As we work in the cloud we hear lots of stories from both customers and accountants and the following is atypical of someone that has one foot in the cloud and the other firmly planted in the old way of storing data.
You are working in your office as you are placing invoice amounts into your computer and ensuring payments have been made to vendors when suddenly the power goes out. The monitor screen goes dark as there is nothing you can do to get back into the accounting software. When the power comes back on, you are able to breathe a sigh of relief. The accounting software you use automatically creates backups so you don’t lose any data information.
Unfortunately, your employees’ computers did not fare so well during the power outage. Records and data are missing, hampering daily operations. Your employees spend the rest of the day inputting missing data back into your databases.
Data backup a necessity for small businesses
Very few businesses can go through daily operations without using some type of computer system. Whether you are scheduling car repair appointments or taking order payments, you are gathering and using different types of data. This data is important to your operations as well as your record keeping for tax purposes. Yet there are a number of ways that you can lose this data:
- natural disasters, such as fire or flooding, destroying computers
- negligent or intentional data erasure by employees
- lost or stolen computer systems
- cyberattacks designed to crash network systems
- malware and viruses corrupts computer hardware
By implementing data backup, you can retrieve data, applications and network configurations to get your operations running again with the least amount of downtime that can negatively impact revenue. Many cloud-based applications have automatic backup configurations so you don’t have to manually backup data for certain applications and computer systems.
Selecting the right data backup
There are many different types of data backup available. So you can select the one that fits into your business budget and gives you peace of mind that you can retrieve data if there is a problem. Offline backup options include placing data on offline media such as DVDs, CDs, Blu-rays and tape drives. Online backup can include online backup services, private clouds, NAS and DAS storage. Most small businesses will invest in both online and offline data backup so they always have access to a copy of their data in case a problem affects their other data backup system.
Selecting the right data backup will also be based on the amount of information that your business needs to operate. When trying to back up large volumes of client and customer data, the costs can add up. So understanding what data you really need to save for certain periods of time and what data can be deleted allows you to better manage your information systems. Before backing up computer data, here are several tips to keep in mind.
- remove redundant and obsolete data
- encrypt data to prevent data breach compromises
- store offline data backup media in a secure location
- old offline data backup media should have the information completely removed before being destroyed
Small businesses can no longer ignore the equipment and revenue costs they will face if something goes wrong with their computer systems. Invest in a periodic data backup plan and systems so your operations can keep running.