In order for businesses to continue, they need to be able to handle any situation that the world throws at them. In light of security breaches, hacking, and cyber attacks, data backup has played a crucial part.
The environment for cyber crimes has developed to a point that a backup on a single desktop, laptop, or mobile device isn’t sufficient. Even paper copies of business data isn’t good enough. These measures aren’t enough because the company is one flood, fire, hurricane, or theft away from the business data being lost for good.
Businesses must adapt and adopt better backup practices. In light of this, here is what many successful companies do to backup their data.
They Prepare And Cut Off Potential And Common Data Loss Situations
- A crash from a laptop or desktop or damage from a mobile device storing the data
- Having the backup devices stolen – business break-ins are common and stolen laptops and desktops are very rarely recovered
- Data being accidentally deleted (by accident or from a disgruntled employee)
- The devices get hijacked from malware
- The online storage account being hacked
- Or a ransomware attack rendering files inaccessible
There are several others, but the most successful companies can stay afloat as they address these potential issues and many others. Here is what businesses do to deal with these issues.
Data Backup Is Standardized
For adequate data protection, a business needs to have a system. This system should consist of three steps:
- Data should be backed up regularly
- There should be multiple backups on reliable media or in the Cloud
- When using media for backups, the devices should be stored in a secure, off-site location.
To determine whether data should be backed up or not, the rule is simple: back it up if losing that data will interfere with everyday business activities and function. For example, software programs aren’t necessary to backup as companies can reinstall them if needed, however the details of transactions or business correspondences can’t be recovered unless they’re backed up.
Successful Companies Know Data Backup And Data Archive
Backups are periodic, and store images and data for disaster recovery purposes short term. Archiving is for long-term storage of data. It’s no longer in regular use, but can be restored if it’s needed. An example of that data is a finished project or data from a former client who wants that information back.
Businesses can balance these two aspects by understanding what qualifies as short-term storage and what should be archived. Furthermore, businesses have different storage devices for that data.
Handle Critical Business Data In A Two-Step Process
The process is simple:
- Identify critical data that needs to be backed up.
- Implement backups of that data on a regular schedule.
The consistency should reflect how critical that information is needed. Ranging from a daily basis to hourly. What kind of data will need this kind of data backup? A good start is files created and/or modified. This data could be accounting records for example.
Several business applications are also available through the Cloud and so information is backed up there. For desktop applications, those can be reinstalled from media or downloaded so backing applications isn’t necessary.
Use Cloud Storage Effectively
Having an online backup service makes the process easier – hence Cloud computing being an ideal solution for small businesses. Cloud services can still be vulnerable to data loss through hacking or employee sabotage though, so businesses should have additional countermeasures in place. Successful companies will take the occasional local backups of Cloud data.
Use Local Data Backups Too
To make saving data locally simpler, businesses keep all files needed to be archived or backed up in a single drive. Within that single drive, multiple files are placed with those folders containing the appropriate data.
Backing up nightly is recommended and backup software programs allow businesses to set schedules for when data is automatically backed up. Backup software that can also zip and encrypt files increases security too.
Local backups can be stored on-site, though businesses that do, store the data in fire-proof, indestructible safes. Tape drives or external hard drives are helpful, but they’re not helpful if they are stored in one location.
Use Of Strong Passwords Are Standard
In situations where data is stored in the Cloud, strong passwords, as well as changed regularly, are standard. Even the data in the Cloud is encrypted too.
Use Of Multiple Forms Of Backup
Successful companies will be flexible with backup strategies. They will use different forms of backup that go beyond the Cloud. Formats such as:
- USB Drives. Over the years, USB (Thumb) drives have grown with increasing capacity and are a solution for quick data backups. While thumb drives have the lowest capacity, these are highly portable and helpful for businesses who need to move small data quickly.
- External hard drives. Ideal for small businesses, they’re inexpensive compared to tape drive systems. Like USB drives, they are plugged into a computer USB port. External hard drives are equipped with backup software too.
- Local Area Network Storage. Also called LAN, these can backup files to another computer or server. The drawback is if the backup machine is in the same location, it can be vulnerable to theft, damage, fire or flooding. These servers can be installed in a locked cage, cabinet, or closet for better security.
- Tape storage. Suitable for large amounts of data. These are highly reliable and can store massive amounts of data for any situation.
Lose It Or Back It Up
Companies who don’t back up their data regularly run the risk of losing it from several unforeseeable events. But while those events are unforeseeable, they can be circumvented data-wise by having a strong backup system. That system needs the above points covered to ensure the businesses survive under any circumstance.
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