Efficient Backup Strategies for Small Businesses

Employees must know how to back up computer data at regular intervals. Additionally, they must know which files should be backed up.

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Data, as a collection of knowledge, gives power to every kind of organization. It is definitely one of the most important assets that must always be protected and secured, especially in this age where more than 10 million records are compromised on a daily basis. Negligence of data protection can completely jeopardize an organization. A survey on SMBs revealed that 60 percent of those who fall victim to data loss shut down their operations within six months. That’s how crucial data is, and that’s also why data backup must be practiced, making computer backup software a must.

While there are plenty of options on where data can be stored for safekeeping, it’s important to determine first which ones have the capacity to serve the purpose of data backup. Ontrack suggests that Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) must be considered before choosing a backup storage. RPO will determine the length of time data will be effective while RTO will be the basis on the length of time the business can function without the data. When these two are clarified, it will be easier to choose a backup strategy that is apt for the business’ needs. This will also help businesses choose the best computer backup software that could speed up and secure the whole backup process.

The common forms of backup are the following: Direct Attached Storage (DAS), Network Attached Storage (NAS), Disaster Protected Storage and Cloud Storage. External hard drives and optical media are some examples of DAS and are commonly used by individuals and small business users.  External HDDs are usually plugged using USB 2.0 or 3.0 ports. This type can be effective to those who do not need a minute-to-minute file update and can do with just a few backup sessions per week. NAS, on the other hand, doesn’t need to be directly attached to PCs because its device connects directly to the network. This is also why it can be more convenient for those who need to share files within the network of computers. Files can be easier to recover compared to DAS but this will require bigger storage capacity.

Disaster Protected Storage can either be a NAS or a DAS. The difference is it’s built with features that could withstand fire and flood. Cloud Storage uses either public or private hosted cloud for data storage. This option is becoming more popular because it is cost-effective and can be more up-to-date than its counterparts thanks to its synchronization feature.

It is best, though, to have at least two backup solutions: one that can be accessed easily by the employees, and another that is off-site so it could be far from physical disasters that might strike the office.  The easily accessible backup is critical so that business operations can still continue in case of data theft. Once data retrieval and system restoration are in place, the business can resume its regular operations. The backups could power industries that cannot afford downtime and data loss while the damages are still being assessed and repaired. Meanwhile, a remote backup is a countermeasure to data loss brought by natural disasters or physical theft.

More than having an excellent storage, SMBs should also be keen on training their staff about data backup. It is not enough to rely on cloud backup’s synchronization or to rely on the IT department to do everything related to data protection. There must be a company-wide awareness of data and information security. Employees must know how to back up computer data at regular intervals. Additionally, they must know which files should be backed up. Since storage space is quite precious, it shouldn’t be wasted on data that aren’t quite essential.

This is where RPO will again become significant. It is also imperative that employees and even company executives know what makes a secure data backup. They have to know the best practices that must be followed or the most effective computer backup software whenever backing up important company data. Lastly, they have to be sure that the backups work. All the effort will be futile when the backups fail to function at the greatest time of need.