Cyber crimes like hacking, data theft, and malware attacks are on the rise. These crimes are not only increasing in numbers, but they have also become more complex and advanced in their techniques. Earlier, cyber attacks were limited to large, multi-million dollar businesses, but not anymore. With the growing number of small and medium-sized businesses, data security has become a big issue for smaller organizations as well.
If you’re a small business owner, you must already be aware of the importance of data for your business. As long as your data is safe, your business will survive and thrive. Even the smallest of errors in protecting your business’s data can result in catastrophic consequences that aren’t limited to financial losses alone. Having a solid and bulletproof small business data backup strategy has become a must now.
Now, the question arises, how can you create a fool-proof business backup strategy? What are the steps you should take to design an effective data backup plan that will help you in data protection? We invite you to read on to learn everything about it, and more!
Establishing a Bulletproof Small Business Data Backup Strategy: An Overview
Data backup will help you protect your business’s data and its reputation in the industry. It will ensure that even in case of breaches, you don’t end up losing anything valuable. Not only this, but a comprehensive data backup plan also helps safeguard you from issues like hardware failure, consequences of natural disasters, employee error, drive failure, and so much more.
It helps you in quick disaster recovery and ensures that you’re always in control of the situation. In today’s fast-paced digital world, having a good data backup strategy helps you stay in control of the situation and not give in to the demands of the cybercriminal. Because the moment you let the attacker overpower you, your business will end up losing money, customers, and credibility.
When it comes to an ideal data backup plan for small businesses, we recommend following the 3-2-1 backup strategy. The 3-2-1 backup strategy involves three crucial elements.
In this strategy, you need to have three copies of your business’s data that are stored in two different media; where one copy is kept in a safe off-site location (on-site and Offsite backup).The most popular offsite backup options include cloud services and tape backup.
The 3-2-1 backup strategy removes the loopholes and loose ends from your data backup plan and ensures that your business’s data, records, files, and drives are thoroughly protected. This strategy is especially helpful in the remote work setup where you aren’t sure about the safety of your employees’ devices.
Essentials of a Good Data Backup Strategy
Now that we have discussed the ideal data backup strategy for small businesses, let’s understand the basic requirements of such a strategy. Here are some things you must consider while creating your data backup plan.
The first step in creating a solid data backup plan is assessing the security risks to your business. Analyzing future risks will help you estimate the consequences of any data breaches.
It will also give you a clear idea about any vulnerable links within your organization and what you can do to strengthen these. After a well-conducted risk assessment, you will have a pretty clear idea about what to back up and how often you should do it.
Analyze Your Budget
When it comes to data backup, there are several storage options available out there. Different storage options like hard drives, cloud, tape backup, etc. are priced differently.
You need to analyze your budget and your requirements before making your choice. You will need to consider and compare the speed, scalability, and accessibility of each storage method.
The data storage option you choose should be able to support quick data recovery. In case of emergencies, if you’re unable to quickly retrieve your data, it will affect your business operations, thereby increasing your losses. Recovery services offered should meet or exceed your recovery objectives.
Small businesses are scaling up pretty quickly today. With excellent business opportunities and technological advancements, chances are high that your small business will experience tremendous growth in the not-so-distant future. This also means that you’ll need to store more and more data for backup.
Buying a storage device is a significant investment. So, make sure to choose a storage option that will support your growth and help you keep up with your fast-growing business.
Select the Right Data Backup Methods
When it comes to data backup, there are several methods and devices you can go for. After analyzing your business needs and goals, you can either choose hardware, cloud, or hybrid storage options. However, for better results, we recommend going for a combination of these storage methods.
Here are some of the most common and tested data backup methods/devices that you can use to design a bulletproof data backup plan for your business.
Hard Disk-Based Backup
External hard disks and drives are one of the most popular data storage devices. While it is slightly expensive, it is also incredibly fast and reliable. It stays in your workplace and you can immediately use it when the need arises. However, while external drives offer good speed, they are also prone to issues like natural disasters, drive failure, and more.
