Is Everything You Know About Data Backups A Lie?

5 years ago | by Chris O'Brien

There’s a lot at stake when it comes to your businesses data backup strategy. Not only is the data you’re housing sensitive, but your people being able to continue to work as normal is paramount for normal business operations.

Let’s assume you’ve got some kind of malware protections in place, and you’re working as normal, when you or one of your staff members receive an email from your energy provider with an alarmingly high bill. Shocked, you click the link to view your bill in detail, because ‘there’s definitely been a mistake.’ Suddenly, you’re sent to a webpage, a download automatically occurs, and next thing you know, you and everyone in your company is locked out of your systems and you’re demanded to pay a ransom amount to retrieve your locked files – or face losing them.

This scenario is sadly very common. Even with the best malware solutions in place, sometimes items can slip through the cracks. When cybercriminals do manage to get something through to you, they feed on fear and a sense of urgency that prompts users to click on links that deploy malware. While there’s no 100% guarantee when it comes to anti-malware solutions, backup and disaster recovery is totally different. These solutions act as a safeguard, keeping your critical business data protected; we like to refer to these solutions as ‘tech insurance’. We say this because if, for whatever reason, you’re hit with a disaster, or something goes wrong or missing, when you have comprehensive backups in place, you can always get your critical business data back, no matter what.

Research shows that 60% of SMBs go out of business in the six months following a disaster (most of these disasters being cyber-related). We imagine that the vast majority of these closures would be due to having insufficient backup solutions in place, and therefore, businesses are forced to struggle, in some cases starting from square one again. We can only imagine how difficult the grind would be after a experiencing the total loss of critical data – the downtime, costs and stress involved in that recovery process would be intense…

While to us, the necessity of employing a solid backup and disaster recovery solution is clear, we often find that other business owners have hesitations; the majority of which are merely myths – are you guilty of assuming these six common misconceptions?

As the need for businesses to employ backup and disaster recovery solutions continues to rise, so too does the options you have at your fingertips. Vendors continue to create variations of solutions to ensure they’re catering to businesses of all sizes and budgets, meaning that implementing a backup and disaster recovery solution is more affordable and obtainable than ever before – you just have to get the right advice.

Advances in tech comes hand in hand with advances in convenience and efficiency. The newer backup and disaster recovery solutions are fully automated, meaning that you can practically ‘set and forget’ it. These solutions not only give you peace-of-mind that your data is being backed-up safely in real time, should you ever need it, but it also has the added benefit of letting your employees focus on their primary roles, without having to remember to manually back everything up. With the same token, it eliminates the possibility of human error, as you’re not relying on one person to take daily backups – what if that person becomes sick, or goes on holidays – that’s another person you’ll have to train and rely on to keep your business safe.

It is often the businesses who are lucky enough not to have been effected by disasters in the past, who have this attitude. They haven’t experienced the catastrophic outcomes that disasters cause and are therefore unable to fully grasp the importance of employing such solutions. When you begin to consider the repercussions of a disaster occurring, and having no backups in place, the realisation of the vital part they play in recovering your business is realised. Think about it; whether a disaster strikes in the form of a natural occurrence (i.e. flooding), cyber-attack, or by human error – if you don’t have sufficient backups in place, there would simply be nothing to recover.

Aside from the fact that these services are notoriously expensive, they are generally only useful in the case that there is a device to utilise for recovery – and even then, there is no guarantee that you’ll be able to get all of your data back. In the instance that your device is lost or stolen, well, you can kiss that data goodbye.

You can – but think about it this way, not only are you relying on manual effort (again), but you don’t have any of the benefits of real-time backups, so if you’ve worked an 8 hour day, and something goes wrong before you copy that data to your USB, you’ve lost an entire days work – now multiply that day’s work by the number of employees you have – it all adds up! You also run the risk of losing or damaging that USB, and in turn, losing your data backups that way – it would be as if the data was never backed-up in the first place.

As its name suggests, image backups are an image of your entire operating system. This includes files, applications and configurations. File backups on the other hand, are backups of each file and folder on your PC. The difference between both, is that with file backups, remediation after a disaster takes far longer because you have to reinstall operating systems, applications and configure settings, not to mention the general organising and tidying of your files and folders again. With image backups, your entire environment will be reinstalled exactly how it was. This significantly reduces downtime – so they’re certainly important and something businesses should consider as a means of getting their company back up and running should a disaster strike.

While these are the most common hesitations we’ve encountered, you might have others – in which case we would advise that you reach out to your IT Provider so you can get the information you need to make a well-informed decision when implementing a backup and disaster recovery solution for your business.

C3 Backups & Business Continuity – everything you need to know.

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