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Data loss can be incredibly harmful to a business, costing financially and in terms of damaged reputation. Whether it’s caused by a cyberattack, a natural disaster, hardware failure or human error, in the absence of recent, robust and full backups, there is a chance that a business could be left unable to function, leaving customers disgruntled and profits hit hard.
For this reason, regular backups should from an integral part of any information technology infrastructure. But choosing the type of backup needs due consideration.
The main options in terms of backups are external drives, where data is copied onto the likes of an external hard disk, USB drive or other storage device; disc backups, where data is again copied but this time onto a CD or DVD; and network attached storage devices that can back up multiple PCs.
Whilst all of these backups offer their respective benefits, they do have some limitations. Firstly, you have to remember to run the backup, making sure it is done properly and has actually worked. Then you have to find somewhere secure to store it. What’s more, you are also only protected as far back as the last backup, which could result in a data gap in the event of needing to restore the backup.
The good news is that there is solution to all of these problems, and that lies in the cloud data backup.
A business cloud backup system takes away the requirement to invest in costly hardware. These systems also make it possible for users to access data, files and systems from any device through an internet connection. You can also set permissions so that only certain members of staff can gain access to particular levels of data.
An online backup for business use protects against hardware failure, cyber-attacks and natural disasters. They run automatically and continually, so there is no need to have to remember to run the backup, and no data gaps.
Backup to cloud services work by scanning hard drives for changes to files. The data is then encrypted and transferred to the cloud server, where it can be accessed and restored if necessary from any location. This means that in the event of a disaster preventing you from being able to enter your premises, you can still access your data from another location, so no business downtime.
A cloud backup for business is not the same as cloud storage and file syncing services such as Dropbox, Sync and Google Drive. As well as storing files in the cloud, an online backup will protect all types of devices and servers, with no data limits.
Always examine the security of your chosen online backup for business solution. Most will encrypt your files before uploading to the servers, and some offer a private encryption key option.
Do consider that if you decide to manage your own encryption keys to decrypt your backups when necessary, it will be your responsibility to remember it. The storage backup service won’t be in a position to help you with a reset if you forget it. However, the benefit of this option is that no one can unlock your backups other than you, which is good from a privacy and security standpoint. Consider using a password manager to keep track of your encryption key.
Also make sure that your cloud data backup is as straightforward as possible when it comes to restoring data. Seek out the likes of search tools for locating specific files, and for solutions that replicate full folder-tree structures so you can recover more easily from bigger data losses.
You should also look for a feature known as ‘versioning’ which saves incremental changes made to files as recoverable snapshots. This is helpful in circumstances where there is a need to retrieve information from an earlier version of a file, or if your latest saved version becomes corrupted. Do be aware that cloud data backup services vary in terms of how many versions they retain, and for how long they are retained. Some will store an unlimited number of file versions forever.
If you are thinking about switching to a cloud data backup service, talk to PC Docs. We’ll take as much time as necessary to fully understand your business and industry, allowing us to make smart recommendations for you on the most suitable online backup for your business.