Whatever your line of business, backing up your data is essential. Whether you hold vast amounts of sensitive customer data or you simply work with files that need to be kept safe, it makes sense to have a copy in case of loss through hardware failure, a targeted attack by a hacker, or even a natural disaster. Here we examine the reasons backing up is so important, and your options when it comes to choosing how you do it:

Why should I back up my data?

Data loss can be absolutely catastrophic for a business. It pays to be prepared for all eventualities, as there are any number of scenarios which could result in data loss, most of which are unpredictable and in some cases unpreventable.

  • Small mistakes can mean big losses: Could your business continue to function if all your existing files, data and even software suddenly disappeared? Most firms don’t have the time or the disposable cash to start from scratch, yet by leaving your data without backing up you’re taking a huge risk. Through basic human error, a small security breach, a flood in your workplace or a malicious attack, everything could be lost.
  • Hackers often target small businesses: Far from being too insignificant to be of interest to malicious hackers, viruses and ransomware, small businesses may in fact be deliberately targeted due to a lack of security precautions or expertise. If you keep a full and regular backup of your system, you can avoid the hassle and expense of paying a ransom, and simply restore everything to a time before the attack.
  • Natural disasters could be a business disaster: This is one key reason why an off-site backup is so important. If your in-house servers are destroyed due to fire, flood or other unpreventable occurrence, you’ll need to rely on a copy of your data that’s kept elsewhere.

The best way to protect your critical data

There are a number of options available to enterprises who want to ensure business continuity in the event of accidental or malicious data loss or data breach. For the best protection, it’s advisable to use a combination of backup methods.

Onsite backup: Put simply, an onsite backup creates a copy of your data, stored in the same building but on a separate device. Many businesses choose to use Network Attached Storage (NAS), which effectively acts as an external hard drive on the network. Some larger organisations opt for a Storage Area Network (SAN) which essentially employs the same concept with a higher level of performance and flexibility.

You can set data to sync to a NAS automatically according to whatever schedule you feel is most appropriate. We recommend you do a full backup frequently, and an incremental backup (adding only new or edited files) daily. It’s a good idea to set the daily backup to happen outside of normal working hours so that it doesn’t affect the speed or performance of your system.
When setting up your backup procedure, be especially aware of security, as backups to NAS devices can be susceptible to encryption by ransomware. If this happens, both your original data and your backup could be lost!

Backup to the cloud:

Offsite backup is essential in order to protect your data from being lost through equipment theft or a natural disaster. Backing up to the cloud can be a simple and stress-free solution that will help you retrieve your data quickly and easily if necessary.

Ensure that the cloud storage provider you are using will encrypt your data, and use strong passwords on all your accounts for maximum security. Depending on the nature of your data, you may also need to make sure the server is also based in your own country to comply with general data protection regulations – the dreaded GDPR.

Use a backup service provider:

If you’re not sure on the best method for backing up your business data, talking to the experts is a worthwhile decision. From advice on the most suitable software or hardware you should be using, to implementing and maintaining a regular backup schedule on your behalf, the peace of mind of knowing your critical data is safe is priceless.

At Custard, we offer a range of data backup and disaster recovery solutions for businesses. Not only can we help you restore your systems in the event of full or partial data loss, through whatever cause, we can also
minimise your downtime and ensure you’re properly prepared and protected.