Data back up is essential to help your business recover in the event of a cyber attack. It’s important to regularly test your backups to check they are working correctly and that your data is recoverable. You don’t want to find out that your backups haven’t worked when something has gone wrong and you need to recover your data!
Routine, frequent testing will give early warning of any failures and allow you to fix any issues before they become a problem.
Follow this approach to testing your backups:
As much as you can, test your backup as if it were a real life scenario. The ideal situation, wherever possible, is to do a complete restoration of all your data to a second system with an identical configuration.
Check that everything has been backed up correctly during a test. Ensure the test includes restoring entire folders, complete with subfolders, as every critical application. Pay special attention to complex applications such as Microsoft Exchange and make sure everything has been properly backed up.
Using simulated scenarios to test
The best way to test backups is by using real life data loss scenarios and recovery as if it was happening for real. Test scenarios that include a single file or data chunk loss, partial data set losses, full data set loss, and multiple data set loss. Use both manual and automated processes to test backup and recovery.
Any backup testing must be done in a non-production environment that is isolated from production to ensure that data corruption does not take place in the production data.