Data backup versus business continuity: What’s the difference?

by: Matt Wilhelm

Although overlapping, these terms represent uniquely different mindsets when it comes to data protection.

Data backup answers the questions: is my data safe? Can I get it back in case of a failure?

Business continuity, on the other hand, involves thinking about the business at a higher level, and asks: how quickly can I get my credit union operating again in case of system failure?

Thinking about data backup is a good first step. (READ THIS: Fully Compliant Data Backup in 2 Minutes and 33 Seconds). But in case of failure, you have to get that data back and restore it quickly enough so your business doesn’t suffer. For example, if your server dies—and remember, hardware failure is the No. 1 cause of lost data—you wouldn’t be able to quickly get back to work if you only had file-level backup. For you to start working again, your server would need to be replaced, all software re-installed, data re-installed and then the whole system would need to be configured with your settings and preferences. This process could take hours or even days—and in the meantime, your users can’t get their jobs done.

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