From ransomware to simple human error, the threats to your business data are ever-evolving. Backing up your data is a vital part of any risk management strategy — it’s the only way to be sure you’ll always be able to recover lost, hacked, or corrupted data.
The problem is, high-quality backup solutions have historically been too costly for the budgets of small and midsize businesses. This is one of the main reasons why many businesses don’t have a solid data backup strategy in place.
Today, better options exist. In fact, there are so many products and strategies available that it can be hard to know which ones are right for your company.
Here are some simple best practices for backing up data and protecting your business:
Understand the risks
Protecting your data requires planning and an understanding of the potential threats your business is facing. While every business’s situation is unique, these are a few of the most common ways businesses lose important data:
- Lost, stolen, or damaged hardware (According to the FBI, 97% of stolen laptops are never recovered)
- A person accidentally (or maliciously) deletes data
Which data should be backed up?
Computers and software can be replaced, but important data often can’t. If losing the information would hurt your business, it should be backed up.
This might include accounting files, databases, customer data, emails, photos, and more.
Always have a remote backup
This doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t have an on-premises backup too if that has worked for you in the past. It just means you shouldn’t rely on an on-premises backup strategy. You need offsite backup too. The problem with only having onsite storage is that all your eggs are still in one basket. If your office building were to get robbed or burn down in a fire, you could lose all your data and your backup.
With remote storage, restoring data from backup is simple. It may even save you from having to close your doors after a disaster.
Make sure your backup is secure
If you have customer data or other sensitive information you need to back up, you’ll need to make sure any backup solution you use has an appropriate level of security.
Encryption is one of the most popular and effective ways to do this. An additional option is multi-factor authentication, which means anyone who wants to access your data must first present two or more pieces of evidence (a security PIN for example) to prove they are authorized.
Consider a cloud backup service
High monthly infrastructure costs are one of the main reasons why many data backup solutions have been too expensive for small and midsize companies. That’s why cloud-based backup services are a great option.
Microsoft Azure Backup, for example, is a secure, sophisticated solution that’s affordable for small and midsize businesses. It makes a complete copy of all the data on your server and stores it in the Azure cloud. Since it doesn’t require infrastructure, an option like this helps reduce unnecessary costs for small and midsize businesses. Keeping your data safe suddenly becomes amazingly affordable!
Address the human element
In the past, we’ve written about how employees lose important data. No matter what technology you choose for your data backup strategy, it’s important to make sure that the people involved in handling your data:
- Know where to save important files (and where not to)
- Are using, changing, and sharing passwords responsibly
- Use shared folders when appropriate
- Know how to avoid ransomware attacks
- Understand the basics of your data backup strategy
Don’t rely on a data backup strategy alone
Backing up your data is an important piece of the puzzle, but it’s still only one piece. The best way to protect your business is with a comprehensive approach that includes not only backups, but also firewall protection, desktop AV/AM applications, email filtering, and employee training.
It might seem like a lot of security, but it’s worth it. As your business grows, the amount of data you handle increases. You want to be able to focus on expanding your business without worrying about increasing data risks.
We can help you protect your data and your business.
Upward Technology provides full-service risk management solutions, including data backup services for small and midsize businesses. The technologies we recommend are always sophisticated, affordable, and easy to use.
Plus, our approach is customized and our focus is always on your long-term business goals. We start by learning about you and your business’s unique needs, then develop a rock-solid data strategy from there.
Want to find out more? Tell us how we can help you!