Small and medium-sized businesses – just like you – are accumulating data that they so desperately need to protect from loss. In this day and age, data is so valuable and it is important that we protect it just as we would other resources in our business.
Not only can we lose data from general computer issues, there is also the growing threat of being hacked into through ransomware and contracting viruses that have only underscored the importance of backing up data. However, it’s not only malware that can destroy your important files. There are many ways to lose data, from theft or accidental loss of a device to device failures and natural disasters.
Backups need to be top of mind in your business. Backing up has become so important it even has its own day in honour of it. World Backup Day on March 31st is here to remind us all of the importance of backing up our day.
Many businesses fail to back up because they are too busy, forget, or don’t know how to back up effectively. Enough of the excuses and let’s look at 5 tips you should consider when building a backup process in your business:
1) Identify a Backup Method:
Will you be using physical backup devices, cloud storage, or both? There are a variety of backup solutions, from hard drives to cloud storage. Backups should be stored on a different device and in a different location from the original copies of your data. If you’re using a cloud service, you need to trust that the provider has adequate protections in place to keep your data secure. Make sure you control access with strong passwords and other authentication processes.
2) Develop a Data Recovery Plan:
Are you able to recover the data easily? Not only is backing up important, but you will need to get that data and restore it quickly. You don’t want to backup your data in a way where even you can’t access it. Data is essential for your business to continue its operations and to minimize disruption for you and your customers. Downtime to restore data could cause significant loss of business and harm your reputation. Once you develop a recovery process, test it so you know it works.
3) Think about the Security of Data being Backed Up:
Are you encrypting your backups? It’s all well and good to have data on your desktops, laptops and servers encrypted – but if your backups are stored in plain text, think of what happens if they get lost or stolen. It’s still a data breach, and you may still be culpable under data protection laws for failing to protect data.
4) Consider Data Protection Laws
Data protection is a hot topic these days and it’s important for you to be aware of the industry and government regulations related to maintaining data on customers and your business in general. Be sure to know which laws apply to you in your region. If you are meant to retain business records for a certain period of time, take note of that and develop a plan for archiving this data in a safe place. Conversely, if you are only allowed to hold certain client data for a specified period of time, ensure that this is noted in your files so you can dispose of the information correctly when the time arrives.
5) Create a Schedule
One of the most important things you should do when backing up data is to get into a routine. Small and medium sized businesses may backup data on a daily basis and some even more often. Most backup software can be programmed to consistently backup automatically but you need to be aware of the frequency that you require so you can set this up in advance. The sooner you develop a schedule and get into a routine, the faster backing up will seem like second nature to you and your business.
If you want some assistance with developing a backing up process for your business, let the experts at Jaguar IT Services know. We have been helping businesses across Metro Vancouver with creating backup systems for decades. So, what are you waiting for? Celebrate World Backup Day but backing up your data and taking another step to saving time through technology!