How To Store Your Business Data
No matter what type of business you run, data is one of your most valuable assets. Keeping that data organized and secure is critical for the success of your operation. There are several approaches you can take to your data storage plan.
Keeping Your Data Safe
Most businesses store a mixture of internal data and data about customers and clients. It is important to take steps to prevent data loss due to natural disasters, equipment failure or human error and to protect data from being accessed by malicious actors.
The first step is ensuring that your security protocols are adequate and consistent. You can employ a variety of automated tools to help with this, but make sure to keep them updated. You may also want to physically isolate sensitive or critical data. Only connect terminals that need to be connected and only give access to people who must have it to do their jobs.
Implement strict password protocols to prevent data breaches due to password vulnerabilities. Provide all of your employees with training on how to safely handle and store data. Consider using automated testing tools to ensure that your network is functioning as expected.
On-premises storage involves keeping data on servers that are managed and owned by your business. These servers could be located somewhere on your property or in a private data center facility. When you use this method of storage, you are fully responsible for all aspects of building, maintaining and protecting the data storage. This storage method provides you with the most control, but also requires the most amount of effort. You will need to maintain and replace equipment, update and patch software and regulate access protocols. Additionally, if the equipment is stored on-site, there is a risk that a fire or natural disaster could destroy all of your data.
Colocation involves storing equipment in an off-premises data center. This allows you to maintain complete control of your data, while also utilizing the services of the data center. This can make storage costs more predictable because you know how much you will be paying the data center, versus variable power costs when you are responsible for running the equipment yourself. You can also take advantage of the data center’s easily upgradable network infrastructure, security and compliance protocols. Additionally, because the equipment is stored off-site, you have protection against a disaster at your business site destroying your data.
Many medium or small companies may not store enough data to warrant purchasing expensive hardware. For these companies, a public cloud solution can be ideal. Cloud solutions are easily scalable, making it possible to expand the amount of storage available as your needs change. Because cloud storage can be accessed from almost anywhere, it can be a good option for companies with remote workers or employees who frequently need to access data while on the road. There are also benefits for companies who use edge computing strategies in the Internet of Things because network reach can be extended into difficult to access areas with less latency.
The main drawback to public cloud solutions is that while providers employ robust security protections, the constant connection to the internet makes them more vulnerable to unauthorized access than other storage methods. Data that is particularly sensitive or important may need to be stored on a private cloud.
Choosing a Storage Method
Many businesses use a combination of storage methods based on the type of data they are storing and their business needs. Combining on-premises storage with redundant solutions in the cloud or colocation can meet an organization’s need for access and control, while also protecting against data loss.
There are many options available for storing your business data. The best option for you will depend on your budget, needs and how you use your data. Whichever method you choose, it is important to take steps to protect your data from loss or malicious access.