If you are operating in the global economy, you are probably aware that cybercrime is on the rise. In fact, there has been a staggering 600% increase in cybercrime since the beginning of the pandemic. But despite this fact, many small companies fail to take the appropriate security measures and protect their data. Research has found that just one in four small businesses has a backup strategy or disaster recovery plan in place. This lack of planning might cause a halt in operations or even lead to an enterprise going out of business.
Having a backup strategy is an absolute must. All of your important company data must be incrementally backed up, and you must ensure that you can retrieve it in case of an emergency. Continue reading to find out how to develop an effective backup strategy for your small business.
1. Evaluate Your Backup Options
The market for data backup is large and is constantly evolving, so companies can choose from a wide range of options. The first thing to decide is whether you will use hardware, software, or a combination of these.
Backup hardware is a disk-based appliance that is housed in a data center. In a typical configuration, the storage device will have software that controls the backup data. Copies of the data are stored on the hardware.
A data center is not necessary when using software and the cloud. As a result, troubleshooting is simpler from any location, which is quite beneficial when staff members work remotely. On-premises backup is more difficult to set up, manage, and maintain than cloud backup. In fact, enterprises can pick cloud backup that delegates administration to the provider if they choose to take a hands-off approach.
If this sounds like something you’d prefer, consider a solution like NAS. But what is NAS backup software and why should you consider using it? Network-attached storage, or NAS, is a local data storage device that is also connected to a network. This makes it possible for authorized users to access the data from virtually anywhere, not just from local devices. These practical and simple-to-use devices are becoming more and more popular among both consumers and companies because they can add extra protection layers to sensitive data.
2. Identify What Data Should Be Backed Up
The next step is to identify which data needs to be backed up. Ideally, you should back up all of your data, but if that’s not possible, you should at least think about backing up the crucial servers and data that your company can’t function without for an extended period of time.
This includes legal documents, financial records, emails, calendars, contacts, and more. Most companies store all of this important data in one or two shared files across all network devices, which leaves it particularly exposed.
3. Implement a Regular Backup Schedule
To ensure that any data you need to restore is current, it is crucial that you develop an incremental backup process. Data backup solutions that can be automated are a good option because manual backups can be time-consuming and prone to human error. Backup automation saves you time and effort while ensuring that you always have the latest copies of your data.
But how often should your backups be performed? The answer is: it varies depending on the organization type. To comply with regulatory standards, certain industries, like healthcare and banking, may need to back up data more often. Similarly, you generally don’t want your backups to be older than a few minutes if your company is continuously creating or changing significant volumes of critical data.
4. Encrypt Your Backups
You want to be sure that the data is inaccessible in case your backups wind up in the wrong hands. Every industry should prioritize this, but certain sectors like healthcare should give it top attention because HIPAA regulations demand additional security measures to safeguard sensitive patient data.
Backups should, if possible, be encrypted both in transit and at rest. This indicates that the data is encrypted both during upload to the cloud and during storage on the backup device and/or data center. It is advised to use SSL key-based encryption and AES 256 because these are both thought to be impenetrable.
Having a backup solution for small businesses is not sufficient; enterprises need to make sure they put in place a reliable data backup strategy that guarantees all data is safe and can be successfully restored when necessary.
Regardless of whether one spreadsheet has vanished or ransomware has locked up a global network of computers, a strong data backup strategy can help companies recover fast and maintain business continuity.