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Often, backup media cannot be retrieved from off-site storage facilities. This is due to backup media being marked improperly or placed in the wrong location. This situation can cause either undue delay in restoring systems or a complete loss of data. Verify that backup media can be retrieved within the time frames set forth in the service level agreement with the off-site storage vendor. This can be accomplished by reviewing the logs from recent retrieval requests or requesting retrieval during the audit and measuring the results.

Spare equipment inventories can be obtained from asset management or system personnel. Several types of disasters can occur at a data center. The common ones include fire, flood, and other weather-related events. Different types of events will require different salvage and recovery efforts. Emergency operations plans should reflect any reasonably anticipated scenario. Inaccurate emergency operations plans increase recovery times. Verify that any reasonably anticipated scenario is covered by emergency operations plans and that those plans accurately reflect specific needs relating to each scenario.

This can be critical if a file corruption isn’t discovered until more than a week after the corruption occurred. Determine whether systems are backed up periodically and the backups stored off-site in a secured location. Verify that processes are in place to determine the appropriate frequency of backup for each system in the data center and to ensure the backup media have adequate space to store the appropriate system contents. Verify that backups are being performed and taken off-site in alignment with organizational backup practices and the requirements of each system.

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IT Auditing by C. Davis, et al.,

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