Data loss can be caused by many factors, including:
- Natural events
- Mechanical failure
- Electronic failure
- Human error
- Human maliciousness (malware, physical theft)
Degrees of Data Loss
Data loss can sometimes be minor, such as in the case of a mistakenly deleted file or folder. Even for minor data loss, a in-place plan for rapid recovery can save time and money.
Events such as theft, fire and hard disk failure can result in major and permanent data loss if the right protections are not in place.
A ransomware attack can make all the files on employees’ computers, the local network, cloud drives (Dropbox, Onedrive, Google Drive, Box, etc) inaccessible. The data is still in place, but files can’t be read because they are encrypted. Paying the ransom doesn’t always guarantee data recovery.
A backup of the applications and data on servers, desktops and laptops should be readily available to minimize the recovery time in the event of any type of data loss.
On-Site Data Backups
A storage device such as a NAS, along with backup software, can be added to a local network. Once in place, employees’ valuable files and server files will be regularly copied to the storage device.
The speed of a local network is measured in gigabits per second. This means that large amounts of data can be restored quickly.
However, on-site backups are not always enough to protect against major events such as fires, floods and theft.
Offsite Data Backup – An Extra Layer of Security
Private cloud storage is an option that many companies implement in addition to local storage devices. Company data is backed to drives in a secure data center.
Offsite storage, along with associated services, can be purchased in increments – 100 GB, 250 GB, 500 GB, etc.
Multiple daily “snapshots” of a company’s data are taken. This makes it possible to go back to a particular point in time to recover data.
If files encrypted by ransomware are backed up, recovering those files will do no good. However, earlier snapshots will contain the original, non-encrypted files.
Small amounts of data can be quickly restored over the internet. If a file or folder was accidentally deleted, a backup can be downloaded.
For emergency large data restoration, a portable drive is shipped overnight from the data center to the business location.
Ongoing Management of a Data Backup and Recovery Plan
As with many things that involve hardware and software, it’s not enough to set and forget a data backup plan.
Data backup and recovery plans need to be monitored and managed on an ongoing basis. Since backup software is involved, as with all software, it needs to be periodically patched or upgraded.
A proper plan is relatively inexpensive insurance against an unexpected event that could cause your small business to lose important data.