With the number of risks to your business data (viruses, hackers, natural disasters, hardware failures etc.) it’s almost inevitable something will go wrong at some point. Based on this here are five reasons why you should back up your data.
The threat of hackers and ransomware
It is estimated around half of UK businesses faced some form of cyber-security breach in 2018.
In extreme cases, hackers can encrypt and hold your data to ransom. If you don’t have your data backed up then the only way to recover it might be to pay them.
Ransomware further complicates the situation. Ransomware code can be easily purchased by cyber-criminals and can spread like wildfire. It may not even be specifically targeted – ransomware will just find a weakness in IT that it encounters, then spread further to any email contacts it encounters. Even if you do pay the ransom, there’s no guarantee that your data will be returned.
This is far more commonplace than you might think. The best way to negate a ransomware attack (other than a reliable anti-ransomware solution) is to have an effective data backup.
Small businesses are prime targets
While you might think large businesses are the main targets for cyber attacks, it’s often those with fewer than 250 employees that are more likely to be targeted.
Think of it this way: why would cyber criminals waste time trying to get through the often complex security of a large business, when they can more easily hack an SME that hasn’t invested in IT safeguards?
If you have an SME business, you need to be aware that you are a potential target. Without a data backup solution you could find yourself losing critical data to a malicious attack. Don’t think you’re not big enough to be noticed.
Not all data loss is malicious
While it’s easy to think of data loss as being a perpetrated act, stats from the Information Commissioner’s Office indicates that the vast majority of data losses and breaches are the result of human error.
Staff within your business have to handle your data as part of their job, so there’s no escaping the chance of data being deleted by accident. So if you don’t want your company to be paralysed by a business-critical file or email that’s accidentally been deleted, you need a reliable backup solution.
Disasters DO happen
When protecting against data loss, businesses also need to think about the safety of the hardware that stores their data. It is often more fragile than you might think.
You may think of a business disaster as being on a grand scale (fire, flood, storm, earthquake etc.). But more mundane actions can impact you just as badly: poor-quality electrics, a dripping pipe, or even fragile IT hardware being accidentally knocked over could be enough to result in data loss from your hardware.
Without an effective backup, you can risk the future of your business.
Critical data loss destroys businesses
Approximately 9 out of 10 companies that lose their data for more than 10 days end up filing for bankruptcy within a year. In fact, many of those businesses file for bankruptcy immediately.
Why? Well, the loss of data can cause significant business interruption. Most SMEs can’t afford not to be working. Depending on the scale of the breach, a business may also be subject to regulatory fines (as a result of GDPR for example).
Data loss can also prove catastrophically damaging to reputation. Companies can find that the cost of losing (and subsequently trying to win back) customer confidence following data loss or theft far outweighs the actual cost of data loss.
The faster you can get up and running again, the more likely you are to retain customer confidence. This is why a data backup is imperative.
Protecting your data
There are a number of ways you can backup your business data. The most effective solution for many businesses is offsite backup, which is the process of storing a copy of your data in the cloud on a periodic basis.
By working with a third-party partner, you can ensure that all of your most critical data is automatically backed up to one or more secure locations.
Your chosen partner should also be able to perform regular tests on your backups to check that they are complete and working. So should you need to rely on your backup, you won’t get a nasty surprise.
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