With storage cheap and plentiful, SMBs process more data than ever before. It also means that loss of such data can hit the business hard in the hip pocket. So it’s worth devising a solid data backup strategy for your business.

Many smaller businesses skimp on their data backup, considering it too expensive or time-consuming. But with events like hardware failure, natural disasters, malicious software and ordinary human error waiting to decimate your data, it’s not a matter of if it happens but when. In short, backup is your digital insurance policy. Here are some tips on how to get your data backups in order.

Decide what’s mission-critical

Your backup strategy depends primarily on what you can’t afford to lose. Customer records? Project files? Financial or sales data? Think about what it would cost the business if you had to wait a day, a week or a month to get everything back. This can help you decide how much you are willing to spend to avert such a disaster.

Choose a backup technology

Many SMBs still rely on traditional backup tools such as USB drives and blank DVDs. These should be considered a temporary solution at best because they only offer a basic level of reliability and you need to remember to manually copy your files.

Always avoid backup solutions based on copy command. These are not proper backups and won’t help you when you need to restore anything. These solutions only make you feel good that there is a backup system in place! But won’t help you when you really need it which is when a disaster strikes!

If you prefer to keep your backup files on-site, a RAID configuration can offer an extra level of protection by automatically duplicating your data across several hard disks, keeping it safe if one of them fails. RAID storage is usually network attached so that anyone in the business who needs it can access it.

Of course, this requires purchasing all the necessary hardware, yet your data is still vulnerable if your office is damaged or compromised. We would recommend avoiding having all your backup files in one media or in one physical location. We recommend always keeping a copy of the backup media off-site.

There are two ways to run off-site backup:

  • Sets of USB hard disks to be swapped by one ofthe staff members every day and kept offsite.
  • Automated cloud based replication, which comeswith monthly fee for cloud storage

Recent years cloud-based backup solutions have become popular with SMBs, they are available for clients who want a fully automated off-site backup solution providing 100% peace of mind that your critical data is date without changing and taking backup drives off-site every day. Some important things to consider before choosing a cloud provider include:

  • Recovery time

    The “restore process” is just as important. Some solutions provide fast restore, some provide slower restore. Some also restore the system settings, some only data. It’s important to decide what needs to be achieved.

  • Encryption

    Cloud storage can still get hacked by malicious outsiders. It’s always a good idea to enable encryption on your backups. That way, if you lose data, it’s not compromised.

  • Bandwidth

    A good internet connection is critical for the successful and smoothly of backup

Regardless of the backup strategy you choose, it’s important to test it on a regular basis. This can give you peace of mind that if your data is compromised, you’ll be able to recover quickly and get back to business.