SMBs often neglect to put a comprehensive data backup strategy in place, but with storage becoming cheaper and more accessible, now is as great a time as any to devise a solution. After all, businesses large and small are processing more and more data – and any loss of this data could cause major disruptions to daily operations, productivity and your wallet...
Having the right backup strategy for your business can prove crucial if disaster strikes. With risks escalating globally, preparation is the best form of defense when it comes to protecting your valuable data. Hardware failures, natural disasters, malicious software and employee error, are all causes for a business to lose access to their data. Although ransomware attacks attract the headlines, business data also needs protection from common hardware and other failures too.
A backup strategy is the combination of systems, processes, and devices used to keep data safe and recoverable in the event of corruption, infection, theft or natural disasters. This is usually accomplished through regular backups and data copies stored online in a private cloud, in an off-site server room, or even on a simple USB stick. So, which backup strategy is best, and how do you build the right one for your business?!
STEP 1 – Decide What is Mission-Critical
The cost to your business being without access to your data for even an hour can be high and the expense of redoing several days of work exponential. To help decide how much you are willing to spend to avert such a disaster, focus primarily on what you CAN’T afford to lose. Ask yourself what it would cost the business if you had to wait a day, a week or a month to get client/customer records, project files, and financial or sales data back.
STEP 2 – Create a Strategy
There are many backup options available to businesses, including using a backup appliance, storing data off-site in a public or private cloud, or using a disaster recovery service. You might opt for storage devices connected directly to a PC, a server or network, or online storage services. We do not recommend, however, old-fashioned storage media like tape or disk backups.
The Key Questions to Consider When Selecting a Backup Solution:
- How fast is the storage?
- How easy will it be to scale or adapt if your needs change?
- Is there an archival option for long-term storage?
- Is it cloud-enabled?
For a complete backup strategy, businesses should have full data backups in at least two locations, such as the cloud plus a secondary off-site server. This should be in addition to an offline copy, stored off-site.
STEP 3 – Consider Storage Options
The best backup plans include both onsite and another site or cloud solution. WHY? Because there are pros and cons to each type of backup solution. For example, onsite backups allow for the quickest data retrieval, but are also vulnerable to the same threats as your primary systems (i.e., ransomware, fires, floods, etc.).
Cloud backup can be automated, but it can take days (or more) to retrieve significant amounts of data. If your backup or server is ever corrupted, infected, destroyed or accidentally wiped, you'll be able to easily sync your server to the cloud backup.
What is clear is that cloud-based backup solutions are popular with SMBs because they provide data protection at a fraction of the cost. There are many things to consider before choosing a cloud provider. Regardless of the backup strategy you choose, remember to test it regularly for peace of mind that you'll be able to recover quickly and get back to business if your data is ever compromised.
Want Expert Advice for Building the Right Backup Solution for Your Organization?
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