The importance of having proper data backup for your law firm is serious business. Backup of your clients, cases, and all firm data are essential, and must be part of every law firm’s IT plan. Accidents do happen (32% of data loss is caused by human error), and unfortunately backing up is something we don’t think about until disaster strikes. Not trying to spread negativity here, but it’s important for your firm to be prepared for the worst. Any type of server failure can affect your law firm’s business for months and months.
In order to determine how often your backups should take place, you must first evaluate the amount of data going into the system. If your system backs up on a specific night once a week, what happens if your server crashes the day before? A whole week of your firm’s work would be down the toilet. Where your data is being stored can make a major difference as well. Drive backups require physical systems that must be maintained, while cloud backup is a web-based option, where there is no physical hardware needed. It’s best practice to have one of each in the event that one fails.
Most law firms aren’t sure exactly which type of data is being backed up, so you want to make sure you understand the value of your data. Documents and data are obvious, but what about databases? Pretty much everything that lawyers do today is on their computers, which means it can be wiped out. From document creation, to case files storage, to scheduling, to accounting, to time tracking and billing; your firm needs to protect itself against all threats.
Backing up is only half the battle. Make sure to do test restores from time to time, which is something your data storage provider should do for you. If you do your own encryption for the backups for additional security (AKA – Local Key), make sure you have a secure password. Without it, no one can decrypt the data. Not even your data backup provider.