Best Practices for Disaster Preparedness - FAQ

Unlike your retail strategy or your promotions, natural disasters come unscheduled and the full brunt of their impact is never quite in line with the forecast. In addition, the threat of cyberterrorists holding your retail data hostage – with a minimum ransom value of millions – is a reality in retail today.

Thus, disaster preparedness is an absolute necessity for every business to mitigate risk and secure their retail data.

Prepare your stores and your software to weather the storm with these industry best practices from the Retail Pro Technical Support team.


What backups do I need in my business?


1.    Your system data. This is absolutely critical. If you lose your inventory, customer, vendor, and employee data, you can wave goodbye to all the insight and optimization you’ve gained in your business over time.

2.    Your layouts, document designs, and settings. This is less critical, but very helpful. It’ll save you hours of developer time once you get your data restored.

3.    Your battery. A backup universal power source (UPS) protects you against power surges and outages. The backup battery is in place so you can safely shut your system down.

It is not to be used as a way to run your system for 3 more hours after an outage! Doing so will put you at risk of data corruption and will require you to rebuild your control file. 

Batteries DO expire, so replace your UPS every 3 years or so.


What devices should I use to do a backup?


A flash drive or external hard drive are sufficient, depending on the size of your database. 

Flash drives should be replaced every year, and external hard drives should be replaced every 2 to 3 years.


Where should I store my backups?


Store a daily backup on-site for quick access, and keep your weekly and monthly backups off site in a fireproof, waterproof location. 


How often should I do a backup?


To minimize the amount of data loss in the event of a major catastrophe, we recommend maintaining at least a month’s worth of daily backups.

Once a month, you can copy your daily backups onto an external drive, so at the end of the year you will have 12 months’ worth of restore points.


Do you recommend using an online backup service?


Some retailers will pay for an online backup system to conduct real-time backups of all their data. There are advantages and disadvantages to this. Even though the software has the ability to do a real-time backup, we do not recommend it. Backups should be done once a day instead.  

Advantage of online backup services
You constantly have a full data backup.

There is a cost associated with downloading your backup. 

Real-time backups mean you are keeping your database open and in use continuously, which means it can cause your system slowdowns.
This also puts you at risk of data corruption data corruption from the writing of files while they are in use.