World Backup Day is not only a call to action for businesses to review their backup and security strategy but also a stark reminder of the value of business critical content. WD, a leading hard drive manufacturer, urges Small Medium Businesses (SMBs) to put together their own backup plan using its top five tips.
So why is backup so important to SMBs? Data is not only intangible and irreplaceable without a backup copy, but it is probably also the single most valuable asset of your business. The question is not IF you will lose your data, but WHEN. Whether it is due to accidental deletion by an absent-minded employee, intentional vandalism by a rogue vendor with access to your network, or a massive attack of thousands of infected computers, losing your data is a business reality. The question is, can you get your data back—and how fast?
According to a study carried out by Price Waterhouse Coopers a single incident of data loss costs businesses an average of $10,000¹. Gartner also reveals that 25% of all PC users suffer from data loss each year and that 80% of businesses that suffer a major data loss or failure for more than 24 hours close within a year ². Not properly backing up your data can result in data loss that can have a detrimental impact on business: damage to your brand, loss of customer trust, civil and/or criminal penalties, shareholder lawsuits, and more.
Says Anamika Budree, Western Digital Country Manager, South Africa: “Having a backup strategy is not only crucial for larger enterprises. Many small businesses don’t expect the worst case scenario of losing all their data through fire, flooding, cybercrime, corrupt data or damage to hard drives. The results can be devastating if this information cannot be retrieved.”
Whether they’re personal or professional, digital content and important files are invaluable and often irreplaceable if lost or compromised. WD has put together some tips for SMBs that want to reduce the risk of data loss
1. Keep your data and applications backed up
Often, businesses do not consider backing up their applications when they devise their backup solution. They back up the data files they create, but they often do not think to back up the installed software and operating system files. It is important to create an image of your servers and computers to make sure that the data, applications, and operating system can be completely and seamlessly recovered to their “pre-disaster” status.
2. Point of recovery time – what lifespan of data is the most important?
Backup systems are quite flexible regarding how much historical data they can recover. Do you always need to recover the last six months of data? Is having the most recent weeks’ worth of data all you really need? The point of recovery date and time are an important consideration.
3. Online or on site – you should not only backup the data locally, but also keep a copy in off-site storage to ensure faster data disaster recovery times.
You may want to also consider cloud services found on NAS drives like WD Sentinel which offers users the ability to connect to a “public cloud” storage provider, giving businesses an economical and integrated disaster recovery solution against earthquake, theft and fire or water damage. In the event of a natural or man-made disaster, an SMB could lose everything if its place of business were compromised. WD Sentinel also performs automatic daily backups so all of the files on up to 25 computers in your network are backed up and protected and offers complete data protection with built-in hardware and software redundancy for all of the connected devices in the network.
4. Test. Test. Test – The only thing worse than not backing up your data is not properly backing up your data.
Imagine that a disaster strikes your neighborhood and all your business data is completely destroyed. If you go to recover your data and find out your backups are corrupted, the wrong files are backed up, or some other terrible scenario has occurred, what will you do? Test your backups to make sure that your data is properly backed up.
5. Don’t forget your servers – Your business data is not just what’s in the “My Documents” folder
The data in your email server, application server, and any other servers you use (including your website and hosted data) must be backed up as well.
¹Price Waterhouse Cooper Study 2008: Information Security Survey
²Gartner Research Group