Today businesses generate data more than ever before. Thus, big or small, backing up data regularly is a must for start-ups. When a disaster strikes, whether it be a natural occurrence or malicious intervention, losing the data of your employee, customer or corporate can be a major loss.
Imagine your office gets flooded and destroys all your hardware. With the help of a cloud backup, not just your information will be safe but, it will also ensure that after a brief physical rebuild, your company is up and running again. However, in case of not doing a backup, will lead you to start your business from scratch, and it might take months or years.
A combination of regular backups and security software will help you spot threats and remove them from your network making it more secure.
Here are six simple ways you can simplify data backups and keep your start-up running smoothly.
1. Automate Backups
Backing up your data manually is definitely a headache. Be proactive and set automatic backups on a constant and periodic basis. This will help to make it stress-free even when a disaster strikes. You will have peace of mind knowing that all of your data is backed up safely.
If you are still planning on backing up your data manually, think about what that looks like in the long run. It means that you will have to set time aside from your busy schedule to manually back up every piece of data. This is not time effective and takes a lot of fore-planning. Not to mention, if you depend on a specific employee’s diligence, what happens if they get sick or leave the company? In case if you miss the backup for a day, week or month then you will be in serious trouble when disaster strikes.
2. Encrypt your Data from Day One
Before it has a marketing campaign, customers, funding or even an office, a startup has one all-important asset: “information”. This can be in the form of a codebase, a blueprint, a business plan, etc. As a company grows, it will collect new information in a variety of forms like customer data, transaction records, plans for additional products—all critical for its survival and success.
Unfortunately, only a few startups recognize the need for data protection. Companies that fail to encrypt their data are under risk to get robbed and unable to grow and compete. Encryption is becoming the new standard for data protection. This technology can keep data safe from the hackers, spies, and careless employees who will inevitably get their hands on a company’s sensitive information. There is backup software available which will help you encrypt data on the device and send it in an encrypted form to the cloud by using a secured, encrypted channel. This data in the cloud will be additionally secured through a strict data center security policy.
3. Multiple Copies in Multiple Regions is a Good Idea
Creating copies of your data is mandatory, especially for companies that operate across different geographies. For instance, if you have a United Kingdom-based company that has a small office in New-York, then you must ensure that you have multiple copies stored in all the of these places. Using this process, your company will be safe from file disasters and location-based disasters. If in case, the United Kingdom office is not able to access the data in that location, then New-York will still be able to access the files. And if unfortunately, if New-York files get corrupted, then again you have an extra copy or two saved as well.
This process can be used for start-ups too. Although you might only have one location, still you can save multiple versions of your data backups and diversify where and how the data is protected. There are many data backup apps/ solutions that will help you automate the backup of your data to multiple locations.
This process is called as 3- 2- 1 Rule
The rule says you must have at least three copies of your data, on at least two different types of media, one of which is stored off-site.
In order to have redundant backups, you also need to be mindful of local data restrictions. Ensure you work with a provider that can have your data available from anywhere and compliant depending on your region and industry.
4. Look for Public Clouds
Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services are equally good if you don’t want to get too deep into the weeds about how to manage your data. The Cloud is cheaper and easier to use, especially when you are working on someone else’s infrastructure.
The Cloud is cheaper when compared to storing files locally, but it's also much easier to use, especially if you're working off of someone else's infrastructure. With clouds like Azure and AWS, all you need to be concerned about is managing the dashboards that Microsoft and Amazon provide you with. They will deal with the local administration and data recovery issues. In case of any issue that occurs with your own personal servers then your IT staff is expected to manage with it.
5. Give It a Whirl
Test your backups once in a while. Set-and-forget is a trap into which many start-ups’ fall when it comes to backup. Most backup apps available are entirely automated, so it's easy to forget they are working, especially when most of that work is probably happening after hours. However, it's mandatory to take 30 minutes and make sure that (a) the data you need to have backed up is actually being saved, and (b) you can actually recover that data within the time frame you're expecting.
Backup logs might indicate that a backup was performed on X date at Y time, but that doesn't essentially mean everything is fine. It can happen that transmission to the cloud might have been broken or perhaps the files you saved might have somehow became corrupted. That would be the last thing you would want to discover the day you actually need to access your backup files. So, just take a few minutes and restore a few files from your most recent backup now and then to ensure everything is working.
In big companies, it’s a practice that IT professionals do the testing of their backup process regularly every month. But when it comes to start-ups, without much IT staff onboard, it is advisable to do the testing of backup process minimum once in a quarter.
“Startups & Data Breaches: How a Startup Can Protect Itself From a Data Breach in 2014 & Beyond.” Digital Guardian, 14 Dec. 2018, digitalguardian.com/blog/startups-data-breaches-how-startup-can-protect-itself-data-breach-2014-beyond.
“Best Online Backup for Business in 2019.” Cloudwards, 24 Mar. 2018, www.cloudwards.net/best-online-backup-for-small-business/.
“The 5 Best Cloud Backup Solutions for Small Business Owners.” Atlantech Online, www.atlantech.net/blog/the-5-best-cloud-backup-solutions-for-small-business-owners.
Martinez, Juan, et al. “6 Steps to Simplify Business Cloud Backup.” PCMag India, 21 Sept. 2017, in.pcmag.com/feature/113918/6-steps-to-simplify-business-cloud-backup.
“15 Best Backup Software Systems: Comparison Of Popular Solutions.” Financesonline.com, financesonline.com/top-15-backup-software-systems-comparison-popular-solutions/.