Understanding the Importance of Data Backup and Recovery in 2020
Data loss can be disturbing (to say the least) and have serious financial implications for any business. However, in the modern business world, it is becoming an increasingly common occurrence. It can leave businesses crippled for days or even weeks.
Yet, a surprising number of businesses do not have an IT disaster recovery plan in place. Mentioned ahead are some shocking statistics.
- 39% of SMBs don’t have an incident response plan in place
- 22% of folders used by a company are not protected in any way
- Malware caused 28% of data breaches in 2019
- Ransomware attacks cause downtime of 16.2 days on average
- The average cost of downtime is up to $11,600 per minute
- 1.89% of hard drives failed in 2019
Your business and customer data is at the core of your company’s success. The last thing you want is to lose it or be forced to pay a ransom to get your own hard-earned data back. Regular data backups can safeguard it to a great extent. Aside from your regular data-storing practices, you will be saving multiple copies of your data in separate physical or digital locations in a secure manner, sparing yourself several costs and inconveniences, and saving your business from failure.
The Growing Need for IT Disaster Recovery Planning
As businesses come under increasing cyber threats, the need for comprehensive disaster recovery planning has never been more vital. Regardless of the size of your business, it’s likely that data is an essential aspect of running it. As a result, you need to keep your network secure and ensure swift disaster recovery.
1. Human Errors Are Common
All humans err and your employees are no different. Despite having the best intentions, they will make mistakes every now and then, and this means your data may be inadvertently (or advertently) compromised. A data backup and recovery solution can undo this costly mistake.Incidents involving the accidental deletion of important data, data theft, system crashes, loss of hardware, and so are more common than you know. Having a quality data backup and IT disaster recovery strategy in place can ensure that you don’t end up losing any critical information and your business operations continue unhampered despite any kind of human error.
2. Cybercriminals Are after Data
With data becoming as valuable as currency, it should come as no surprise that cybercriminals are always going to go after it. Take the example of ransomware, which is a type of malware that can deny you access to your own files stored on your computers, servers, and mobile devices. The cybercriminal will not only steal your sensitive data, but also threaten to misuse/publish it on public platforms. You may be able to unlock your files only after paying a ransom. Over time, cybercriminals have devised several ways to launch these kinds of attacks on businesses. Businesses need to protect themselves with anti-virus software, firewalls, proper authentication, and user training, among other measures.
Despite these safeguards, a cyberattack can still wreak havoc and data can be lost. Proper data backup and recovery systems are crucial to minimizing damage in such cases.
3. Unexpected Downtime Costs Are Heavy
A good backup and recovery solution matches your RTO (recovery time objective) to the solution. RTO refers to the amount of time it takes to restore your backups. This should be minimal so that the data is back online as soon as possible.Unfortunately, data loss almost always results in downtimes because employees cannot work without information, mission-critical applications, and programs. Even servicing clients efficiently can become impossible without their contact details and account information saved by an effective data backup solution. Without a proper data backup and disaster recovery solution in place, you will be forced to compromise and pay a huge price to recover lost data and rebuild your business from scratch.
4. Protect Your Reputation
In the absence of data backup solutions, you may not be able to recover lost data or recovery may take too long, creating doubts in the minds of your customers about the strength of your business. Losing priceless customer data can result in immense delays, embarrassment, and reputational damage. If your business can’t operate for days after an outage because you’re still recovering, customers may lose faith in your abilities. They may even decide on never doing business with you again. Potential customers will also form an opinion that you lack professionalism, and are incapable of protecting their data.
How a Good Backup Plan Can Help
As experienced providers of data backup and recovery services in Wisconsin, we recommend using a sound data backup solution, which can ensure the following:
1. Automated Incremental Backups through the Day
This may mean backups to be conducted every hour or every two-to-three hours, depending on your unique business needs. Anything less than this will mean you lose the entire day’s work. This should be done without human intervention.
2. Automated Offsite to the Cloud
Manual backups can be prone to human error and other factors, which is why it makes sense to go for automatic and continuous cloud backup with the help of a trusted cloud backup and disaster recovery services provider. They should be able to build a strategy that includes all backup requirements such as the provision of end-to-end encryption features (to keep your data safe during cloud migration) and annually audited data centers.
3. Monitoring and Alerting by MSP for Failures
Complacency in matters of cybersecurity, including data backup and IT disaster recovery will lead to unpleasant consequences sooner or later. Your backup solutions should always run properly, send daily automated status alerts, and be manageable through a single management console. This will enable easy administration, monitoring, and alerting of servers and data backups. It is also crucial that the management console be accessible from inside and outside your office.
4. Data Is Always Stored in Three Places
A good backup plan will ensure that your data is stored in three places: i. Original or Onsite: Onsite backup will help you get back to work quickly even if your server crashes. It will restore your backup to another server and lower downtime considerably. ii. Local: This entails taking backup on physical media such as hard drives or disks that are available on site or near the source. This helps back-up data faster and reduce restore times, giving businesses control over who can access the data. iii. Offsite: Incurring data loss due to an onsite catastrophe such as a flood, fire or natural calamity can be minimized through offsite backup. However, businesses should always choose an offsite backup at a secure data center.
5. Quick Recovery of Files, Folders or an Entire Server
Regardless of how you backup your data, you need to know exactly how to restore and recover your files, folders, and servers to minimize downtime during a disaster. A skilled provider of data backup and recovery services will work out how to bring your backup online as a virtual server until your regular servers start functioning again and include this in your IT plan. They may also recommend taking this tactical step in advance as a preventative measure to ensure negligible waiting time to restore the data.
Regardless of the size of your business, it is imperative that you have reliable backup and IT disaster recovery solutions in place to safeguard your data. Working with providers of data backup and recovery services can prove to be immensely helpful as they will equip you to protect business-critical data and enable business continuity. As an entrepreneur, it is your responsibility to ensure that all your crucial files and documents are backed up and ready for recovery. This way, your business can restart servicing clients at the earliest. Remember, data is the most valuable currency in modern times, and taking the necessary steps to protect it will serve you well now and in the future.
Scott Hirschfeld is the President of CTaccess, an Elm Grove IT support company that has been helping small businesses stop focusing on IT and getting back to doing business since 1990. Under his leadership CTaccess provides the business minded approach of larger IT companies with the personalized touch of the smaller ones. Connect with Scott on LinkedIn.