Data Backup: Why It’s Important and How to Do It

0
679

Information is what makes companies run. You need it to inform your customers, make smart business decisions, and handle the daily operation of your company.

Unfortunately, things can go wrong that cause you to lose data. And when 60% of businesses that suffer from a data loss close down after six months, you need to do everything possible to safeguard your critical files.

You’re putting your company at risk if you don’t have a data backup and recovery plan for your business. Keep reading to learn what a data backup strategy is and why it makes sense for every business.

What Is Data Backup?

You won’t face issues with your data in most situations. Computer hardware and software have come a long way, so you don’t expect bad things to happen. However, that doesn’t mean things can’t go wrong.

You can experience data failures from both hardware and software. On top of that, people will make mistakes and compromise your data. If you don’t have a way to restore your data to a previous state, your business will be in trouble when this happens.

Data backups are what protect you in these situations. You back up your critical files and databases to an external location on a schedule. As a result, you can restore information when you lose it.

Here’s how the data backup process happens in practice.

Identify Critical Information

The first step in the data backup process is identifying the important data in your organization. The chances are good that you don’t need to back up every file. Personal files on computers, for instance, will only take up space and not add any value to your backup.

Look through all your data storage to see what matters most. Your business-critical information will be the most important and need the greatest attention.

You may have other data that’s useful too, but not important for your day-to-day operations. You can focus less on these and still ensure you have reliable backups in case you need them.

Pick a Backup Type

You have several types of backups in a business environment. Most businesses want to invest in cloud backup at a minimum. Doing this is easier since you only need to install software on your computer equipment and set a schedule for your files.

However, you can also invest in physical backups. You have complete control over these backups and store them in a secondary location. If you’re concerned about data privacy, this is a great option.

Some businesses also take extra precautions and create several backups of their files. That means investing in physical and cloud backups for their data. It takes more work, but it is a way to ensure protection in case one of your backup methods fails.

Determine a Backup Schedule

Knowing when to back up your files is critical if you want the most protection. You probably modify your files at different rates. That means if you make modifications to a section of data monthly, it makes no sense to do a daily backup of the file.

This is important if you have a lot of files. The more data you back up, the more bandwidth your company uses. Depending on your backup provider, that can add to your cost.

It makes more sense to back up files based on their usage. Important files that get used daily are fine to back up every day. However, you are probably fine with weekly or monthly backups of less used and less important information.

Choose a Backup Vendor

Now that you know what data you need to back up and know when you need to do it, you need to find a vendor to handle your backup plan. The first step of the process is to see the common providers other businesses use.

Once you have a list of popular backup vendors, see what features those companies offer.

Do they have software available that makes planning backups easier? Do you have the ability to schedule backups at different times? Are you able to back up information in a database along with files?

Once you understand the features of each provider, start looking at pricing. Make sure you understand your total cost every month and pick a solution that offers enough value and security.

Of course, this choice isn’t always easy for a company without tech experience. It pays to reach out to outsourced tech solutions to get help with the process.

Test Your Backups

Once you have your backup system in place, you don’t want to just leave it alone. You never know if a backup is good if you never use it. Unfortunately, there may be times when files get corrupted and make it impossible to recover.

Test your backup system as soon as your first backup completes. Download your files and test them to verify the data and your ability to use them.

Of course, don’t just test your backups once. You must regularly test your backup solution to ensure everything continues working. Set a schedule to test your files at least once every few months if you want to stay safe.

Why Should You Invest in Data Backup Services?

Now that you know what the data backup process is like, the question is, will it be worth the effort? Check out the benefits of data backups below to learn why investing in backup solutions is worth the money.

Data Security

Data security is critical for businesses these days. Cybercrime is at an all-time high, meaning you have more chances than ever of losing your data.

A customer reputation hit isn’t the only thing you’ll suffer from when you suffer from cybercrime, either. Reports show that the average cost of a data breach in the United States is now $9.4 million.

While data backup won’t stop cybercrime completely, it will help you get back up and running more quickly. That means you can get back to serving customers instead of scrambling to figure out what to do.

Data Management

Recovery isn’t the only thing you have to worry about when you lose data. If you don’t have a system in place to organize your files, it’s hard to find what you need. And when some files are more critical than others, you can’t afford to waste time sifting through recovery data.

Modern data backup solutions help by giving you a way to organize your backups. You can create systems to find what you need quickly and can search your files.

This means you can quickly find critical business information when you need to get back up and running quickly. You can wait until later to restore information that doesn’t matter as much.

Data Compliance

You collect a lot of sensitive data if you work in certain industries. Take the healthcare and finance industries, for instance. You’re going to store patient health information and financial records on your servers.

It’s your responsibility to make sure that information stays secure. That means protecting it against hackers and making sure nothing happens that causes data loss.

That’s why there are rules that govern how you handle data in these industries. You need an IT infrastructure that meets those guidelines if you want to operate legally.

Data History

Even if you do a great job at maintaining your data, that doesn’t mean people can’t make mistakes. Employees will enter the wrong information in files, and that file gets backed up to your system.

A normal data backup won’t protect you in this situation. The data in storage is also wrong, so restoring it won’t fix the problem.

That’s where file versioning helps. Many backup solutions offer version history of files that go back several versions. These histories contain previous information you had before someone made a bad edit.

That means you can go back to your file versions to see your previous data. This ability makes human error less risky and will help you avoid serious problems that result from it.

Don’t Wait to Protect Your Critical Data

You’ll collect a lot of data when you run a business. This data includes everything from important information about your customers to product data that helps you better serve your customers.

You can’t afford to leave that data unprotected if you want to safeguard your business against future threats. Now that you know why data backup is important, start looking for a data backup service to begin protecting your business information.

Do you want to learn more about technology and how to make the most of it in business? Learn more tech tips by checking out the blog.