What is a Good Backup Plan for a Business?
Businesses should always use the "3-2-1" backup plan, which implies they should have three copies of their data. Two of these copies are saved on two distinct types of media, while the third is kept in the cloud, far away from your premises. This guarantees that your data is securely kept and accessible from anywhere on the globe. By storing one duplicate in the cloud, you can be confident that your data is safe in the event of an unanticipated event, such as a natural catastrophe or a system failure. You can assure the security and protection of your data by using the proper backup system. This can be accomplished by cloud storage, external hard drives, or other data storage options.
Cloud backup solutions for small businesses are vital to assure your business continuity. Losing data could be disastrous, leading to costly downtime, loss of revenue and reputation, and potentially forcing you to pause operations until you recover from the incident.
No matter what industry you operate in, whether you’re in financial services, eCommerce, or running a marketing agency, your data is your lifeblood and must be protected. From financial data to e-commerce data from your store, cloud-based backup solutions are an essential tool for small businesses.
Today, we’re going to talk about cloud backup and the best cloud backup solutions for small businesses—what it is, how they work, the benefits, and how to choose the best cloud backup solution for your business needs.
Biggest Threats To Your Data
Most small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have three enemies: ransomware, human error, and natural calamities. Unless you have backup software that protects your data, one of these situations can be disastrous. Data can be lost in seconds in the case of a power loss, hardware failure, or natural disaster. This is especially damaging to corporations, who rely heavily on data to keep operations running smoothly. Without a backup system, restoring lost or corrupted data can be difficult and time-consuming. This might result in severe income loss since firms are unable to access their data and carry on with their normal activities. Furthermore, the cost of recovering data might be prohibitively expensive, particularly for small organizations that may lack the necessary resources. In rare situations, data may be permanently destroyed, leaving businesses without the information they require to function.
How can I Backup My Data?
For data backup, a cloud storage solution is a fantastic tool. Two of the most popular and affordable (cost less than $50 per month, depending on the plan) cloud storage choices are Dropbox and Google Drive. However, keep in mind that these services do not ensure that a security breach will never occur at your company. While these services can aid in lowering the likelihood of a breach, they cannot completely remove the danger. No matter how many security precautions you take, a breach is always possible. Therefore, it's crucial to keep this in mind.
Why is Data Backup Important for Every Business?
You could question if your company is large enough or whether your data is significant enough to warrant purchasing backup software. Data backup is actually crucial for all businesses, regardless of size. You should think about investing in backup data solutions for the following reasons:
- Preventing Data Losses
If your computer hard drive dies or your systems crash, local and cloud backups can rescue crucial business data.
- Helps with Auditing
You never know when an audit may occur and you'll need to get a file from a particular prior year. Financial data storage and retrieval are greatly facilitated by backups.
- Client Relationships
Your client could lose information even if you don't. They'll knock on your door if they misplace their copy of the job you did together or the bills they paid. Saved customer data fosters trust and contributes significantly to positive brand perception.
You will waste many hours that might have been used effectively elsewhere if you lose data and have to start over. Backups let you swiftly resume operations.
- Peace of Mind
When a hack, system crash, or calamity occurs, you know you have a backup solution to keep your data secure. Always remember that fortune favors the prepared!
And with a trusty Cloud Backup solution backing up your business, you can be protected from these threats:
- Ransomware Threats
Ransomware is malicious software that enslaves a network until a monetary or cryptocurrency payment is made to the hijacker. Ransomware has long been a major worry for huge corporations. SMBs are becoming the focus of cybercriminals. Ransomware attackers can infiltrate your system via malicious email links, unsecured handheld platforms, or other security flaws. Hackers consider small firms as easy targets because they are unlikely to employ a full-time security operations center to secure their data and restore lost files. Unless you have backup data securely stored off-site, your company will struggle to retrieve data lost during this kind of attack.
- User Error
Let's say you unintentionally removed data or forgot to save a document that was in use. In that situation, you may appreciate how frustrating and challenging it might be to try to recover your lost information. When they misread formatting instructions or press the incorrect button at the worst possible time, employees may unintentionally or even purposefully erase crucial data for your company.
