Data back-up is one of the most important areas in IT, and is an essential measure to take so that you can recover any information that has been lost or compromised. In an era of rising cyber-crime, it is a necessary process for the smooth running of any business.
By duplicating your most important data, you are safeguarding it in the event that it’s lost, corrupted or infected by malware – meaning that even if the original is compromised, you can still access a copy of the file.
Why should you back-up?
A back-up of data should preferably be kept at a different location, within a secure environment. The unpredictable nature of hardware, software and human errors means that loss of information can happen at any time. For instance, the physical failure of your PC, theft or disasters such as a fire, flood or even a dropped coffee mug, can all result in a files being compromised. So, it is imperative that you create a duplicate of your data to make sure it doesn’t disappear for good.
What data should you back-up?
Choosing what data needs backing-up is the key place to start – you’ll need to duplicate all your company’s most crucial information. When deciding what to make a copy of, think about what you would need from your PC to continue working, if it were to be damaged or stolen.
Clients’ email addresses and telephone numbers may seem unimportant in comparison with important legal documents for example, but think about how long it has taken you to collate all these details and how you would restore them if they weren’t backed-up. This is just one example of the type of thing you should be considering when determining what to copy, and shows why you shouldn’t disregard data that you take for granted in the day-to-day running of your business.
What types of back-up are there?
There are many different back-up options available. The most appropriate solution for you will depend on what best fits your time, security and budget requirements. A USB device may seem ideal for smaller organisations or mobile users who don’t have a large budget, for instance. But, the disadvantage to these removable hard-drives is that they can be unreliable and easy to lose.
Online data back-up is a popular choice for small and medium businesses, as there is no need to purchase hardware or software. You can simply select the data you want to make a copy of, which is then transferred in an encrypted format, to a high security data centre in the cloud – meaning all the hard work is done for you!
How does data recovery work?
The method used to recover information is dependent on how it was initially lost. Data can go missing through an accidental deletion, incorrect hard-drive formatting, Windows reinstallations and much more. In most cases the files become inaccessible, but a recovery can be used to recall what you need with ease.
However, always test your copied data – a back-up is useless if it can’t fully restore your files correctly. Make sure you back-up regularly, and keep secondary files off-site so you know your information can be safely retrieved.
Find out more about Q2Q’s business cloud and replication services and how you can protect your data, in the event of a system failure.