Cyber-crime and data loss are ever increasing in today’s technology-reliant society. The loss of important company data and client records can be damaging for businesses. If you are yet to experience some level of data loss, you may be considered one of the lucky ones.
There is always the risk of an accident or malicious behaviour impacting your business’ data. To avoid this happening to your business, we explain how you can protect your data through backup methods, and set yourself up for a secure future.
Identify the important files you need to backup
Firstly, you will need to identify which data or files are most important to your business. Most commonly, this is customer billing history, client details and work history, contracts and so forth. For these essential documents, it is often best to consider multiple backup solutions. Depending on the documents sizes and importance, you may wish to store copies on at least two of the following methods.
USBs, Flash Drives or External Hard Drives
Every business has a random drawer filled with these small, portable storage devices. USBs are useful for storing and transferring files from one device to another. However, the amount of storage is restrictive, and they are often easily misplaced or damaged due to their size.
External hard drives are probably the most popular backup method used by small businesses. Unfortunately, similar to a USB, hard drives have a reputation for failing at any time without notice or warning.
Using Remote Storage
To ensure your backup efforts are not in vain, you should store your backup data off-site or at least off-sever. This means that your backups will remain viable and recoverable even if your central server is compromised. Remote storage can be done using a physical dedicated server or a cloud-based server.
Investing in and implementing a cloud backup truly is the most viable and trusted solution. To transfer and store your data on the cloud, you can individually select the files or sync your entire device. Cloud data is stored in a secure location with a form of encryption, ensuring your data is always protected.
How often should you be backing up your data?
To effectively backup your data, you will need to ensure you are backing up your data frequently and regularly. The frequency of how often you backup your data will depend on how often your data is updated. For example, if critical data is continuously updated your business will need a more frequent backup schedule.
How long do you need to store your old backups?
Once you have determined the frequency of your backups, you will need to consider how long each backup should be retained. Storing every backup simply is not feasible and it can limit the amount of storage space available to your business.
Depending on industry standards, there may also be legal requirements imposed upon your business to retain certain data for a set period. Most commonly, businesses will retain their monthly or bi-annual data backups for as long as possibly allowed by their servers.
Encrypting and Protecting Your Backups
Depending on the data contained in your backups, you may need to secure the data in an off-site location. Physical data centres provide several security features to physically protect your data. However, it is always best to encrypt your files to ensure your data is protected if a breach was to occur.
It is best to stay updated on your security hardware and software. Doing this will ensure that it is working at its highest performance capability. Staying up-to-date with new updates will keep your system working with the most current anti-malware and antivirus protection.
Website and Database backup
No business is ever exempt or safe from hackers. Many say small businesses are ‘too small to be hacked’; however, this makes them a perfect target. Here are a two methods to implement a secure backup for your site:
- Request a copy of your website and database files from your developers and secure these in a nearby location.
- Often the best and most secure solution is to implement a cloud backup of your entire site. Doing this, allows you to restore the previous version of your site before it was hacked.