12 Ways to Disaster-Proof Your Critical Business Data

How can you keep critical data safe when disaster strikes? There is no one magic answer, but there are steps your business can and should take to protect important files and applications in the event of a disaster.

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"Cloud storage providers now provide secure, highly available services, combined with the maturity of cloud gateways to interface these clouds," adds Rob Whiteley, vice president of Product Marketing, Riverbed Technology, which provides a location-independent computing platform.

"Companies can actually improve their disaster preparedness by leveraging multiple cloud storage providers for service and geographic redundancy," Whiteley says. "Cloud storage improves backup costs, boosts performance and dramatically reduces recovery point objectives (RPO) by avoiding outdated tape and offsite storage methods."

12. Test for recovery -- and test again. "It's all about the recovery," states Jarrett Potts, director of Strategic Marketing, STORserver, a provider of data backup solutions. "All the backups in the world cannot save you if you can't recover to test. [So] test then test some more," he says. "When you're finished, test it again. Do random recoveries each week. Do disaster recovery testing and audit your data pools. Always be sure you can recover your data."

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff is a contributor to CIO.com and runs a marketing communications firm focused on helping organizations better interact with their customers, employees, and partners.

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Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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