Could your business survive if the worst were to happen, and you lost access to all your company data?
Perhaps you go into the office one morning and find there’s been a fatal system error and you’re faced with the infamous ‘blue screen of death’. Or maybe you find you’ve been locked out of your systems by cybercriminals, or had your documents scrambled by a virus.
A break-in or fire on the premises may have seen you losing vital equipment. Or human error could even have led to an accidental deletion.
There are so many possible scenarios that can put company data at risk, which means it really is a case of ‘when’ as opposed to ‘if’. And that’s why no business can afford to drop the ball when it comes to backing up and having a comprehensive data recovery plan in place.
How common is data loss?
Small businesses operating today rely on their technology and any amount of downtime or disruption can hit profits and reputations hard. Sadly, according to a study carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce, 93% of businesses that suffer data loss for more than 10 days file for bankruptcy within one year, and 50% percent immediately.
- 40% of businesses admit to never backing up their files
- And of those backups that do exist, 40-50% are not fully recoverable
So, what’s the best way to backup your data and how can you ensure those backups aren’t going to let you down when you need them most?
The importance of backing up company data
In simple terms, a data recovery plan is a plan of action for how critical data will be safeguarded and recovered within an acceptable timeframe, were the unexpected to occur. It’s about assessing risk and ensuring the business can function, no matter what happens.
Sitting at the heart of such plans are data backups, which are a secure copy of all a company’s important information.
What is crucial about this process is that backups are done regularly and kept up to date but also that they are stored in a different location to the original. Then, should an incident occur, the backup can be used to restore what’s been lost.
Even if you already have a data backup solution in place, you need to be sure that it’s up to the job. Ask yourself, are you 100% confident you’ll be able to restore your data? And are you sure that your backups are going to be complete? How often do you check?
The growing cyber threat
Alongside the possibility of technical failures and theft or damage, one reason having a backup is so important is the growing threat of cyberattacks.
Cybercriminals are finding increasingly more sophisticated ways to access system files and then using invasive ransomware and malware to lock businesses out of their devices altogether, or to corrupt data. And if you’re thinking ransomware attacks are only an issue for larger companies, think again – 46% of SMBs have been targeted by these types of cyberattacks, with 73% of companies going on to pay the ransom.
Unfortunately, it can be as easy as clicking on the wrong link in an email. According to IBM, up to 95% of cyberattacks are down to human error and without a proper backup to fall back on, you could literally be left with nothing.
Top 3 ways to back up your company data
So, what are the best options for backing up your data?
- External hard drive or USB stick
A physical device like a memory stick or hard drive that you connect to your computer via a USB port is one solution. You simply drag the files you want to backup onto these devices and a copy will be created. Then, when you’re done, you just safely uninstall the device and put it away in a secure place for safekeeping.
There are a couple of downsides with a physical backup solution like a USB stick or external hard drive, however. Both have the capacity to get stolen, damaged or misplaced. The other consideration is storage capacity, which will be limited.
- Cloud backup
A far more flexible backup solution is to store copies of your data in the cloud. In this instance, your data will be accessible from any web-based device, so in the case of a technical issue or problem on the premises, you can simply log on to your cloud storage from elsewhere.
Because the storage is virtual it can be increased as many times as you need to, allowing your backup to grow as your requires grow, without having to bring in a secondary solution.
Data saved to the cloud is heavily encrypted and password protected, so it stays safe from hackers, despite the fact the data is never physically in your possession.
- Backup services
This is the most comprehensive solution and one that is popular with businesses – especially those who do not have an internal IT resource.
Backup services are provided by an external IT company who hold the data virtually on their own remote servers. It is similar to having a cloud-based solution but is professionally managed and gives you IT support along with your storage space.
If your company handles a lot of data, particularly if that data is very sensitive, then using a backup service offers heightened security and the reassurance of having a person at the end of the phone if you need them.
Backing up company data is vital for any business but it’s not enough to simply copy a few files onto a USB stick every once in a while. Any solution you put in place needs to work and it needs to be checked and updated regularly. That’s the only way to ensure you will be able to quickly and easily restore your files, were the worst to happen.
The easiest way to think of it, is to follow the ‘1-2-3’ rule: keep three copies of your data on two different devices/mediums and have at least one off-site storage solution.
Looking for a backup solution for your business?
At Dragon IS, we can help you to implement a robust data backup and recovery plan that ensures your business, and its virtual assets are protected, whatever the scenario. To speak to one of our IT experts today call us on 0330 363 0055 or email email@example.com for a no obligation chat about your backup needs.