Data is increasingly becoming the lifeblood of companies. They need it to understand their customers, develop products and keep an eye on the competition. But as data becomes more valuable, data loss is becoming a bigger catastrophe. When it happens, companies suffer extreme financial loss and may find it difficult to get back on their feet again. Data loss can result in tax issues, legal judgments and deteriorating relationships between the business and their customers/vendors.
The good news is that there is a lot that businesses can do to protect themselves from data loss. Here’s what you should be doing right now.,
Use Paper Backups
Using paper backups might feel like you’re regressing: after all, your company, like many others, probably made the transition to digital records because it wanted to save money, reduce waste and get more efficient. But sometimes, the cost of losing data can be so high that you have no choice but to keep paper records.
What type of business data would be a good candidate for paper records? Accounting information is one. The IRS is merciless, and so anything to avoid an audit is preferable.
Test Storage Vendors Before Jumping In
Often, data isn’t stored at your business. Sometimes, it’s held in the cloud. The cloud is a cheap and effective solution which provides an unparalleled level of flexibility, but with so many vendors on the market, it can sometimes be difficult to choose a good one.
IT consulting for businesses has improved dramatically over the last decade or so. Most consultants recommend starting out with a small, short contract with a cloud vendor to test the water. You want to make sure that their customer service is up to scratch and that their servers are secure. You may also want to install your own monitoring applications to ensure that their network (and your data) is safe, before migrating your entire data stack over to their platform.
Finally, get them to carry out recovery drills in case of an emergency to make sure that they really are regularly backing up your data. These drills will help you to ensure data integrity and tell you how long it will take, following data loss, to get back up and running again.
Redundancy Should Be Mandatory
Many business leaders extol the virtues of regularly backing up data. But is this something that your business actually does well in practice?
Backing up data sounds like it should be a simple process: just make a copy of everything you have on file. But making a decision about exactly what to back up is rarely a straightforward process. Should you backup all files or just those which are essential? How often should you backup your data? And how many people should you employ to oversee the process?
Different companies will have different answers. But for most, the 3-2-1 policy works best. This is where you have your data in three copies on two different mediums with at least one stored away from your main facility.