Opinion: Use It, Don’t Lose It: Keeping Your Business Data Safe
- — 13 September, 2011 10:20
Some things are meant to go together. Coffee and laptops isn’t one of them. Spilling a drink on a keyboard is just one of many ways people lose vital business data. Other hazards include hardware and software failure, viruses, accidentally deleting a file, fire and theft. Yet more than one in three Australian businesses (36%) do not have an offsite backup strategy to protect their data, according to a survey* by backup specialist Acronis.
“Lost data doesn’t just mean lost opportunities, productivity and revenue – in some cases it is the death knell for the entire business,” Karl Sice, General Manager, Pacific, Acronis said.
“A simple mistake, like accidentally deleting a file or knocking over a drink on a laptop, can ruin a business. Protecting your data is the key, and comprehensive local and online backup protection is no longer only the domain of very big enterprises. There are affordable, effective backup solutions that can help all businesses minimise the impact of data loss, whether working offsite or in the office. The most important thing is to take action.”
Acronis backup tips to keep your business data safe:
Cover all your bases. Make sure your backup will protect all your important data – not just your business documents and files, but critical applications and your email too. Look for a solution that backs up the complete machine along with files and folders.
Don’t rely on people power – when you’re busy it’s easy to overlook, forget or put off backups until ‘tomorrow’ – of course, tomorrow never comes! Look for a ‘set and forget’ backup solution that will automatically do a lot of the work for you.
Don’t assume, check. Don’t assume your backups are working properly.
Recovery test: Try testing your backup. There’s nothing worse than discovering your backup hasn’t worked!
Check backups automatically: Your software should automatically validate your backed up data.
Keep it current – backup regularly. Make sure you keep offsite copies up-to-date. The longer you leave backups, more data you risk losing. After an initial full backup of the entire system, make sure you set up automatic incremental backups.
Save only what’s changed. Incremental backups save disk space by only storing what has been changed or added since your previous backup.
Speed it up – A full backup is much faster if you delete unnecessary information first - empty the Recycle Bin and delete temporary files if you don’t want them any more. There’s no point slowing things down by backing up things you don’t need or want.
Store physical backups carefully – make sure your physical backups, such as external hard drives, USBs and DVDs, are stored properly away from heat, sun, moisture and electro-magnetic fields that can damage them. Don’t store them with your laptop – if it is stolen, the thief might take your backups too.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – use a mix of local and online solutions.
Invest in a good external hard disk – The backups should be stored on removable media or removable drives and stored separately. That way, your backup is safe even if your laptop is lost or stolen. Local backups are great for day-to-day recovery.
Put your data in the cloud - double security for your business data by backing it up to the cloud so it can be recovered back to any location when needed. And because it’s stored online, it’s protected from physical threats, such as fire or theft.
Keep your options open - recover to different hardware. It's important to have tools that can recover your backup images to dissimilar hardware. That way, if your laptop is lost or stolen and you can’t find or don’t want an identical replacement, you can recover backup data easily on any new device.
Backup before you install - Before you install new programs, updates or drivers, taking a full backup of the system makes sense. If anything goes wrong, you can overcome any problems by rolling back to the full backup.
Don’t cry over spilt milk - Watch where you put your coffee!
* Acronis Global Disaster Recovery Index 2011.
Acronis is a leading provider of easy-to-use disaster recovery and data protection solutions for physical, virtual and cloud environments. Its patented disk imaging technology enables corporations, SMBs and consumers to protect their digital assets. With Acronis' disaster recovery, deployment and migration software, users protect their digital information, maintain business continuity and reduce downtime. Acronis software is sold in more than 90 countries and available in up to 14 languages. For additional information, please visit www.acronis.com.au. Follow Acronis on Twitter.