“Cybercriminals target big industry names. They don’t care about small businesses.”

Sounds familiar?

Unfortunately, stats prove you wrong. Small businesses don’t take cybersecurity and data backup seriously enough. Statistics claim that 58% of small businesses are not prepared for a data loss.

This article will help you understand what data backup is, why it is important, and how to implement it.

What is Data Backup and Why is it Important?

Simply put, backing up data means making multiple copies of your business files to ensure they will not be lost use to online hacks, hardware failures, thefts, or natural disaster. This may not be the most exciting aspect of your job, but it plays a fundamental role in your disaster recovery plan. Next to choosing reliable antivirus, firewall, and password management software, data backups will directly impact your business performance.

Now, let’s see why small businesses should back up their data.

  • The Growing Number of Cyberattacks

The number of online hacks, viruses, and ransomware is growing impressively fast. Moreover, in addition to traditional cybercrime forms such as phishing attacks, malware, spyware and ransomware, new, sophisticated hacking methods have been created.

For example, in 2017, 77% of hacks were fileless. Additionally, with the rise of cryptocurrencies, criptomining has also skyrocketed.

  • The Dangers of Physical Disasters

Focused on protecting our businesses from online hackers, we forget what also matters these days. Yes, I’m talking about the danger of physical threats. Be it flood or dire, any natural disaster may wipe out all your business data instantly and hurt your business on multiple levels. Not to mention that even a theft or a hard drive mishap may result in a substantial data loss.

  • The Consequences are Serious

Uninterrupted business operations are a key to your business. Just imagine how terrible losing all of your client data, bank statements, marketing reports, website performance data, and email lists would be.

Given these facts, it’s not surprising the costs of losing significant business data are high. In collaboration with IBM, the Ponemon Institute did research in 2017 and concluded that the average cost of data loss is about $3.6 million.

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Precisely because of that, it’s not that surprising that between 60% and 90% of small businesses fail right after losing their data.

  • The Number of Businesses Investing in Data Backup is Growing

The majority of small businesses have started understanding the importance of these practices. Stats say that 84% of SMBs are combining online and onsite backups to save their data. Most importantly, 68% of them test their backup tactics on a weekly or monthly basis.

Also, the number of businesses investing in safer data backup is expected to grow in 2019 and beyond. By 2020, 78% of small businesses are expected to migrate to the cloud.

In such a fast-paced ecosystem, where small businesses are doing their best to stay competitive, ignoring the importance of data backup and sticking to the “whatever will be will be” approach, you will start lagging behind.

What are the Different Types of Data Backups?

There are different forms of data backups you need to consider. Here are the most popular ones:

  • A full backup means that, every time you back up a system, all files and folders in it are backed up. Even though it may be extremely time-consuming, restoring your business’ data after a hack or a disaster will be much simpler.
  • An incremental backup is a great alternative to time-consuming backups. It backs up only the data that has changed since the previous full backup. As it is fast and reliable, an incremental backup is a preferred form of backup used by the majority of businesses.
  • A mirror backup represents the exact copy of your original data. With mirror backups, the software saves only the data in your system during the last backup, meaning that there are no outdated files.

What Makes a Solid Backup?

Experts emphasize that businesses should back up their data according to the following pattern: two local copies of your data on multiple devices and one off-site copy. By copying your data this way, you’ll significantly lower the risk of losing it.

Of course, to back up your data properly, you need to equip yourself with the right tools.

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File History is a free option provided by Windows 10 that stores the screenshots of your files on an external hard drive. To activate this feature, you just need to connect your external hard drive with your computer. Then, find the “Backup” tab under your “File History”, click on “Add a drive” and choose your hard drive from the list.

If you’re not sure how to backup iPhone or Mac devices, you could start with the in-built Time Machine feature that comes with macOS. It works similarly to Windows File History–it takes screenshots of your business and saves them on your external drive. To activate it, connect your external drive with your computer, go to “System Preferences” and choose the “Select the Disk” option. After checking your settings, Time Machine will start running in the background.

As for investing the right backup software systems for your business, here are a few solutions to consider:

What Steps to Take to Protect your Data?

When using software to back up your data, you need to make sure that you’re backing up everything you need. Here are a few steps you need to take daily to keep your business data safe:

  • Audit your backup settings weekly or monthly to make sure your important data is protected.
  • Check whether your key data is backed up.
  • Combine online and on-site backup tactics so you can have more than one copy of your data saved.
  • Focus on other aspects of your computer security, such as creating strong passwords and investing in powerful antivirus and firewall software.
  • Make sure you have enough storage space to meet your business’ needs.

Over to You

Don’t risk losing your hard-earned business data. Sure, the most effective way to prevent such a disaster is to protect your data properly. By having a strong data recovery strategy and choosing a solid backup system, you will be able to overcome whatever problems you face and ensure your business continuity.

How do you back up your business data?

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