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Four things to do when administering backups

* Have written policy and procedures in place on how a restore from backup should be handled. In a time of crisis, this will cut down on confusion and allow the process to move along more smoothly.

* Test restores from backup. This is very critical. Some complex applications might require special software agents or configurations to backup and restore properly. Make sure the test restore is successfully accomplished in a time frame that would be acceptable for a real restore. If the process takes too long, you may have to reconsider your backup strategy.

* Physically protect backup data from hackers and thieves. Someone getting hold of an unencrypted backup is just as bad as someone breaking in.

* Keep copies of software that may need to be re-installed along with your backups. This includes operating systems, software applications and security patches for either of those.

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