Lost data means lost money. Businesses that have gone through severe data loss have kissed goodbye to an average of $3.86 million, with a mega breach of 1 million records reaching a loss of $40 million. Recovery is next to impossible, with some companies suffering damage to their reputation and others shuttering within a year of a data breach.
Clearly, you can’t afford data corruption or malicious destruction of business files. A clear and well-executed data protection strategy is necessary to ensure your company mitigates, if not escapes, the risk of lost data. And one of the easiest steps to implement is backing up your office data.
Your Options for Backup Systems
Backup solutions for businesses will depend on the volume of data and available resources. If you can manage it, a multi-layer safety net is preferable to relying on a singular system. For example, you could combine cloud software and offsite solutions for your Office 365 backup approach.
When your business uses Microsoft Office, you’ll need an effective way to move your files to a secure server because it can be hacked. Office 365 does backup data, but it does so only for a period. Emails are retained in the system for a minimum of 14 and a maximum of 30 days after they’ve been deleted. So you’ll need the right tool that can easily backup files on Office 365.
A cloud-based backup stores your data on online, remote servers. This means authorized personnel from your company can access files from wherever there is secure internet connection. It’s a good option because it allows easy, safe access. But there’s a downside to cloud backup: internet has to be available.
An offsite backup solution is typically hosted by your provider on their servers. Alternatively, the provider may offer a second site or you could use another property your business owns as a backup site. The offsite solution is ideal during disaster recovery, particularly when internet connection has been cut and your building is inaccessible.
Another backup solution is using virtual machines. Unlike cloud-based backup, virtual machines allow several applications to run simultaneously. They’re highly scalable, which means you won’t have problems storing more data when your business grows. Because virtual backup takes snapshots, you don’t need to waste time reinstalling and downloading data, simplifying your recovery process.
A Complete Data Protection Approach
A backup solution, however multi-layered it is, can’t successfully protect data if your business fails to implement other critical steps. A complete strategy not only safeguards your company, but it also allows you to meet government regulations in data protection. One of which is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which has enforces stringent recordkeeping requirements, among others.
Along with your backup solution, implement the following practices:
- Restrict access to sensitive information, with multiple layers of authentication
- Train employees in proper data use and retention
- Test and evaluate your security policies to ensure efficacy, identify threats, and detect unauthorized intrusions
Governing all of those steps is your easy-to-understand and well-formulated data protection strategy. Whether you run a small company, it is within your best interest to ensure critical business data never falls into the wrong hands for manipulation or deletion.
Your reputation and millions are on the line, so don’t let your data be open for breach and loss.