We’re halfway through the year, and I don’t think anyone expected 2020 to go the way it has. Let’s rephrase this… no one expected 2020 to turn out like it has so far.
Understandably, many businesses are being extra cautious about their spending and doing what they can to prevent unexpected interruptions to their business. One costly interruption all businesses need to continue to prevent is data loss.
Data loss can happen a few different ways. Malware can cause irreversible data loss, and ransomware can cause irreversible data loss, provided you don't pony up the ransom to hackers. Your end-users can mistakenly cause data loss by overwriting or deleting data, but a disgruntled employee could do even more damage intentionally.
Your data is stored on delicate, mechanical devices that are extremely sensitive to shock and damage. Hard drives don’t last forever and will eventually fail, so if your data is only stored in one place, it’s just a matter of time before it’s lost if it’s not backed up properly.
Data Loss is Productivity Loss
When you lose any amount of data, it can be a burden on your organization. Take a single sales proposal. Let’s say a salesperson is working on a proposal and it accidentally gets overwritten or deleted. If they can’t restore it, they need to backtrack and do some of that work over again. Besides the obvious loss of time to make additional sales calls, it can lead to missing a quote deadline or even making a mistake on the recreated quote.
If an entire hard drive on your server is lost, you are going to lose a lot more than a single document. That hard drive might contain years of client data, the database for your business system, or your next six months of marketing materials. Suddenly it affects your entire company in drastic ways.
Depending on the industry you’re in or the type and severity of the data loss event, there are specific laws that may require you to report it.
A lost or stolen mobile device or laptop could be considered data loss and should trigger action from the company to prevent further loss and in some cases notify the proper authorities and clients.
Mitigate Your Data Loss
It’s simple, just don’t lose data. Your business doesn’t need to deal with the fallout of data loss. Fortunately, it’s not particularly complicated or even expensive to prevent data loss. You simply need to back your data up securely on a regular basis. You also need to make sure that you are checking that the backup was successful. Data backup is not necessarily a “set it and forget it” process, you need to make sure that there are not only successful backups but generational backups. This means having different data backup restore points that you can access to find good copies of files or folders to restore. Nothing is worse than trying to restore a corrupted file only to find that all of the backups have that same file corruption.
Redundancy Reduces Downtime
Your data - all of your data - needs to be stored in two to three places. One of those places is its original location – on your network’s on premises physical server or in a cloud server such as SharePoint. It’s important not to save files to your computer, because it is most likely not being backed up. Setting your file storage to a folder on your server will remove the risk of losing data stored on your desktop or laptop. As a user, you will not notice a difference in accessing these files.
If you have a physical server, the second place that all of your data needs to be kept is on a completely separate device on your network. This could be another server, a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device, or better yet, a dedicated backup device designed to make regular ongoing backups throughout the day and push an encrypted copy of the data to a third offsite location.
If you started out saving to a cloud server such as SharePoint or Azure, make sure you are backing that up as well. Just because it’s in the cloud doesn’t mean it’s automatically backed up. You will want to find a Microsoft or better yet, third party, cloud-to-cloud backup for your data.
For physical servers that third location shouldn’t be within your company walls. It should exist in a separate physical location, away from your business. This way, if your business were to suffer from a fire, a flood, a power surge, or any other damage-causing event, your data will be safely replicated and accessible. If your backup device can automatically push encrypted backups to the cloud, it will ensure that your business has a chance to function if a disaster were to strike.
We rely on a cloud-to-cloud backup to handle our company’s data. It does everything we mentioned above, and then some. It replicates all of our data throughout the day, and securely encrypts it and stores it in a separate offsite location just in case. We’re able to quickly restore data from it if we need to, it’s easy to confirm that the backup was successful, and we can access generational backups if files we needed to restore were not present in our most recent backup.
Our clients love the protection that onsite and cloud-to-cloud backup options bring, and we even run regular file recovery tests to prove that the backups is doing its job by simulating a real data loss and restore the missing data.
Data loss is the last thing that any business needs to be dealing with in 2020, and it is a relatively easy thing to prevent at the base level. Reach out to TechWorx at 814-806-3228 to learn how we can prevent data loss for your company.