How much information is stored on your desktop? Your company shared drive? What systems do you have configured just right to meet the needs of your business? And how would you feel if you lost it?
Are you sweating yet?
Today, most businesses rely heavily on technology, which means data — including employee information, customer records, and business operations — is stored within your network.
Having an off-site back-up solution is your last line of defense if something were to take your data offline.
At The KR Group, we stress the importance of back-up solutions to all of our customers, and it’s a requirement for our managed IT services customers.
There are a few reasons for this:
- Data can be impacted by malware
- Your IT stack can be damaged by natural disasters
- You and your team may need to restore previous data
Hopefully, none of the above scenarios ever apply to your business, but if you find yourself missing some or all of your data, a back-up solution gives you a way to recover.
Back-up solutions protect you from malware attacks
Malware attacks are a common reason businesses find their data compromised.
One type of malware, ransomware, as the name suggests, hijacks your data and holds it for ransom.
However, when you use a back-up solution, you can rely on the last set of saved data instead of meeting the attacker’s demands. Even if you lose data by going to your last back-up, it is likely to be less than what the attacker is holding ransom.
And if a malware attack doesn’t take your data for ransom, it might encrypt it, which means it’s still unusable to you.
A comprehensive cybersecurity strategy can help reduce the likelihood that your business finds itself in either of these situations.
However, no cybersecurity solution or even a combination of solutions is 100% effective.
Having a back-up solution is an insurance policy in case your initial layers of defense don’t block a threat.
Back-up protects you in case of a natural disaster
Even more out of your control than a cyberattack is a natural disaster, but this is still a threat to your data.
If a fire, flood, or storm damage or destroy your hardware, data stored on them will also be destroyed.
While you can replace the physical hardware, unless you have a back-up solution that data stored on, it will also be destroyed.
With back-up, however, you can load the most recent edition of your saved data onto your new hardware.
This is another way having off-site back-up serves as an insurance policy for your data.
You need to upload previously saved data
Disasters – technical or natural – are the most likely culprits of relying on your back-up data, but they aren’t the only reasons.
If you ever accidentally deleted a file, you know how frustrating it is to lose data.
Back-up solutions work on a larger scale for the rare occurrence important data is deleted from your network.
By having back-up, you can go back to the last edition and restore data from that point.
Having back-up also allows you to restore a previous version of your data if a manual upgrade doesn’t go as planned.
Rarely, an upgrade may not work with older components of your IT environment. If these systems are critical, you can fall back on the last data back-up before the upgrade.
How does back-up data work?
Regardless of what point imparts the importance of off-site back-up, once you decide to implement it, there are a few things you should know.
- How often your environment will be backed up
- How soon your environment can go back online
- How back-up is charged
All of these will help you make more sense of your back-up solution.
1. How often your environment will be backed up
One of the decisions you’ll need to make regarding your back-up solution is recovery point objectives (RPO).
RPO refers to how much data you can stand to lose.
If you back up your data every 24 hours, then the worst-case scenario is you lose a day of data.
Whether or not this is frequent enough depends on your industry and how much data you produce.
For example, if you’re a manufacturer with a team of designers who are continually producing new plans, you’ll want those backed up frequently.
2. How soon you need your back-up data
The other important component of back-up is recovery time objectives (RTO).
This refers to how long applications can be down without harming your business.
For some infrequently used applications, this can be days, but you may need other high priority applications to be back up and running almost immediately to avoid lost business and/or production.
3. How back-up is charged
How much back-up costs depends on many factors, including which cloud back-up provider you choose.
In general, you can expect your back-up solution to be more expensive the more frequently you need your data backed-up and the shorter your recovery time is.
On the other hand, you can reduce your back-up cost if you can wait for some time until your data is restored and you don’t need as frequent back-ups.
However, it’s important to know that your business’s needs – including the amount of data to be stored – will largely dictate these variations.
The importance of data back-up
You can’t predict the future, but you can prepare for it.
That is why having a back-up solution is important.
Malware attacks, natural disasters, and accidental deletion of files never happen at an opportune time.
However, by knowing how often you need a back-up and how long you can go without having data restored, you can protect yourself in case you find yourself with your data destroyed or deleted.
For more information about finding the best back-up solution for you, schedule an appointment with one of our sales representatives.