Cloud backup, on the other hand, is quite affordable for small businesses. However, when the volume of your data increases, the costs may also rise, depending on your plan. Cloud-based backups are an excellent alternative to on-site backup options like hard disks and flash drives. They are not only disaster-proof but very scalable and reliable, too.
The only downside of backing up your entire data workflow on the cloud is that the speed of recovery will depend on your bandwidth’s speed. During an emergency, if you have poor bandwidth, recovering your data will become difficult.
Hybrid Backup Method
Hybrid backup offers you the best of both worlds. With a hybrid backup strategy, you can combine on-site backups (hard disks, flash drives, etc) and cloud backups. Doing so will ensure that your risks are diversified and you are not solely dependent on any one storage method.
With the hybrid backup model, you can keep your company’s highly sensitive data on the premises while storing the other files, data, and records in the cloud. It will help you save money while also boosting data security.
An ideal 3-2-1 backup strategy must contain multiple layers of protection to minimize the chances of any significant data losses. Apart from this, make sure to always go for experienced backup vendors. Such vendors may be a little bit more expensive, but you will also receive high-quality services and protection from them. And when it comes to your business’s data safety, cutting costs shouldn’t be an option.
Things to Remember While Creating Your Small Business Data Backup Strategy
Now that we’ve talked about everything related to creating a solid data backup strategy, let’s look at some essential points you must remember while creating your backup and disaster recovery plan.
Make sure to choose a backup device that matches the pace of your growing business. If you expect high business growth in the next few months, it is better to invest more money and go for a backup option that can handle large volumes of data.
Don’t store your data only in the cloud. Make sure to have a copy of your data on a hard disk or any other secured external drive.
Take all necessary precautions to protect your backups from theft or tampering.
While estimating the cost of a data backup strategy, don’t forget to consider factors like regular maintenance, cost of installation, employee training, and more.
Make sure to automate your backup processes. This will ensure that your backups will automatically run on a fixed schedule and nobody has to manually execute the task.
In today’s fast-paced technological world where cyber crimes are on a rise, having a solid data backup plan is no longer a choice. Whether you run a large business, a new startup or anything in-between, you need to think about future threats and take action now. Make sure to save this post and go through it again (or as many times as you need) while coming up with a data backup and recovery plan that fits your business perfectly.
Tech Masters helps business owners create rock-solid business data backup strategies that protect assets and increase productivity. Contact us today with questions and to claim your free business IT assessment.
To learn more about business data backup strategy, check out our frequently asked questions below.
What is the 3-2-1 rule for backups?
The 3-2-1 backup rule says that you must have three copies of your business’s data that are stored in two different locations and at least one copy must be kept in a safe off-site location.
What are the three strategies for backups?
The three common backup strategies include:
- Full backup
- Incremental backup
- Differential backup
What is a mirror backup?
Mirror backup is a backup strategy that includes making the exact copies of the data, files, and folders present on your computer. It is the exact replica of your data backed up from the original source and saved in any other backup location.
How often should I perform backups?
The answer is that you should do regular backups, daily backups, or even sooner, to protect your business continuity. Business continuity is imperative to your success. Regular backups protect against human error, disasters, and theft. They’re always there when disaster strikes to add an extra layer of protection.
How can I protect my business even more?
Work with all your key decision makers on backup planning to solidify your stategy going forward and make sure everyone knows all security basics and the biggest security risks, performs software updates, avoids common passwords, understands backup recovery, knows how to recognize different types of attack, how off-site and premises backups differ and function, what your cloud-based backup provider offers, your backup frequency, and all other security practices. And don’t forget to use anti-spam software.
Why are cloud backup services important for my business?
Features offered by cloud storage options and their full security suite, should include automation for your backups, ample backup storage, a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, several levels of protection, an intuitive and streamlined backup process, protection for unplanned incidents and accidental deletion, a range of backup schedules, customer service addressing security concerns and security issues, additional applications, plenty of security tips, a solution for every recovery situation, strong password protection with encryption, recovery of past versions within your file history, a quick recovery time and more.
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