The Single Most Effective Way to Protect Your Business

Last week I told you that up to 90% of businesses who lose their data go out of business within twelve months.

This week I have a statistic that shocked me.  A survey conducted by Kabooza-2009 Global Survey revealed that:

  • 82% of home PC users don’t do regular backup. 
  • 66% have lost pictures and files on their home PC. 42% within the last year. 
  • 71% are most worried about losing their digital pictures on their home PC. 

Not only that, but 50% of respondents said they don’t do any backups at all!

Loss of data can be devastating. 

Last week I wrote about expecting the unexpected.  And then the horrific earthquake and tsunami in Japan caught us all out all over again.  Dwarfing the terrible Christchurch earthquake and reminding us that life is fragile and we do need to expect the unexpected.

I can’t emphasise enough the importance of taking regular backups for your business, never mind your home computer. Backup and recovery plans are essential not only for businesses but also for home users.

What should you backup?

Accounting data, customer records, documents, calendars, emails, contacts, tasks, in-house documentation. Everything and anything you have invested time into.

How not to backup your data

  • Most operating systems now provide backup software for you to do your own backup on your own computer. The problem with this is that you don’t really have Disaster Recovery (DR) backup.  If anything happened to your computer you have no backup.
  • You really need to maintain two backups: one on-site and one off-site. (CloudBackup provides both of these.)

What’s the best way to do backups?

  • CDs and DVDs are not very good – they are slow, and CDs don’t hold a lot of information.  They are subject to damage from heat and light (even to the extent of just being in the car on a sunny day).
  • USB Flash drives, sometimes called “thumb” drives, have more storage space than CDs and DVDs.  They are not too expensive.  They are portable and fairly robust.  The disadvantages are that they can’t hold vast quantities of data and they are very easy to lose.  My wife is a tutor and her students regularly lose their thumb drives.
  • External hard drives are very effective backup devices. They have good storage capacity, they are fast, reliable and portable. They can be damaged if you drop them or if they have any sort of jarring, especially when they are in operation.
  • Tapes have a reputation for being reliable but they are expensive to buy and run.  They are high maintenance and they are archaic, slow and only suitable for DR backup.  Their big advantage is that they are Sarbanes–Oxley compliant.
  • Online backup services are modern, flexible, reliable and well protected against fire, theft and natural disaster. They have a small initial outlay, they are automated and professionally managed, so you don’t even need to worry about backups at all. The only disadvantage is that they are subject to Internet connection.

What about CloudBackup?

One of the beauties of my CloudBackup service is that if there was to be a disaster at your place, the odds of you losing data are minimised because you will have a safe backup stored elsewhere.

Basically, you get a backup in two places: one locally and one remotely.  The advantage of this system is that having a local backup means you have quick and easy access to files.  And having a remote backup means that your data is protected in case of fire, theft or natural disaster. Not only that but it’s affordable, fast and up to date.  In fact it’s the single most effective way to protect your business.

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