Why Backup is So Important

Many people like to start the day with a cup of coffee or tea – but did you know it could be dangerous to your business?

Spilled drinks are one of the top reasons for accidental breakdown of computers, which can lead to loss of valuable information. In most commercial environments, this data is more valuable than cash, so why do so many put it at risk?

When it comes to other parts of life, having a ‘backup’ is normal. For example, a spare tyre in the car for those unexpected punctures, plasters in the cupboard for cuts, or even a few tins of soup in the cupboard in the unlikely event there is no shop open anywhere for an unplanned snack!

However, there are still thousands of reports every year where people haven’t backed up essential data – and either lose it completely or have to go through lengthy and potentially expensive procedures to retrieve what they can.

Data loss can happen in many ways and the most common causes include the physical failure of a PC, accidental error, theft or disasters like fire, flood and of course the ubiquitous dropped coffee mugs!

There are also more sinister risks where an attacker could crash a computer’s operating system or data might be corrupted by a hardware problem.  Even the most technically savvy person can get caught out with a malicious email or website – which can create havoc throughout any network.

Whatever the risks– it is very important to back up all important information and have a plan for recovering from a system failure.

Spilled drinks vs Cloud Backup
"The keyboard... How quaint..."

- Montgomery Scott,Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

Cloud Backup

Creating Backups

The safest and easiest way to make sure you can recover data is to create backups.  This is where the system copies the computer’s information, so that these copies can be restored through a data recovery process after a fatal event.

Backups are useful because they provide the ability to restore a computer to an operational state following an accident – also known as disaster recovery – and to recover information files after they have been deleted or corrupted (file or data recovery).

Although backups are normally the last defence against data loss they are also the most important one – not least because they get overlooked regularly because they can take a bit of time to set up.  It is therefore one of those jobs that can be left until another time – often just after a disaster when the value of backup is really appreciated.  Would you prefer to lose everything that is important to your business rather than take that time out to protect it?

A 2007 University of Texas study showed that 43 percent of businesses that suffer major data loss never reopen. These problems aren’t always the result of a disaster. People make mistakes and in doing so can bring down any computer system if certain conditions are in place.

By just backing up data and having an effective disaster recovery plan in place can help mitigate these types of threat. You can be one of the surviving businesses if you think ahead.

What are the risks of disaster?

Apart from human error, accidents and natural, random disasters, such as power or hardware failures, software bugs, fire, flood, storms, etc, there are also a growing number of cyber crimes that threaten any computer system – from an individual’s laptop to a vast corporate network.

These include:

  • Phishing – sending emails pretending to be from an authority such as a bank, asking for personal details or directing the reader to a false website.
  • Ransomware – where an attacker hacks into an unprotected system and demands a fee for replacing lost data, which they have removed
  • Malware – a variety of malicious programs designed to compromise security for a number of different reasons
  • Water Holing – setting up a fake website or compromising a legitimate one to exploit visiting users
  • Spear Fishing – emails that contain attachments or links with malicious software
  • Botnets – delivery of a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack

These are just a few of the potential attacks and more are being devised all the time, to catch people out.

Let us help fix it
"I know this ship like the back of my hand!"

- Scotty,Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Minimising Threats

There are a few simple steps that can make sure your business doesn’t go under through loss of data.

Firstly it is important to establish what information is absolutely essential and how often it needs to be backed up – and by what means.

The options include:

  • Hosted cloud back up
  • Backing up drives regularly to a remote server
  • Backing up to a local source, but remember to take them offsite
  • Using storage media such as USB and other external drives

The type of recovery option you choose will depend on a number of factors such as the importance of the data, how easy it would be to replicate and what impact the loss of the information could have if not easily and speedily retrievable.

What is the same for everyone, is that a company that loses access to its critical data is likely to be out of business quickly. Data backup will allow for quick and successful recovery and is therefore an essential part of any business operation.

It makes sense to look at the procedures and systems in place on a regular basis to ensure that data is always protected and emergency recovery is a straightforward process.

Few car owners would go very long without a spare tyre in their boot – and the same goes for any business owners when it comes to making sure they can continue to drive their success and growth regardless of the potential threats in terms of data loss.

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