You are Backup Up? Right?

As an owner of a small business, you may not have the luxury of employing someone full time to look after the security of the information your company holds about your employees and customers. That said, there are some very basic things you can do to ensure that you remain as secure as possible. One such item is having good backups of your data. Not only is this good practice in case of the inevitable hardware failure, but if you should become the victim an attack, your data could be compromised, deleted, or otherwise altered.

Choosing a backup strategy is your first step (well admitting you have a backup problem is really the first step LOL!). Depending on your needs, a simple external USB drive may be enough. It’s inexpensive and be disconnected and moved to a safe location when not in use. I mention this as if you do have a physical event at your location, the device could be stolen or damaged in a fire or some natural disaster.

Another way to backup is some sort of RAID solution such as a Drobo. This automatically makes copies of your data over multiple disks in one enclosure. The advantage here is that you could loose one or more drives and your data is still most likely usable. The downside here is that a RAID type device is usually large and heavy and moving it to a safe place, especially when it’s used in production is problematic.

Another way to go that will give you the backup you need and an offsite solution is backing up to the cloud. There are many services out there but I won’t venture to comment on which is best. That is something you should determine based on your needs and budget. Now there are some downfalls that I have seen personally. I’ve been engaged with a media company that has about 70GB of data (videos, photos, etc). Backing up this data took about one year. You do of course have a portion of your data in their cloud at any one point, but to get it all up there takes time over a moderately fast internet connection. The downfall here is if the company you are trusting with your data either goes out of business or changes their business model. This happened to the company I mentioned above. While they did offer migration plans to other paid services both with their new brand / offering or with another company, the media company in question would have to start their backup all over again and that would take about another year.

So the bottom line is:

  • Backup
  • If possible, keep a copy of the backup offsite
  • If your backup needs are larger than the norm, the cloud may be the answer, but look for a company that has and might be around for a while
  • Look at other storage mediums such as tape. (This is slow and the hardware can be costly).

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