Running your own company is both exhilarating and time-consuming. With your days full already, a backup strategy for your data may not seem like a high priority in the daily operations of your small business. However, it’s essential, even if it doesn’t seem urgent at the moment. While the loss of data could interrupt business for a larger company, it could bring the operations of a small business to a screeching halt.
Plan Your Backup Strategy First
You need three copies of your company’s data to ensure that you can access needed files after a loss of power, data breach, or another threat to security. The first isn’t an actual copy but rather the original data files. From these, you should prepare a backup copy for both onsite and offsite storage. Having a duplicate copy of your files ensures that you can read them should the other copy become unreadable. For example, the onsite copy of your data files could have a bad tape.
Time is of the essence when you need to obtain data from a backup copy of your files. This is the reason that we recommend having a backup available to you onsite. However, you need to store the backup in a secure location in case of severe weather, fire, or attempted theft. Ransomware attacks are another good reason to create a duplicate copy of your data files and store them in an offsite location. Unfortunately, the hack could wipe out your onsite backup as well as the original files.
Specific Types of Backup Media to Consider
Now that you understand the importance of creating multiple backup files, it’s time to select the type of media you want to use to create these files. Using tape to create a backup has fallen out of favor, but it’s still a reliable and inexpensive way to perform backup. Ransomware can no longer attack a tape file once it’s ejected from your system.
- Tape backup isn’t necessarily a good choice for small businesses that operate with frequently changing data. Companies that use tape backup typically run it once each night, a process that can leave the most recent data uploads vulnerable and unprotected. One way around this is to use a portable hard drive along with the tape for backup.
- Continuous data protection, known as CDP, is a method of backup that constantly runs backup by sending the data to a set of discs located within a backup appliance or server. You won’t miss any data since they run all the time, but CDP systems are large, costly, and not portable. Some small business owners choose to make a backup copy of data to a tape or cloud storage when primarily operating CDP.
- Cloud backups are extremely reliable, although not always the best option to store large amounts of data. Some limitations you may run into include Internet bandwidth and increasing costs of transferring data. Many companies choose the cloud as a secondary backup for these reasons.