If you’re wondering which files to back up and how often, you’re not alone. Statistics show that 48% of businesses experience data loss in a year, and 35% of computer owners have never backed up their computer. If you’ve never backed up your computer, you are putting your business at risk. I’ll target three questions and provide answers that will hopefully help you to take that step forward towards protecting your data so it is not lost forever.
Q1)”What files should my company be backing up?“
Answer: Data that is crucial to business operations if you were to need to relocate due to a major disaster.
Well that is the short answer anyways. Here’s the deal.
This is the tedious part; just like cleaning our your storage space or over-packed closet. You need to choose which files you need compared to which you want. Organizers recommend that you create 3 piles when cleaning out your things: keep, donate, and trash/recycle. My recommended action involves a similar approach.
Look at all your files and identify them as 3 categories:
- NEED: Determine what your bare bones business requirements are in order to reopen doors after a major disaster. What files would you need to have on hand? Maybe it is your client and employee records, contracts, your financial data, contacts, software, and processes/procedures you rely on.
- WANT: Identify the files that are helpful to have but could be recreated if needed. Marketing brochures, commonly used links, etc.
- LUXURY: Finally determine your “luxury” files; these would be the ones you honestly could go without. I consider these the security blanket of the categories. We build up a library of files for use “someday” that have likely fallen out of date but it is just comforting to know you have them on hand. (I know I’m not alone on this.)
Your priority is to protect the NEED and then consider the WANT categories. Luxury items just take up precious space and in the long run if a disaster were to strike, you won’t miss them.
Q2) “How often should I backup our files?”
Answer: Depends on the type of backup – Full, Incremental/Differential, or Selective.
Were you expecting an easy answer? I know – me too! Each type of backup has a different frequency. I’ll explain…
- FULL BACKUP: One time (although some may suggest once a year). The Full Backup basically copies your entire system with the idea that it could be fully restored to the normal operating state if needed.
- INCREMENTAL/DIFFERENTIAL BACK UP: These backups copy only the files that have changed since the previous backup. Depending on the type of business your company operates, these backups can be scheduled to occur hourly, daily or even weekly.
- SELECTIVE BACKUP: This is a manual backup that stores select files. While the previous 2 backups listed are targeted towards the NEED and WANT categories from above, the selective backup is for those LUXURY files just can’t bear to part with (like that one outfit in the back of the closet that hasn’t fit for 10 years but “someday” you’ll get back into it).
Q3) “How do I backup my files?”
Answer: Businesses are turning to the cloud over physical storage – and yes, “I’ve got a guy.”
On March 31, 2016, Kroll Ontrack released results from a survey of customers who experienced data loss that 23% of businesses (a 5% increase over 2015) are considering the cloud for their backup solutions over a traditional external hard drive. But why the increase? Simple, the cloud provides benefits that premises based options can’t deliver.
My Top 5 Cloud Benefits over premises based backup:
- The cloud offers increased flexibility for off-site disaster recovery plans due to the ability to retrieve the data and work from a remote location if needed.
- Without the need for capital-expenditures (a.k.a. the price of expensive hardware), businesses are no longer tied up financially with outdated equipment but can instead budget for a competitive monthly subscription fee and included upgrades.
- Eco-friendly sustainable solution means no equipment on your end using up energy and leaving behind a nasty carbon footprint.
- High-tech encryption for secured files – proven to be exceptionally helpful to restore infected laptops by the way!
Still have questions about backups or interested in a quote on cloud backup solutions for your business? I told you, I’ve got a guy…