Oh, the Horror! Don’t Be Left without a Data Backup System

You know what’s really scary?  Losing your law firm data.  Even so, many law firms don’t utilize effective data backups.

Every business needs to back up its electronic data, but the imperative is even more important for law firms, which have ethical and fiduciary duties tied to their client relationships.  Despite the warnings, many law firms subsist on remarkably thin data backup systems.  This is true even though law firm data loss is not an extremely rare or impossible occurrence.  Fires, floods, natural and manmade disasters — those all still wipe out law firm data.  So, if you’re concentrating on securing your law firm data backup, there’s no time like the present to get a handle on it.

This is a three-step method to making sure your data is recoverable:

  1. Set up a physical data backup.  It doesn’t really matter what it is (some firms still use backup tapes) — just have something in place.  (If you’re picky, check out an ioSafe harddrive; these things are basically indestructible.)  And, whatever physical backup tool you use, don’t leave it at your office, with all of your other hardware.  Take it to another location at the end of the day — the last thing you want is to have your on-premise data backup unit engulfed in the same disaster that takes down the physical hardware it’s supposed to be backing up.
  2. Next, you’ll want to supplement your physical data backup drive with an incremental, online backup system, like Carbonite.  The idea here is that if the physical drive fails, you have a cloud-based copy; and conversely, if the online copy is unavailable, you have a physical backup.  Services also provide physical drives with a cloud-based backup, if you’re hunting for a 2-in-1 solution.
  3. And, last but not least, you should always test your data backups in non-emergency situations, just to see if they are working properly.  The last thing you want is to be trying to figure out how your data backup works (or determining whether it works at all) in a true emergency.

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If you’re not backing up your backup, we can help.

The Wyoming State Bar offers free law practice management consulting services through Red Cave Law Firm Consulting.  To request a consult, visit the Wyoming State Bar’s law practice management page, and start running your law firm like a business.

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