31st July 2018
Here’s a shocking statistic: there are currently almost a million businesses in the UK who don’t backup their company data. In addition to that, new research has shown that another 2.8 million organisations who, despite backing up, are still at risk of losing their data because they store it in the same location as the original.
That means there are approximately four million businesses in the UK who are leaving themselves wide open to losing their company data, whether it be through a manmade disaster like a malware attack, or a natural one such as a fire.
But unfortunately, while you can’t do much about a fire breaking out, if you’re a small business it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking you fly under the radar of hackers and data thieves. However the reality is that smaller companies are more vulnerable than the big guys. Think about it – whose lines of defence are likely to be more robust? Mr. Multinational or the local vendor with just a few members of staff?
Hackers are always on the prowl for poorly defended networks and if you’re not backing up securely and remotely, or are storing data on your office computers and employees’ laptops and phones you’re extremely vulnerable to attack or disaster.
So how do you protect your data? Probably the easiest way is to address password issues. Many companies choose passwords they think will be easy for staff to remember – thus avoiding the hassle of forgotten passwords, numerous log-in attempts and locked accounts. However, the easier it is for your employees to remember your passwords, the easier it will be for a hacker to crack them.
You also need to establish a backup routine. If you’re a small business you may find backing up to a hard drive sufficient. Make sure you do so nightly and, if possible, adhere to the ‘30 mile rule’ which means physically keeping backup devices away from the original location to eliminate the possibility of data loss through flood, fire, or theft.
Using cloud-based storage such as Google Drive or Drop Box (to name just two) is an alternative and is quicker and easier as it removes the need to perform physical backups, however these services can be vulnerable to security breaches.
Finally, if you have a LAN – a local area network – you could backup data to a separate server or computer. Again, it is preferable they are remote and not on the same premises as your original data.
If all of this sounds too much like hard work and you need a cast iron reason to backup your data bear in mind that if you lose your data you’re going to be losing money while your systems are down. You’ll also be at potential risk of your customers or clients finding out and losing their faith in you. Data breaches can also lead to serious legal issues if private information has been exposed. Take steps now to protect your data, your business and your livelihood before it’s too late.