It’s essential that you take care of all of your data. Data loss comes in a range of forms which is why you should ensure that your business protects it. This is why you should use a multi-faceted approach. One of the best strategies you can use is data back-up so you can recover the data from deliberate or accidental loss.
Regardless of how well you currently protect your data it’s still fragile and susceptible to attack or loss. There is still the likelihood that there are problems just waiting on the sidelines to destroy or delete all of your data. This is why protecting every single bit of data has many benefits.
You need to make sure that your confidential business affairs are kept private so you can stay competitive. It’s also vital that you manage all of your customer’s information sufficiently. This is to ensure that you comply with the data privacy regulations that have recently come into force.
There are 3 major strategies that you should consider providing so as to protect against data loss. Every business should prepare for attacks on their security in addition to their data integrity. This is why it is crucial a reliable data back-up program is used along with a trustworthy disaster recovery plan.
When Data Goes Missing
Data can go missing for a variety of reasons. Malware and viruses are just a few of the reasons why they can go missing, however, there are other less obvious issues:
- Inputting errors – Workers are usually responsible for any loss of data. It’s all to easy to overwrite changes, delete a file, or misfile a document. Spelling mistakes in the name of a document can ensure that data simply disappears.
- Power Loss – This can happen without any warning. If your computer is unable to complete a process data can be lost. There’s also a chance that hardware and software can be damaged. Files can be corrupted and unsaved data can be lost.
- Internal theft – A member of staff could deliberately wipe all of your data and destroy all of your infrastructure. What’s more, data can be stolen. While this doesn’t happen very often a fired employee who has access to passwords could do some damage. Make sure you change passwords right away so there is no security risk.
- Damage to the hard drive – Data are typically stored on a hard drive, however, hard drives are very fragile. There can be too much humidity, too much heat, or too much movement. Hard drives should have a lot of ventilation, be kept still, and they should also be dusted. Finally, hard drives can wear down over time, which means they should be replaced regularly.
- Theft – When someone steals a computer you could lose all of the data that it contains. Mobile devices and laptops are more likely to be stolen than desktops. Data wiping or remote restoring can help to protect the data.
- Malware and viruses: These can come in many different forms. Malware can steal or even delete data. Ransomware withholds the data and you may have to accept your losses and get rid of your computer rather than negotiating.
- Corruption of Software – Software can be corrupted if a package crashes. To avoid this schedule shut-downs and encourage everyone to regularly save their work. Use a cloud-based software program as many of them have automatic saving features.
- Damage by Liquids – Damage caused by liquid being spilled on a computer is common. Hot drinks such as coffee are acidic and can damage the computer. Water has the ability to short the circuits. This is why it is vital to keep liquids away from computers and to make them waterproof.
Weather-related disasters – While you cannot predict bad weather such as a flood or even a fire they can compromise data. If you have been warned that a flood is likely to occur you should back up all of your systems. You may also want to move the systems so they are protected from flood waters.
Data Back-up: What Exactly is it?
When you back-up your data you are saving a copy of it. It also means you are saving a copy of it elsewhere and not just on your dongle. When you regularly back-up your data it means you will be able to have access to any data that would have been lost. When you are aware of the ways in which data can be lost you’re more likely to back it up.
There are 4 strategies to use when it comes to backing-up your data:
Offsite Back-up Using Hardware
Data are saved to files or tapes that are removable. They are stored in another location and is ideal if you wish to protect the data in case there is an emergency. However, this method does have a few disadvantages. It may be a slow and somewhat difficult method to use. When files or tapes are stored elsewhere it can increase the security risk and the cost. Finally, backing-up data this way may also take time as employees may be too busy to back-up quite as often as they should.
Localized Server Back-up
This is a very simple method to use and many small businesses do this. Every single file is copied and then saved to a server. The server is kept in the same place as all of the computers. Every single device is backed-up to the server. However, this option only works if single records or files are deleted but have to be retrieved. Lastly, if the building catches fire there’s always a chance that everything will be lost.
Offsite Only Back-up
Data is sent to a storage centre where it’s stored on a cloud-based program. Back-ups can take place regularly which ensures they are not skipped. This is a quick way to back-up data and it’s usually quite secure. Restoring data can take a lot of time but those smaller recovery tasks won’t take long. If restoration is required, it’s better to do it outside of office hours so there are fewer interruptions. This method is expensive, however, and a very stable internet connection is required.
Offsite and Onsite Back-up
An onsite server is used to back-up the data along with a cloud-based solution that’s location is somewhere remote, offsite. If there’s an issue with the data in the office the cloud-based storage will keep everything secure. This ensures that it can be restored quickly and easily.
Making it Easier to Back-up Data
- Train your team – Staff should know how to back-up data. Try to either centrally or back-up the data or ensure devices are manually backed-up. Ensure it is done before the close of business.
- Schedule backing-up – This is a good option if you’re unable to back-up your data automatically.
- Ensure it’s automatic – Operating systems and programs can be commanded so they back-up automatically.
Your Recovery Plan
You should have a recovery plan at the ready in case something should go wrong. The plan should guide your team through the situation. Backing-up your data is the plan’s first step and the second step is the plan you’ve made to retrieve it.
Retention of Data
You need to know where you data is stored and what is backed-up. You will need a copy of your files along with your infrastructure. While this process can take time to think about how long you can last without any of your IT systems.
You’ll need to facilitate the bringing back of data by using hardware. Recovery can be started from the storage site but it will also need to be established at your place of business. Will you have access to the hardware you need to can you have access to it when you need it and at short notice?
The whole recovery process need to be secure. You will also need to have a good internet connection that has a lot of security. This will help to protect the data while large amounts are being transferred.
Ensuring you back-up your data is essential. However, when disaster strikes the recovery process can be difficult. You need to ensure that your systems are back to normal as quickly as possible. You will need to come up with a plan of how you will deal with any situation. If you are unsure about how to back-up your data or how to make a plan you should consult your IT team.
It’s also essential that you test your systems so that you know they work in the event of data loss. Test sample restores at scheduled intervals so you know what to do. However, you may also want to outsource this job as an impartial team may be much better at retrieving the data. Ask your IT Team or the impartial team to work on the recovery planning with you. This will ensure you all have the same intentions and objectives.
Computers in the City, your Data backup provider
Computers in the City is London’s longest standing IT partner. With over 20 years’ experience, we can assist you to meet your IT support, digital security consulting and cloud computing needs. Let us improve the performance of your business computers. We’re proud to be local, offering 24-hour support in straightforward language that takes the stress out of IT support.