Why your business needs data backup and recovery services

With our social media accounts reminding us of things we did 10 years ago, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that data lasts forever, and requires less oversight than physical files. Similarly, it’s easy to underestimate how much data you have, and how important it all is to your organisation. The reality is that our digital paper trails are massive, and in a business context, they’re often as vulnerable as paper and plastic.

While digital storage has a number of advantages over traditional archives, digital files are just as vulnerable as physical ones. Moreover, while we have an implicit understanding of how to protect physical objects from damage, the need for data protection – and particularly data backups – is less obvious. Here then are a few reasons why your business needs data backup and recovery services, and why you shouldn’t waste any time employing them.

Data loss

The most obvious reason to backup your data is the immediate threat of losing it. An increasingly common issue for businesses is data loss through security breaches, with files either being compromised or locked away in a ‘ransomware’ attack. This is where your files are encrypted and password protected, with the attacker demanding remuneration in return for the password needed to access them. Such an attack often spreads between connected terminals and across networks, compromising thousands of files at once.

While we often think of data loss in terms of security breaches, there are many ways in which data can be accidentally lost or compromised. Something as simple as moving the latest version of a file to a USB stick or laptop and losing that device can cost you many hours of work if you have not backed it up elsewhere. Even having a copy of a file on someone’s computer while they are on holiday can leave you stranded, and force you to change your plans.

Data loss can also be nobody’s fault. We all know the pain of software crashing and losing data, while the computers themselves are always prone to failure. Natural disasters, power outages, fires and other disasters can also cause irretrievable data loss on a massive scale. Simply losing one hard drive could compromise a large number of files, with potential repercussions beyond your work. If you lose access to customer data, you could even end up in breach of GDPR and other data privacy laws, putting you at risk of legal action.

Reputational damage

While losing data has obvious repercussions in terms of time and money, it can also have an effect outside your business. Even if it does not happen as a result of a breach, data loss is likely to affect your image. If you have backups, data loss may cause temporary disruption, but this will only last as long as it takes to be restored. If data is lost permanently, it highlights your lack of safeguards as well as causing significant disruption, and may reflect on a lack of care and attention throughout the business.

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There are numerous examples of data breaches which have negatively impacted the image of a company – and had a serious knock-on effect in terms of consumer confidence. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitch were just a few of the companies whose websites suffered major attacks in 2021, with data being leaked online. While these attacks didn’t necessarily cause data loss, such attacks can lead to data being deleted from servers – and when people find out, there can be a similar impact on your reputation.

A 2017 report by Cisco found that 29 percent of businesses that are subjected to cyberattacks lose revenue, while just under 40 percent of those businesses go on to lose more than 20 percent of their total revenues. Perhaps more worryingly, around 20% of data breach victims lose customers, with 40% of these losing more than a fifth of their entire client base. Trust is hard to rebuild, and the knock-on effect from what could be a simple security oversight can be catastrophic.

Accessibility

There are more positive reasons to consider a data backup and recovery solution. Without careful planning and implementation from an early stage, businesses can often end up in a situation where their storage is ad-hoc, unorganised and an active risk to data. Files may be stored across multiple devices or servers, in a way that makes them difficult to locate, and with little or no record as to their versions or who has worked on them.

Most data backup and recovery services tend to involve cloud computing, with the backups being located on remote servers. What this means is that while the data is safely partitioned away from your networks, it can also be easily accessed at any time and from any location, if desired. This allows you to organise and centralise your data, with records as to who has accessed any given file and when. Such a solution can make data management much easier, and eliminate any time wasted working on multiple versions of the same file, or the chance for a file to become lost or stranded.

In the event that a disaster does occur, data backup and recovery services mean that your data can quickly be restored, reducing downtime and reputational damage. With systems in place to ensure data is backed up on a regular basis – daily or even hourly, depending on its importance – the impact on productivity should be minimised. Even a small data loss, such as the accidental deletion or overwriting of a file, can be quickly corrected by restoring an older version. Cloud storage can even enable simultaneous editing of files, allowing for easy collaboration and editing of files.

Much like health & safety, all of the protection in the world isn’t going to stop the occasional accident, or completely eliminate the risk of a breach. By implementing data backup and recovery services as part of your IT plan, you’ll ensure that your data can be quickly recovered should the worst happen, minimising downtime and the loss of valuable man hours.

Sota is one of the UK’s leading independent IT companies, providing professional IT support in Kent, cloud computing, cyber resilience, connectivity, and unified communications. Having worked with countless businesses over the years, they are experts in their field, ready to advise and offer tailored solutions for each and every company. 

Adam Hansen
 

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.