- Natural Disasters
A natural disaster may destroy everything you possess in a matter of minutes if all of your crucial data is stored on computers or servers that are located on your property. Electrical errors, fires, burst water mains, and tornadoes can all result in hardware failure and make data recovery very difficult. Using an off-site backup system is the best approach to safeguard data from a natural disaster.
Backup Options for Small Businesses
There are usually two types of backup to consider: off and on-site. Here's a quick rundown of how these two differ:
On-site backups require backing up your systems to a local disc, disk, or server. You can select from a variety of media types, such as external drives, cassettes, or discs. Although there are no monthly membership fees for this system, it is sensitive to natural calamities. Furthermore, if you use hardware for backups, hardware failures might occur at any time.
Off-site backups save data in a different location, cloud, or IT infrastructure. The data is protected against on-premises failure or disaster. This is helpful, especially if your area of business is always under the duress of nature.
To learn more about how on-site and off-site backups can differ, click here.
Companies can choose between cloud or hardware backups for both on and off-site backups.
Hardware backups might be more expensive since they necessitate an investment in hardware. When more storage is required, the cost of this investment rises. This backup, on the other hand, does not require an Internet connection, and your data is not exposed to hackers.
Cloud backup entails transferring files or databases to the cloud. The server is generally hosted by a service provider who charges a fee based on the amount of capacity utilized, the amount of data bandwidth, the number of users, and the number of servers. Cloud backup provides limitless storage and excellent levels of protection, but it does necessitate the usage of an internet connection and bandwidth.
What is Cloud Backup?
Cloud backup refers to the process by which organizations and individuals copy and preserve data from their devices and computers to a cloud server. A cloud backup solution — software that handles copying, encrypting, and transmitting data to the cloud over an internet connection — makes cloud backup possible. If you lose data for any reason, such as unintentional deletion, file corruption, ransomware, or a computer virus, you may restore your systems to a clean condition using the cloud backup. The restoration procedure is simple and rapid, allowing you to get back to work immediately.
How Do Cloud Backup Solutions Work?
The finest backup solution for small companies will make backup and recovery easier and more automated. For small company owners, simplicity is critical, since most don't have specialized IT workers on their payroll—and many don't have the time to handle a complex procedure, which means their data might be compromised. Payroll is a difficult and time-consuming operation, and it is critical that the data is correct and secure. Companies must be mindful of possible payroll risks such as data breaches, inaccuracies, and compliance difficulties.
You may have backups run constantly or at defined intervals, such as hourly, daily, or weekly, depending on your company and the quantity of data you need to back up. Continuous backup makes more sense for high-volume e-commerce websites or financial services. However, if you do the majority of your company in person or do not sell things through your website, perhaps less often might be more appropriate.
Backups duplicate everything of your data, photos, systems, programs, accounts, and settings, you name it. That duplicate is then encrypted with the most recent encryption algorithms and transmitted to your cloud, where it is safely held until you need it to be restored. The encryption techniques are intended to protect your data from bad actors and hackers, as well as any data breaches. The data is encrypted using cutting-edge algorithms that are continually improving to keep up with the latest security concerns.
What Needs To Be Backed Up?
You may be tempted to back up just "critical" or "vital" data after you become aware of the risks. However, this is a dangerous method. Data is stored in hierarchies, and your data's structure must be kept for things to operate properly. Many third-party programs, for example, rely on a certain data format; if you forget to back up even one data type, the app may not work correctly. While you may consider some data to be more important than others, all data must be backed up. Make sure you have backup copies of the following data types:
- Personnel Files
All personal files including employee information, such as applications, benefits, tax and payroll data, pensions, and profit-sharing schemes, must be backed up. Backup disciplinary files, performance reviews, and employee injury and sickness data as well.
- Business Administration Documents
It's a good idea to safeguard any information necessary to keep the business functioning smoothly, such as sales and marketing materials, business plans, reports, leases, trademarks, contracts, shareholder records, insurance policies, and other documents.
- Property and Tax Records
Always save a copy of any escrow paperwork, property titles, leasehold improvements, payment records, asset owner documentation (e.g., corporate cars), and a list of business inventory goods in case of future insurance claims.
