Any small business owner, like yourself, understands why it’s important to keep all your data securely backed up – it’s a measure that could mean the difference between whether your business flourishes or fails. And you likely also know, by now, that you really can’t rely hedge your bets on one single backup – there are so many ways that an electronic database can be compromised these days; and should that happen to your sole data backup, it could well be the first step toward your business’s collapse.
But how, then, ought you to go about making your business’s backups? Well, we can’t definitively answer that question for you – your business, and its needs, are unique, and nobody understands what they are better than you. But we can give you a few starting pointers.
No doubt you’re familiar with what IT pros call the “3-2-1 rule of backup” – the notion that you should keep at least three separate copies of your data backup, kept on two different kinds of platform, with one copy kept offsite.
Of course, like most “rules” of running a business, it’s less a rule and more a general suggestion – one which might need to be altered to best suit the needs of you and your business.
Just for starters, you’ll need to consider just how many backups you ought to keep, which is highly dependent upon the size of your business’s resources. Of course, as discussed, there are few, if any, circumstances wherein one backup is sufficient, but it’s just as ill-advised to make more backups than you or your staff can keep proper track of. Do that, and you could end up neglecting one or more of your backups, leaving it vulnerable to unwanted external access.
Next, of course, you’ll need to consider just what sort of platforms you want to store your backups. The two most obvious choices, of course, are cloud locations and physical hard drives; but it can get a little more complicated than that. Many business owners, for instance, prefer to keep all their backups offline, out of fear of hacking. If you’re one of them, you’re certainly not alone; but if so, you will need to make sufficient plans for where to keep the various physical backups of your data – you may have to dedicate a portion of your budget to rent out a variety of separate secure storage spaces.
And if you do choose to store on the cloud, there’s the whole matter of deciding which of the internet’s many cloud storage services offer the best deals for your particular needs. And the issue of what sort of cloud storage to make use of, of course – for instance, you might choose to set aside your more long-term data and put it in “cold storage”, thus saving money on its storage, but limiting the number of times you can access it.
Simply put, there’s a lot of decisions to be made when it comes to backing up your business’s data. If you haven’t started putting your backup regime in place, we’d advise you to start immediately – one can never tell what’s around the corner.