Published : 9 July 2017
It's one of those things we always mean to do, isn't it? Backing up our computer files. We know we should but we're always too busy to get around to it (unless it's done automatically). So ask yourself this: if you were to lose all your data, would it be a disaster?
It's pretty likely the answer would be a resounding yes! All those records, staff and client information, orders, financial records, the list just goes on. It would be like starting your business all over again from scratch.
So why not avoid that risk completely by putting a tried and tested system in place to regularly backup data? It's one of the easiest things you'll ever do, and it could be a lifesaver.
Loss of data happens in several ways. It could be as simple as a power surge through your computer system, or you could be hacked and left with a virus. So whatever backup system you choose needs to be effective across the board, and tested thoroughly before use.
Data breaches cost Australian companies $2.64 million last year. And that's without the subsequent downtime. About three-quarters of Australian businesses admit that they are not really prepared for a data breach.
Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Backup Off-Site or In the Cloud
Thanks to modern technology, you don't need to have your own IT department these days. But even those companies that do, still backup their files off-site. This not only frees up your resources, but avoids the risk of damage by flood, fire, and theft.
It's Your Insurance Policy
A system failure could cost you serious money so it's best avoided. In a survey of IT leaders from 24 countries, it was found that data loss incidents had increased 400%. Even a loss of 100 files or less could cost a business up to $35,000.
And then there's ransomware. Frequently in the news these days, this is when a hacker successfully locks you out of your own network, and then demands a ransom to let you back in. Ensuring everything is backed up - and can be set-up again on a clean site - is your insurance policy.
Peace of Mind
Small and medium business owners have enough to worry about, without constantly worrying about online security. Putting a Cloud Backup system in place will take that worry away, quite literally, and allow you to focus on the bigger picture.
The Cloud is increasingly viable and affordable for small business, and there are a few storage and backup services to choose from. As always, please check that these suit your requirements. Cloud back-up solutions include:
- Box - an online file-sharing and content management system.
- CrashPlan - onsite, off-site and Cloud backup solutions.
- Google Drive - which includes the added benefit of collaborative editing, via Google Docs.
- Dropbox - possibly the best known Cloud storage service, with some free elements included.
- Mozy - Cloud-based system that offers scheduled, manual or continuous backup.
How Secure Is Your Hosting?
Reliable, professional web hosting can also go a long way towards protecting your data. Don't be tempted by free hosting offers, however good they sound. This generally means your website will share a very public server, which not only poses security risks, but also frequent downtime.
Even if you're a one-person business, with limited data to store, there is something you can do right now to protect yourself. And that's go straight out and buy an external hard drive. With storage capability up to 20TB or more, you can backup every week at least, and preferably store the drive off-site. It could just save your business.
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