In the manufacturing industry, data is the lifeblood of operations. From inventory management and production scheduling to customer information and quality control, databases play a critical role in ensuring smooth and efficient operations. However, data loss can occur due to various reasons, such as hardware failure, human error, or cyberattacks. To safeguard against such incidents, it is crucial for manufacturing companies to have a robust database backup and recovery plan in place.
The potential for disruption for manufacturers is high. The sector typically deals with legacy IT elements, which could be more prone to failure as they age. Certainly, industrial companies also rank as a top target for cybercriminals. According to the IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence 2023 report, manufacturing remains the most targeted industry for cyber attacks — for a second consecutive year.
With all that in mind, preparing for worst-case scenarios is recommended. Today, we’re diving into the importance of database backup and recovery plans for the manufacturing sector. We’ll also map out some essential guidelines to keep in mind for developing an effective strategy.
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Why Database Backup and Recovery in Manufacturing is Important
Manufacturers heavily rely on databases to store critical information that drives their operations. Database failure or loss of data can lead to severe disruptions, including production delays, supply chain issues, and financial losses. A comprehensive backup and recovery plan to protect this data, or at least ensure it’s easily retrievable in case the worst happens, addresses three key factors.
Minimizing Downtime — Downtime is enemy No. 1 for manufacturers and every minute of lost production can be devastating to the bottom line. With a well-defined recovery plan, operations can be quickly restored if disaster strikes.
Protecting Intellectual Property — Manufacturers deal with sensitive information, such as proprietary designs, trade secrets, and customer data. Losing this data can have significant consequences, including compromised competitive advantage and potential legal issues.
Compliance and Regulatory Requirements — Operating in heavily regulated environments and often facing compliance pressures from vendors and supply chain partners, manufacturers can use backup and recovery plans to meet data retention policies and security standards.
Developing an Effective Database Backup and Recovery Strategy
To establish a reliable backup and recovery strategy, manufacturing companies should consider the following key aspects and work with a proven managed solutions provider that has expertise working within the industry. Accounting for these details with a strong partner helps prepare for any eventuality.
Define Recovery Objectives
Determine the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) for your databases. RTO defines the acceptable downtime, while RPO determines the maximum data loss tolerable. These objectives help set the parameters for the backup and recovery process.
Implement Regular Backups
Your databases should be backed up at regular intervals, and using incremental backups (only backing up changes since the last full backup) can save time in the process. Storing backups at secure offsite locations or turning to cloud-based backup solutions can offer additional protection.
Test Backup and Recovery Procedures
The effectiveness of your planning is unknown without regular tests to determine its viability. Conducting simulated recovery scenarios validates your plan and process, and helps identify where you may be coming up short. Testing allows you to be proactive in discovering additional issues and helps refine your strategy.
Maintain Data Security
Even your backup processes should concentrate on protecting data. Security measures like access control and encryption should guard both live and backup databases, and be sure to regularly update your security profile to handle new vulnerabilities and emerging threats.
Train and Educate Personnel
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure everyone in your manufacturing environment who is charged with handling data or the backup and recovery processes understands their role. The goal should be to develop a culture of data protection as well as instruction on the proper techniques and systems.
Craft a Database Backup and Recovery Plan with Tekscape
In the manufacturing industry, the loss of critical data can have severe consequences. Implementing a well-designed database backup and recovery plan is essential for mitigating risks and ensuring business continuity. This process is simplified when you work with a managed IT services provider with extensive experience serving the manufacturing sector.
For more than a decade, Tekscape has served as a business-focused, managed IT services provider. We guide businesses through digital transformation to help them achieve their goals, including optimized operations and strengthened cybersecurity. We minimize disruption as we ramp up your tailored managed IT support program with a comprehensive step-by-step onboarding process.
Connect with Tekscape today to learn how to take a more proactive approach by creating a database backup and recovery designed for manufacturing companies.