices, it’s important that a data backup doesn’t interfere or interrupt your workflow. Confirm that your automatic backups happen in the background.
Backup files should be encrypted to protect your data and ensure it is stored securely. Encryption removes the risk of further cybersecurity threats and unpermitted access from other users.
Determine backup frequency
Certain data requires backups more frequently than others. We recommend a daily backup if:
- Your practice has a large number of clients
- You constantly update records and data
Where will you backup your data? To be blunt, the more backup locations, the better. It’s important to store your data on multiple backups, including one offsite location. Remember that having all your data in one place is always a significant risk.
We recommend using a locally stored physical backup and backing up in the cloud.
Identify someone in your practice to lead and direct your data backup plan. This person doesn’t have to be a data expert, as a provider like Covetrus has experts to help guide you through the process. This person needs to be able to represent your practice in dealings with a provider and have the authority to ensure your data strategy is implemented in your practice.
Test your backup and restoration
Ensure your backup is successful by trying to retrieve stored data. Knowing your data is safe and retrievable will give you peace of mind. And become familiar with the recovery process to get your business up and running again if your data is compromised.
Have everyone on the same page
Educate employees on the importance of backing up data (and being able to restore it quickly and easily) and ensure they know the correct procedures to follow. A practice-wide data policy can help set standards and procedures to follow to minimize threats.