SME survival guide: What data do I need to back up?

Senior Support Analyst

Fav thing about the office

Cheesecake Wednesdays

As a child I wanted to be a ... when I grew up

Solicitor

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Gu Puds

Favourite Holiday

2 weeks in Florida

If I had a superpower it would be...

Definitely flying

Describe yourself in three words or less

Lots of Energy

An interesting fact about me

I was once the South Ribble Chess Champion.

Likes

Exercise, Muay Thai, Singin' in the rain

Favourite Band

Its not about the artist its about the style

Karaoke Jam

Vengabus- Vengaboys

What I do at Q2Q:

I head up the IT support team.

On a daily basis I work on resolving IT issues for our clients. My skill set tends to adapt according to the current needs of our customers, from solving basic matters like fixing a printer through to more complex server infrastructure deployment. I am also often out on site visiting customers that are in need of an IT saviour.

Within the team, I work on the proposals for new and existing customers, and ensure we all work together to implement the solutions we propose.

I enjoy overseeing new projects so that, when clients evolve, we can ensure their growth, office move and/or induction of a new team member, is as seamless as possible from an IT perspective.

I also drive the rest of the team insane with my singing!

Background and Achievements

I joined the Q2Q team when they were part of the I.T. department for the Tulchan Group 14+ years ago. This was my first full-time role straight of out A-levels. I have enjoyed being part of the company and watching it grow from 3 members of staff to a blossoming 10.

I find it hard to pin point specific achievements as one of my values personally is to always exceed your own expectations. My wife would say being a great Dad to my two boys.

A great achievement for me is getting 76 miles to the gallon on the motorway and being able to finally grow stubble.

Hobbies and Interests

I aim to train in Muay Thai twice a week and religiously go to the gym every day I can.

I can juggle and have always wanted to learn knife throwing.

Whether big or small, all businesses know that the data they store is crucial for communicating with people – including employees, stakeholders, potential customers and more, who are vital in helping them successfully fulfil their company activities and objectives.

Given that between 60% and 90% of organisations fail after a security breach or data loss – and with plenty in the news about GDPR fines – it’s never been more ingrained in the minds of SME owners, that copies of this data need to be regularly saved somewhere safe. This is not only to help prevent any information being compromised in a cyber-attack, but also to enable rapid recovery in the event of a power outage or natural disaster, for example.

We’ve talked about the importance of back-up and data replication before, but how do you know exactly what kind of files you need to duplicate, how to do it and when?

Can’t I just back it all up?

You may be thinking this is an easy question that requires a one-word response, but in line with the GDPR that came into effect in May 2018, there are new rules around the way organisations can collect, save and store data. So, if you thought that ‘yes’ was the answer to the question above, you’re not wrong – but it’s worth being aware that under the new legislation, everyone whose personally identifiable data you hold must have consented to you keeping it.

Therefore, only acquiring and processing data which is necessary is a key element to helping create a data back-up strategy that’s as slick as possible.

Ok, so what do I back up?

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to deciding exactly what data needs to be backed up, but any information that is essential for keeping your business running should definitely be on the list. For example, this could be anything from customer details, financial records and accounting information, to stakeholder contacts and company emails, to name but a few.

Just remember, once you’ve established consent for the data you need to run your businesses successfully, this then needs to be copied and saved on a habitual basis. 

How should I do it?

There are many ways to back up your SME’s sensitive data, but the most effective and comprehensive way of ensuring that no information is lost forever, is to implement a 3-2-1 back-up strategy.

Put simply, this approach ensures there are three copies of the data, on two separate media types – one of which is stored off-site. An encrypted, cloud-based option offers an improved level of security – compared to physical servers and manual replication processes – so it may be worth investing in the cloud as a key part of your recovery procedure.

The cloud is not only a great alternative to more traditional back-up methods – as it saves on software and hardware costs, as well as increasing security – but its flexibility means that data stored on it can be accessed from anywhere, inside the office and beyond.

When is the best time?

Again, this is entirely subjective to the business in question. But as a general rule, whenever any critical data changes, then it’s a smart idea to ensure it’s backed up appropriately.

To ensure that there’s never a gap in your data back-ups, it’s advisable to assess your requirements and ask yourself key questions – such as, how much email loss would affect your business operations, or what impact a sales system restoration would have on daily tasks. Only then can you determine the frequency which would best suit your SME.

If you’re unsure on how to implement the best back-up solution for your SME, why not get in touch with our team of IT experts?

 

SME survival guide: What data do I need to back up?