- Financial Records
Most businesses do accounting transactions on a regular basis, and the payments you receive and make keep your company running. Make sure you back up all accounting data on a daily basis. For optimal coverage, e-commerce enterprises that handle high quantities of transactions throughout the day should consider backup solutions that update automatically or conduct backups numerous times per day.
- Computer System Files
Backup is also necessary for any computer software used by corporate staff. When backup files can be promptly accessible and restored, the business interruption recovery process becomes more manageable. Backup plans must also incorporate proprietary software controlled by the company.
Benefits of Using Cloud Backup Solutions for Small Businesses
Cloud backup solutions assist small organizations for a variety of reasons. To begin with, cloud backups ensure that you can restore data rapidly in the case of data loss. Data loss can occur because of a variety of causes, including inadvertent deletion, damaged data, incompatible third-party software or plug-ins, vandalism, theft, malicious mayhem, or natural calamities such as floods or fire. Having a cloud backup accessible and ready to restore reduces downtime and assures that your shop, website, and online services are available and functioning properly.
Choosing the Right Cloud Backup for Your Business
The most difficult aspect of cloud backup options is determining which one is appropriate for your requirements. There are hundreds of providers, many of whom provide very identical services. We've developed a step-by-step checklist to help you to compare and pick the best one for you to help you make an educated decision. Each of these bullet points reflects an essential aspect.
- Strong Encryption
Your backup is kept in the cloud on a server that you do not control, which is critical for data security and privacy. Look for cloud backup options that encrypt your data at rest and in transit, as well as safeguard it behind a firewall.
- Easy-to-Use and Convenient Solution
Because small companies seldom have IT professionals, the cloud backup system you select should be simple to set up, configure, access, and utilize for you or any of your workers. Examine the processes for all important functions—installation, setup, backup, and recovery. Select a backup solution that makes your life easier, not more difficult.
- Frequency and Automation of Backups
You may personalize and control your backups using the finest cloud backup options for small companies. Some people prefer manual backups, while others require automated backups. Companies that produce a lot of data (such as online retailers) require more regular backups, whilst others may be fine with backing up less often. If your requirements change, so should your solution. Make sure you can change your backup settings to meet changing demands.
Companies experiencing quick or abrupt growth are not uncommon these days. If that happens, you'll want to make sure your technology can keep up. After all, you don't want to go through this again. Because cloud servers are infinitely expandable, if your traffic suddenly increases, your cloud will accommodate without any further input from you.
- Good Customer Service and After-Sales Support
Look for a cloud backup option that provides world-class customer care and support. How can you contact them if you have a problem? They should provide multiple means to reach them, ideally 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You certainly don't want to get stuck on anything in the middle of the night and have to call help in the morning. Before you buy, look into what they offer and what others say about them online.
- Disaster Recovery Procedure
Backups are a crucial component of any disaster recovery strategy; if you lose your own data, you should be able to restore it quickly, and your cloud backup provider should be able to do the same. Check to see if your vendor has a disaster recovery strategy in place. They should have several copies of your data kept in separate data centers. Backup servers should be available instantly if one goes offline for whatever reason.
Small companies must stay profitable. Therefore, it's critical to ensure that the pricing of your cloud backup solution provides the features you want at a price that fits within your budget. Examine the cost of cloud storage in relation to the amount of data you're storing. Make sure you understand the costs and that you aren't paying for features you won't utilize.
Every small business has different priorities and needs for its backup solution. The right cloud backup solution for you will tick all the boxes—not just some of them—provides good support and will grow with you. Security, compliance, availability, and redundancy are must-haves, and you should be able to customize the application to suit your requirements. In other words, don’t settle for less than the whole package.
Finally, for small organizations, a cloud-based backup solution is just smart. It safeguards your critical data, allowing you to focus on what you do best and avoid data calamities. Know your priorities and have this checklist accessible to ensure you make the best selection possible. Here at Ottomatik, we ensure that your business will flourish with us by keeping your data secure and backed up. Find out more and start securing your data with Ottomatik.