Monday morning, and you’re back to the grind. As you walk into your downtown office, the long faces telegraph a sense that something is wrong.
In fact, things are more than wrong — all your company’s sensitive data got wiped. And you have no one to blame but yourself. Sure, you always intended to look into some type of data backup process, but this time around your efforts were too little too late. If you could only turn back the clock and have a do-over, you would certainly make sure your company’s data was not subject to such a disastrous end.
Fortunately, this scenario is hypothetical, illustrating a situation after the data was already lost. But your company does not have to suffer this unfortunate data disaster. You can take actions now to protect your precious data from such a calamity.
Flash drives for everyone
If your company does not require massive data storage and backup options, it may be sufficient to simply provide your employees with flash drives for general data backup purposes. The advantage of using flash drives is that they are cheap and portable, so it’s affordable and easy to have numerous flash drives with redundant copies of important company data. Being portable means that it is easy to use flash drives to keep backup copies both in-house and on your person at all times.
Network-attached storage systems
Network Attached Storage systems, or NAS systems, are configured to hook directly into your company’s network. Generally, these types of storage systems are intended for backing up greater volumes of data than would typically fit on other portable data storage devices. NAS systems typically harbor multiple storage drives and offer redundancy in the form of RAID capabilities, so in the case of large in-house data storage and backup management requirements, multiple NAS systems may provide the ability to keep data securely backed up without the need for an external data storage service company.
Although backing up data offsite is a convenient way to protect a business’s data from fire, water damage, or other disasters, this option could make your most sensitive data less secure than if it were kept on-site. A NAS system can better protect your data from accidentally being compromised by outsiders.
Some companies worry that in-house data backup options cannot sufficiently ensure that data is well maintained. Alternatively, many companies can’t afford in-house servers and data backup equipment. A simple solution to both of these problems is to send your company’s data to the cloud.
Cloud-based storage and data backup methods eliminate the need to worry about in-house disasters wiping out primary and secondary data backup repositories. In addition, data stored in the cloud is easily deployed to multiple business locations at a moment’s notice so that any of your business’s locations can access vital company data on demand.
Another major advantage to cloud-based data storage and backup methods is that most cloud services allow for automatic scalability, so as your data storage and backup needs grow, your space on the cloud is scaled to fit your actual data storage needs. This eliminates the need to scale in-house with expensive equipment as your data storage needs increase. The burden of infrastructure costs rests with the cloud service provider.
As for security, cloud services generally monitor stored data better than most small companies can afford to secure their backed-up data in-house.
Data is a precious commodity in today’s business world. The more sensitive and important your company data, the more serious thought must go into ensuring that your data is properly backed up. Though many data backup devices and repositories exist to make backing up your data possible, data security, cost and portability are important factors that must be considered when establishing a comprehensive data backup strategy.
Want more data backup best practices? See Data Protection: Top Tips For The Small Business.