How vulnerable is your business?
Data is by all accounts something that most businesses depend upon to function, and tends to be stored digitally in formats including: Word, Excel and Powerpoint, but protecting it often gets overlooked with many thinking ‘it won’t happen to me’ and failing to enlist the help of an IT professional to advise and implement suitable measures should the data get stolen, corrupted or encrypted due to a ransomware attack.
The four most common causes of data loss are: natural disasters, human error, technical failures, and cyber-attacks, with the latter becoming increasingly common. Recent reports suggest that just under 46% of all UK businesses identified at least one cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months. Unfortunately, this number is likely to increase, especially amongst small to medium sized businesses who are generally seen as an easier target for the cyber criminals. Smaller businesses often don’t have the time or budgets to spend on professional IT advice or, sometimes it’s simply that the process of protecting their data just gets overlooked.
Many businesses do not realise how valuable and important their data is until a data loss occurs. Did you know 43% of companies never reopen following a major loss of business data? The good news is, there are some simple solutions that can be implemented to protect your business from data loss. Whilst purchasing a quality business antivirus solution helps, many businesses still opt for the free ones, not realising the disadvantages until they are attacked. Two other key areas of protection are:
Backing up and Backup Validation
- Backing up is simply making a copy of the most important files on your computer and storing it somewhere separate from your PC, i.e. in the Cloud, on a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device, or both. These files can then be used to restore your data if the original files are lost, damaged or infected. There are a variety of options for backing up, e-mpower.IT would of-course be able to suggest which ones are best suited for you and your business.
However, it’s not just the process of backing up but also thinking about how often you back up. We would generally recommend you backup daily.
- Daily Backup – Is simply backing up every day to ensure the impact of data loss on your business is minimal. It is important for businesses to think about how often they are backing up; since many only backup on an adhoc basis or just when they remember. This a high risk way of working. To put it into context, think about how your business would function if you lost data today and the most recent backup available was days, weeks or even months old. It’s far better to implement a pre-determined schedule for backing up.
- Backup Validation – Whilst backing up is key, backup validation is also just as important. Many companies feel confident that their data is protected because they are backing up but, this may not actually be the case. Backup validation is the process of finding out whether the backup attempt has been successful or not, and also checking to ensure the data set selected for backup is sufficient to consider the business “protected” i.e. have you backed up enough of the right files to protect your business should there be a disaster?
If you backup but never actually carry out a restore to test it, then how do you know if the backup is working properly? One could ask what’s the point of backing up if you don’t carry out backup validation? Ask yourself two key questions – “Have I ever actually done a restore from a backup point to prove the backup can be successfully restored?” and “Do I know how long it will take to restore my files?”
Backup validation doesn’t tend to be on people’s radars, yet it is a critical part of the whole backup process and therefore plays a vital role in your business.
With cyber-attacks on the rise, it’s vitally important the right provisions are in place to protect your business and of-course e-mpower.IT are on hand to assist, advise and implement a relevant disaster recovery plan to suit your business should the worst happen.
Don’t leave it to chance, speak to e-mpower.IT
What we do is a given, HOW we do it is the difference!
e-mpower.IT are based in Burgess Hill, West Sussex and offer IT support and guidance for small to medium sized businesses in the South East of England.
We are the specialists in handling your IT needs including: antivirus, software, hardware, backup, Cloud services and more.