By Sonia Blizzard, MD, Beaming

It’s easy for businesses to feel complacent when it comes to the security and storage of their data, adopting the approach of “it won’t happen to me” or “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it”. However, if businesses were to know how it feels to lose their data, it may change their attitude. Online storage is as secure as physical storage if not more, but businesses also need to be aware of the risks of online storage so that they can invest in measures to ensure that the worst does not happen to them.

This complacency is worrying, because commonly, the only time businesses think about backing up their data is when it has all been accidentally wiped from their physical server, or hacked into and stolen from their cloud-based server. Of course, when this happens, there are ways and means of recovering this kind of lost data, and often companies and individuals are able to retrieve the majority, if not all, of their files and folders. However, depending on the last back-up of the data in question, there may well end up being huge gaps in information that had only recently been entered.

If the most recent back-up of data has not captured important information, and if multiple backups have not been taken in the case of corrupted files, then the business is only setting themselves up for a fall and a long fall. After every input of information, your data needs to be backed up, and this can be arranged automatically. You can set your server (whether this is physical or in the cloud) to back up every day at the same time, or you can ask employees to do so regularly every time they finish inputting information.

Following these procedures will enable your IT technicians to recover close to, if not all, 100% of your lost data in the unlikely event that you find your server has been wiped. Not only this, but with regular backups and a succinct procedure in place, recovery of data will actually be a lot faster and save you and your business those long periods of anxiety waiting to see what can be recovered.

The words “back-up” might take you right back to when you would back up your documents on to a floppy disc in case something happened to your hard drive and this certainly was an optimum solution at one point in time. However, these days backing up your server means having a physical and a virtual copy: one on your hard drive and one in the cloud. It can also mean having two physical hard drives which are both backed up to regularly, one of which stays in the office overnight in a fire safe and the other which goes off site. All of the above will work for an effective back-up plan, and the more techniques you chose, the better.

Unfortunately, no matter how steadfastly you follow your back-up procedure, if you do have a problem with your data and you happen to lose it all, it will take some time to gain everything back. This is why we think it is important to ensure that businesses have a “disaster recovery” document on hand which will ensure minimum disruption to the business during recovery time. This document can not only set out the correct procedures to follow, but it can also contain vital information about the daily goings-on of the business to ensure that the company and projects continue to turn over during any down time. The last thing you want when you lose your data is to lose your productivity as well, so prepare for the worst, no matter how unlikely it is.