Businesses of all sizes need data backup. It’s that simple. If you don’t have a data backup and a disaster recovery strategy in place, you’re taking a big risk with your business’s future.
Because, as industry leaders like Microsoft are constantly reminding us, cybercrime is on the rise in a big way.
And as with almost everything in business, taking small preventative measures like backing up your data now is always going to be more cost-effective than a big spend on disaster recovery if the worst happens.
What is data backup?
A data backup is essentially a clean copy of your business’s most important files that resides in a secondary location.
The backup is there in the event that something compromises your original files. It safeguards your ability to work and earn when you would otherwise be completely shut down.
You should keep multiple (arguably at least three) copies of your business data:
- Locally – usually kept on the business premises, a local copy is most beneficial when it’s in a different format to the original.
- On the cloud – a cloud backup is beneficial because it’s offsite (protecting you against physical threats like fire, flood, or theft). Do note that this isn’t the same as cloud storage.
Why should you back up your business data?
It’s important to understand that businesses without modern cybersecurity precautions like a data backup in place are essentially living on borrowed time.
Thousands of businesses every year only realise they should have acted sooner when they suffer a data breach and end up with:
- Lost customers – over 20% of companies that are victims of a cyberattack or data loss lose customers too because they forfeit consumer trust.
- Lost revenue and opportunities – 29% of businesses that suffer cyberattacks also lose revenue, while around 1 in 4 can list serious business opportunities that were then cancelled.
- Lost reputation – over 50% of organisations that are cybercrime victims then receive scrutiny and lose brand reputation
Plus, as more and more businesses act to protect themselves against the rising wave of cybercrime (not to mention classic viruses, malware, and spyware), those that are left become the low-hanging fruit of the digital landscape.
Having a regularly backed up, clean copy of your data is a vital component of any cyber security strategy. A backup protects you against physical threats and hardware malfunction too.
What data should your business back up?
After recognising that data backup should be a standard part of the way any modern business operates, many leaders find themselves wondering which of their records and files actually need to get “the treatment”.
All of the following should be part of any good data management strategy:
- HR and personnel data – all files, documents, and records relating to past and present employees, including payroll and pensions, should probably be backed up daily.
- Administrative and legal data – business plans, insurance policies, patents and Intellectual Property records, leases, and even your sales strategies and marketing materials. Recreating it all from scratch is difficult, if not impossible.
- Email data – an often-overlooked set of data is your business email accounts. What would you do if you lost all of the information contained in them tomorrow?
- Financial data – a major target for hackers and cybercriminals of all kinds, all bank statements, expense details, receipts, revenue and inventory records, and more should be backed up daily too.
- Compliance – don’t neglect the often harsh penalties levied at companies that fail to back up employees’ and customers’ personal, financial, and legal data.
Does my business need data backup?
Yes. No modern business can claim it doesn’t need to back up its data. Even the smallest home-based business should carry out simple backups. Medium-size companies approaching ten people or more should have a full disaster recovery plan in place.
The process of data backup can be straightforward – usually automatic if you plan it right. It’s also very cost-effective. Especially when compared to the financial disaster that lost data can result in.
Start putting a data management strategy in place today. You’ll then have a data backup that will protect your business’s productivity from tomorrow onwards.
Not sure where to start with data management?
Let’s chat. Dial A Geek is the team nearly 1000 businesses in and around Bristol used for their cybersecurity.
Set up a free, no-commitment chat with Chief Geek Gildas Jones and talk through your situation today.