Losing critical data can be disastrous for small businesses. According to the studies, half of the companies that have lost their data folded within six months of the catastrophe. Though, it is not surprising, given that the hard drive recovery process is tedious, time-consuming, and expensive. This is the importance of data backup and disaster recovery (BDR) strategy in small businesses.
Small businesses may not seem the type of business that will lose a lot compared to more prominent enterprises. Nonetheless, business is business no matter how little exposure it has. This small company is run and operated by money. In whatever form, it has been established as a form of investment. There is so much to lose, and things are always at stake.
Technology Has One of the Greatest Impact on the Market
Living in this era where almost everything is done with the help of technology, everyone is accountable for their actions. People can’t deny the fact that technology has made things easier, if not better, for the most parts of livelihood. Businesses have a new way of positioning its products to the market in just a click away. Surveys and benchmarking have gone a long way with just one click. All data that businesses collect from its customers are neatly stored in the form of folders and zips in computers.
It is all fine until those computers are damaged or destroyed. While technology has improved a lot in the past years, some aspects still need enhancement. Technology is developed by people, same as machines are made by man. This goes to show that humanity must remain careful about what and how things should be used. Business can acquire data in a snap, and they can also lost it just as fast.
Understanding the Need for Data Backup in Small Business
There are a lot of ways that a company can lose its data, like a cyber attack, human error, or a natural disaster. Data loss is expensive and puts the company at high risk, so it is critical for small businesses to have its own data backup and recovery solution. However, a lot of business owners do not seem to understand how vital having a backup and data recovery plan is. Here are reasons why it is needed:
- It safeguards against natural disasters. Blizzards, earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters are uncontrollable and can cause downtime in businesses. Research has indicated that a week of data downtime can lead to closure. A BDR strategy can ensure that any downtime caused by natural disasters won’t compromise your business.
- It reduces effects of cyber attacks. Hackers are becoming even more aggressive in their attacks against small businesses. Having a backup and recovery plan can mitigate the impact of a cyber attack and secure your business’ crucial data and files.
- It protects clients. Companies that store a lot of sensitive client data can’t afford to let this information fall into the wrong hands. A BDR plan makes sure that all this data be stored correctly and controlled. No need to worry about compromising your clients and damaging the company’s reputation.
- It secures company from systems failure. Machines, hardware, and other office systems will inevitably fail at some point. Even businesses that have invested in high-end technology will face glitches. A solid BDR plan will have safeguards for this.
How to Successfully Backup Data
When it comes to data protection, backup and recovery, the rule of thumb is if the data affect the business when it is lost, then it should be backed up. The software can be reinstalled if needed, but recovering key documents is tricky. Here is how you can backup your data successfully:
Archive Important Data
Archiving company data is essential for your company to survive. There are two steps to doing this – identifying what information has to be filed and utilizing an archiving method on a regular basis.
All documents that your business creates should be backed up regularly. This means everything from company emails, accounting files, spreadsheets, and photos. You can make the process simpler by keeping all documents that need to be archived on a single drive. Companies don’t need to archive software programs and other executables but if you can, then do so.
Once every key data to be archived has been selected, install a good backup software program that will archive all these documents regularly. A lot of software has features that allow the company to set a specific time for data to be automatically archived. If possible, data backup should be done over the company’s network and backed up files should be kept on a different hard drive.
Developing Physical Backups
Companies should have physical backups of their files in case of computer failure or damage. After all, you never know if someone would accidentally spill coffee on their laptop and ruin all the documents stored there. While data recovery services can help, it is still better to be safe than sorry.
Save your backups to another media weekly. However, the process should be done more often if your company generates a lot of data everyday. There are several mediums where you can transfer your files, like external hard drives, USB drives, the cloud, tapes, and DVDs. Each of which has its own underlying pros and cons.
Designate an Offsite Data Backup System
It does not matter if companies are meticulously backing up their data if all the copies are stored in just one place, and a disaster hits that location. The only way to ensure that your company data is really secure is to save it in an offsite location. Cloud backup is one way to do this, although it still comes with particular concerns.
A lot of companies store copies of their data backup in security boxes while some small businesses save copies of business records at different locations, like the homes of company officials. The site does not matter; what is essential is the offsite area is secured, and you have access to it.
No matter how much a company prepares to safeguard against data loss, certain situations are beyond their control, like a cyber attack, technical malfunction, or a natural disaster. While data recovery services can help, it is infinitely better to have a reliable backup and data recovery plan in place.