One day. That is all it takes to change the way your business views data protection. March 31st is World Backup Day, an event created to raise awareness and inspire businesses to act on data protection before it’s too late. If you’re serious about protecting your assets, take the pledge now and back up your important documents ASAP.
Backups protect against stolen, lost, or inaccessible data in all forms. A small error can result in the same amount of damage as a large disaster. Do you remember the day the internet broke in 2017? AWS had a 4-hour outage due to human error and it caused customers hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue. During a crisis, data backups are like an insurance policy; you can use the second copy to keep your business running as usual.
Although many events are out of your control, World Backup Day is a reminder that the unexpected can and will happen, and you need a data protection strategy. Those who are proactive are more successful in the long run.
The Potential for Data Loss Is Real
Consider that one in 10 computers are infected with viruses every month, and 113 phones are lost or stolen every minute. By the year 2019, experts project that the total cost of data breaches will be over $1 trillion. And according to research completed by Security Week, data loss at the enterprise level has increased by over 400% in the past couple of years. With that increase and the fact that 30% of people have never backed up with data, the situation becomes frightening. Almost all organizations, a whopping 93%, who have experienced data loss with prolonged downtime, have filed for bankruptcy within twelve months of the incident, and 50% of those businesses close their doors immediately. Your business doesn’t have to be one of these statistics.
There are many causes of data loss including hardware malfunctions, human error, corruption of software, viruses and malware, and natural disasters. You may also experience data loss or corruption during a migration if done incorrectly.
What’s the Impact of Losing Data?
Data loss causes not only immediate effects through the loss of productivity, but also long-term effects due to lost revenue, legal ramifications and reputational damage. Beyond your company’s data, you may also lose customer files, which has another set of challenges. Risks include:
- Legal and contractual– If you’re required to meet compliance standards, you are legally liable for protecting the privacy, confidentiality and integrity of that data. You could face legal fines and law suits if you don’t take the proper precautions. You may also need to compensate customers if you violate their SLA.
- Brand reputation – In a competitive landscape, any mistake your organization makes could jeopardize your reputation, and ultimately, new business opportunities. Make sure you’re communicative and transparent when you experience data loss or a similar incident, so you can regain trust from the public.
- Financial – Loss of productivity, loss of revenue and customer retention all play into the financial impact.
- Business morale – when things go awry, you risk employee satisfaction and retention, as well as loss of partnerships.
Prioritize Your Data Backups
If it is sensitive and critical to business, it needs to be protected. However, some data takes precedence over the rest. Categorize your data and create a strategy based on your unique datasets this World Backup Day. Start by thinking about your most important business functions, and map out which data and systems support those business activities. Your strategy should include saving data sets, such as:
- Customer Records
- Financial Information
- Sales records
- Compliance and security documentation
- Local network drives
- Multimedia files
- Accounting files
- Employee and HR records
A good backup strategy uses a combination of local and offsite backups. Local backups are ideal for quick restore times and lower costs. Offsite backups offer a more comprehensive scope of protection from major disasters and cyberattacks. Consider using network attached drives (NAS) that connect your network and provide pooled storage everyone on the network can use.
If you store and transmit sensitive data to an offsite location for backup, you’ll want to ensure there’s the right level of encryption—256 bit. Encryption is one of the most effective ways to protect your data, as the information will be unreadable to unauthorized parties who try to gain access.
Choosing a Backup Provider
After categorizing the data and forming a data strategy, it’s time to consider choosing a backup provider. There are various backup types to choose from including virtual, cloud, physical and hybrid, all of which have their own benefits. No matter what method or combination of methods you choose, you need a copy stored securely offsite, away from your primary location. This ensures that if anything happens to your business or your primary equipment, your data will still be safe in the remote location.
Consider asking these questions to find the right solution and provider for you. These may include:
- What technology does the provider support? Does it support automation?
- How are the provider’s backup costs determined?
- What level of customer support does the provider offer?
- Besides encryption, what other layers of security does the provider use to keep data secure?
- Can the provider accommodate both short and long-term retention?
- What physical security measures do you have in place to ensure my data is secure?
- Do you have any experience working with organizations in my industry?
World Backup Day is reminder that it’s not too late for you to develop a backup plan or freshen up your current strategy. It’s a time for testing, validation, and assessing what is critical to your operations. Don’t be a statistic. OnRamp offers managed data backups for businesses with every need and budget. Reach out to us with your goals and concerns—we’ll work with you to ensure your business is resilient to today and tomorrow’s threats.
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