Has your business been affected by data loss in the past, or are you fearful that it could negatively impact your organization in the future? If so, you aren’t alone. According to a 2011 survey conducted by Carbonite, 48 percent of small businesses in America (between 2 and 20 employees) experience some level of data loss on an annual basis.
According to the same study, the top causes of data loss are hardware and/or software failure (54 percent), accidental deletion (also 54 percent), viruses and malware (33 percent), and theft (10 percent). Despite these numbers, nearly one-third of all business owners say that backing up their computers and servers is a hassle and not always their first priority. Unless you want to fall into the 48 percent that will likely experience data loss in 2015, it’s important that you take heed to the following advice.
Invest in Physical Copies
One of the most practical actions you can take is invest in physical copies of your most important files. In the case of server failure or a loss of internet connection, a physical, local copy can ensure you have immediate access to the information and data you need. Physical copies should be stored in a room and/or building separate from the original copies in case of destruction caused by fire, flooding, or other natural disasters. While physical copies are advantageous, there are also some disadvantages. One disadvantage is that it can be expensive. Another issue is that it’s still subject to physical failure or damage.
Reach for the Cloud
The most popular and effective method of backing up your data and keeping it safe is through some sort of cloud application or program. Also known as virtual storage, cloud storage keeps your files safe by electronically storing them independently from your physical servers or computers. This provides you with safe keeping in the case of viruses, malware, theft, or physical destruction. The disadvantage of cloud storage is that it is often the most expensive method and carries ongoing costs that scale as your needs grow. On the other hand, positives include having virtual copies readily available and the peace of mind that files are safe and secure.
RAID storage, also known as redundant array of independent disks, is a widely used data storage virtualization technology that uses multiple disk drives to create a data redundancy system that keeps data and files safe within your physical servers. While it is one of the simplest methods for creating failover disk storage, it can take up a large portion of your drive capacity.
Be Prepared for Everything
Realistically, it’s impossible to prepare for everything that could be thrown at you. However, you can certainly protect yourself by anticipating the most likely data issues your company could face. In addition to the tools, technologies, and tips mentioned here, your company should consider investing in firewalls, encryption services, secure passwords, and other preventative methods that allow you to rest easy at night. For example, if your office is in a hurricane prone area, you can prepare for physical damage by having virtual backup storage systems. If theft is a concern, ensure all server rooms are properly monitored and secured. Preparation can prevent data loss in many situations.
In the end, your ability to keep your data safe and sound depends on how much time and effort you are willing to put into protecting your information. Whether it’s cloud storage, physical backups, or RAID storage, there is a solution for every business. In some cases, this may be a combination of multiple technologies. Regardless of which protection method you pursue, make sure your company is safe from potential danger in 2015.