IT Management Daily
Storage Daily
Security Daily

follow us on Twitter

Be a Commerce Partner

Internet News
Small Business
Personal Technology

Corporate Info
Tech Jobs
E-mail Offers

Security Products
 FB Limiter (AxiomCoders)
 Keylogger Free Download (Free keylogger download)
 Software Keylogger (Software keyloggers)
 Facebook Password Recovery (XaviWare Software Ltda.)
 BlockAllow (BlockAllow)
 AW GoOn (AtelierWeb Software)
» Enterprise IT Planet » Security » Security Features

AntiOnline Spotlight: Backup Procedures

March 18, 2005

Email Print Digg This Add to

A lost photo here, a tax return there... Losing data for an individual can be stressful. For a company, it can cost millions.

Want to see the best laid business plans unravel? Leave your data at the mercy of shoddy backup practices.
Backup procedures, while usually a function of those tasked with managing storage systems, also straddle the "security" line, as many aspects of network and systems administration invariably seem to do. And like many other administration duties, there are steps taken to ensure the smooth and uninterrupted flow of business.

Or so the thinking goes.

Despite their best efforts, some workers get complacent. They witness backup tape after backup tape absorb data without so much as a hiccup and assume that everything is OK. A configuration change, or worse, an ill-placed cup of steaming coffee, has a nasty habit of bringing reality crashing down on an IT department.

How do you make sure that your backup procedures are not only in place, but working well? Moreover, how do you verify the integrity of your backups?

This week we take a little side trip outside the world of viruses, crackers, and spyware and look at one of the most fundamental ways of keeping data not only secure, but also just plain available.

Note: The opinions expressed below are solely those of the individual posters on the AntiOnline forums.

This Week's Spotlight Forum:
Backup Procedures

Newcomer Aspman shares his shocking discovery...

Morning all,

We carried out a spot check on our infrastructure team last week to make sure they were carrying out the backups properly. We found that they had an incident last month and been a bit lax in their record keeping.

On checking their backup procedure document (in order to beat them with it) we found it to be a bit lacking to say the least.

I've got to provide a report on what appeared to go wrong last month and provide recommendations for them to redraft the procedure.

I've written my own procedures for others in the past but always either for myself or for computer illiterate staff, not for a bunch of MCSE/CCNA folk who should know better.

I've put my initial suggestions below, but what have I overlooked and is there a better way of presenting these things to the team so they won't be too put off?

  • A full breakdown of the 3 stage tape rotation system.
  • The location of each tape in the backup series.
  • A full description of the off site tape storage rotation.
  • A detailed method for resolving tape backup failures.
  • A description of what information is to be logged and by whom in the event of backup failures.
  • A process of incident escalation in the event of continued backup failures.
The procedure should be usable by an external contractor who has not worked within the organization before.
Egaladeist chimes in with this handy link:
This might give you a few extra ideas... Link
kr5kernel suggests:
I think the main thing with authoring a good tape backup procedure is the ability to verify data and then the means of data retrieval. I once worked a place where their script was off and data was not being written correctly. If they never test the integrity of the backup, as well as proper means of data recovery, the backup is useless.
KorpDeath has methods of making data speak...
Without a doubt I'd perform monthly random test restores to be sure the data is where it's supposed to be. The process of actually backing up the data is only a quarter of the job. Anyone can blindly backup data, even MCSEs.
How well do you know your backup procedures? Discuss the topic here.

Email Print Digg This Add to

Security Features Archives