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Toronto Business Owners Ask Us Important Data Backup Questions
Is there a right answer to the question of how often to back up business data?
The answer is not always clear. The kinds of data you use, the functions the data are used for and the regulatory requirements around it all play a role.
What is clear is that data backups are an absolute must for businesses today. That’s why it’s important to work with a skilled and experienced managed IT services provider to create a data management strategy. That’s the best way to ensure that your data is backed up at the right frequency to meet your business needs.
Do I Really Need to Worry About Backup Data?
Absolutely. Consider that according to the Ponemon Institute’s 2018 Cost of Data Breach Study, it cost businesses on average $3.96 million to address a data breach. The costs of data breaches are climbing. The study notes the year-over-year increase in costs was 6.4 percent.
The study also notes that it’s likely that the typical business has a 27.9 percent likelihood to experience a data breach during the next two years. And hackers who gain access to your systems and information have a lot of time to cause damage. The average business affected needs 197 to identify a data breach and another 69 days to address the issue. That’s a long time for a hacker to wreak havoc and a lot of time and resources devoted to rectifying the issue.
Here are some other interesting statistics about data loss, according to worldbackupday.com:
- There are 113 phones lost or stolen each minute
- In the United States, 140,000 hard drives fail every week
- Every month, 1 in 10 computers is infected with a virus
Why Are Data Backups Important?
What happens when your business faces a data loss due to a natural disaster such as a flood, fire, tornado or earthquake, a loss of power, a ransomware attack or another type of cybercrime? What are the ramifications of a stolen laptop, a corrupted server or a lost smartphone? Your business can be inoperable, leaving customers and employees in the lurch. Data backups let you respond quickly to the unexpected, getting your business back to normal as soon as possible with minimal disruptions, less downtime, and little if any data loss.
Having a data backup plan has multiple benefits for your business:
- Business Continuity — Natural or manmade disasters can be devastating to businesses that fail to prepare with a data backup strategy. You need to give customers, stakeholders, employees and partners answers as quickly as possible. Otherwise, your business may also be grappling with a loss of business as customers look elsewhere because your website is down or data they need cannot be provided.
- Security – Your data needs to not only be backed up but also protected with state-of-the-art digital and physical security tools, from firewalls to limited access to data centers. Monitoring and alerts need to be in place to identify, analyze, contain and erase problems before they cause major damages.
- Rapid Recovery – With a comprehensive data recovery strategy, you can safely store compromised, lost, corrupted or stolen data. Cloud-based backup systems help speed up recovery work, ensuring your data is back in use on your website and in your systems and apps.
- Risk Reduction – If you have a tablet, thumb drive, smartphone or laptop stolen, you can find your data being sold or held hostage. You want to have a backup strategy in place to keep intellectual property and personal information about employees and customers recoverable.
- Compliance – Your company may face provincial, federal or international regulatory mandates. Compliance often involves being able to demonstrate that they have the right security measures and procedures in place to protect consumer, employee, student or patient information. A data recovery process is often a mandated component to show compliance.
- Scalability — Cloud storage is very affordable today. As your data storage and backup needs grow, you can access more cloud space, eliminating the time and cost needed to purchase, install and manage additional on-premises servers.
- Cost Savings – If your data is lost because you do not have a backup strategy, your business faces major and immediate costs. You’ll need to hire a data recovery service that could take days or weeks to recover your data, and even then, not all the data may be recoverable.
- Honest Mistakes – There’s not always an underhanded reason for data loss. Well-intentioned workers may accidentally delete or corrupt data unknowingly.
- Peace of Mind – An automated data backup plan gives you the assurance that data is safe and accessible.
How Frequently Should We Schedule Backups?
Backing up is a balancing act. Should you back up your data once a day? Every hour?
A lot of it depends on how much risk you are willing to take and how much pressure is put into your infrastructure.
You should back up your data at least once a day. Some Tektonic clients back up data every 4 hours. Some even schedule hourly backups.
Depending on the backup solution used, it may not be feasible to back up data at the frequency you want due to the processing power some solutions require. In some cases, backup processing can bring your operation to a halt.
The question really is that if a disaster such as a ransomware attack occurs, how much data are you willing to lose – an hour, four hours, a day?
What Is the Best Way to Back Up My Data?
We recommend using a combination of internal and cloud backups.
Who Can Help with Data Backups?
Tektonic is the Toronto area’s leading provider of data backup and other managed IT solutions. When you need a customer-focused IT partner with 20 years of experience, contact us for a free initial consultation.