Data drives business. From the largest of corporations to even many small mom and pop stores on Main Street, data is invaluable to businesses.
One of the most important aspects of using data for businesses, though, is keeping it secure and out of the hands of those who would use it improperly. Today, every business needs a plan for how to securely store their data, no matter what information it contains.
Putting together that plan requires a knowledge of the best, most reliable ways to backup data, how to keep that data safe and how to recover data when necessary, whether that is following a security breach or power outage.
In this blog post, we’ll lay out the best practices and the steps you need to take now to keep your business’s data – and your customers’ data – safe.
Businesses rely on data to make decisions. These days, nearly every business collects data of some type. Maybe it’s just customer contact information. It often goes much deeper than that, though. Companies of just about every size use data to analyze statistics and trends that can help them continue to succeed and grow.
Data also reaches nearly every portion of a business – sales, accounting, marketing and many more. Good data leads to better decision-making in all areas of a business.
But data is only useful if it is truly secure and backed up in a way that makes it easily recoverable.
There are many ways a business can go about securely storing its data. But the first steps must always involve taking an inventory of all the data that must be stored and backed up. Then, you need to invest in the proper storage devices with enough storage space for the data that you have identified as needing to be stored.
Storage devices come in many shapes and sizes. Some are more suitable than others, depending on your organization’s needs. Here is a quick overview.
Cloud storage is becoming increasingly popular for managing data storage solutions. Cloud technology is currently favored among businesses of all sizes because of how versatile it is.
No matter your data storage needs, the cloud can handle it. Should you need to upgrade and utilize additional space, there’s often no faster way to do this than through the cloud.
While storing information in the cloud, you can also always rest assured that your data is stored safely and securely. You can recover and backup data as much as you prefer.
An additional advantage of utilizing cloud storage services is that the information you store in the cloud can be accessed from anywhere and from any device as long as there is an internet or network connection.
Now that’s flexibility.
Storing data locally is also a preferred option among many organizations.
Storing locally means all data is stored on-site. This could be on computer hard drives or on servers also located within the facility.
Now, on-site local storage may not always be the most secure, especially if you are only relying on computers to handle data storage and backups. If you elect to go this route, then it is best to invest in proper hardware, which includes servers.
However, it doesn’t end there. To plan for proper backup and recovery, you will need to create a plan for how data will be transferred in the event of server or other hardware failure. You will also need to have equipment on-site that can jump in in the event of a power outage, likely in the form of an UPS or similar battery backup equipment. You will also want to run a software that can schedule regular backups and run recovery operations.
Smaller options for small businesses
Some small businesses may not necessarily need servers or even smaller-scale cloud storage solutions. In this case, there are external hard drives and USB that could get the job done.
These are best used for businesses that only use small amounts of data, though. Most likely will not find this solution suitable, as many businesses simply require more space for data or at least more flexibility than these devices can often provide.
Now that you know about options for storing data, you have to determine how best to backup that data. Ideally, that solution will require multiple solutions above. This ensures that you always have more than one place where your business’s data is kept safe and secure.
But you need to have a plan for how to put in place proper backup procedures and how to begin recovering data if that is ever necessary.
First, consider what events, often referred to in the industry as disasters, might happen that could require accessing a backup. This could be a power outage, a natural disaster or something more nefarious, which we hope you would never have to navigate.
Either way, once you have put thought into what circumstances may arise that would require recovering data, then you can plan how to do so.
The recovery process all comes down to utilizing multiple backup methods, running data backups consistently and having access to the backups when you need them.
Don’t forget to keep a list of every piece of information your business uses that needs to be backed up. It’s always a good idea to keep tabs on whether your backups are actually working as desired, too.
Keeping an eye on your data storage capabilities, backup processes and recovery options may sound a little intimidating, or it may sound like more tasks that could distract you from other more operation-critical business tasks.
If that’s the case, then contact Advanced Network Professionals today. Our experienced technicians can help layout a comprehensive data storage, backup and recovery plan for your business, no matter the size. We’ll also monitor the processes to ensure all is working as it should be.
Contact ANP for a consultation or to get an estimate.