Data Security Through Backups: Protecting Your Business Information

When you look for data security solutions online, you might be bombarded with terminology such as data classification, network segmentation, and monitoring privileged account access. Advanced monitoring and network services are certainly crucial to maintaining a secure grip on your business information. But many owners focus on the latest tech so much that they forgo one of the basic principles of data security: proper backups.

What Data Backup Does for Data Security?

Backing up your data creates additional copies of that information to prevent it from being lost or damaged. According to a survey conducted by IGD, small and medium businesses store nearly 50TB of data, mostly from customers, market processes, and product pipelines. There are a few major reasons why you should consider backing up all that data.

Preventing Data Loss

Your business can lose data in a variety of ways:

  • Cloud service outages
  • Natural disasters
  • Human error
  • Malicious actors and malware

Storing your important business data in multiple locations simultaneously can relieve significant pressure from your main data center. If you don’t store this data elsewhere, a single event can wipe out most, if not all, of your critical files, which can lead to a significant loss of income, trust, and reputation.

A multifaceted approach to data backups allows businesses to recover lost data quickly and prevent issues from escalating.

Curbing Ransom Attacks

According to Statista, nearly 70% of all malware attacks in 2022 used ransomware. This means that the biggest threat a small business might have to worry about is a malicious actor gaining control of their data and demanding the company pay to get it back.

But, if you’ve backed up this data elsewhere, you can use that copy and completely ignore the present threat. Of course, data backups won’t solve your data security issues entirely here. You’ll still need to invest in additional measures such as authentication software, firewalls, and proper user permission handling. Additionally, your team needs to be educated on proper data management techniques as well as online threat detection such as phishing attacks.

Creating Data Recovery Avenues

According to the Small Business Credit Survey, 10% of small businesses suffered losses due to a natural disaster in 2021, and around 30% of businesses should expect to encounter one. It can take a significant amount of time and effort to bounce back and resume normal operations after a disaster.

But while software and hardware losses are relatively easy to recoup by buying new ones, losing data can be permanent if you don’t have a backup. With proper data backup implementation, companies can minimize their downtime and reduce recovery costs. Additionally, by minimizing the impact of the disaster, companies can prevent the reputational damage that comes from security breaches.

Minimizing Insider Threats

Whether via human error or malicious intent, another major threat to your data security comes from your employees. A contributor who mishandles vital data or storage receptacles can inadvertently significantly compromise the information your company uses for major decisions and projects.

Having a backup in place creates an additional protective layer to reduce this risk. When paired with proper account access monitoring, it can provide a solid internal security system.

How to Implement Backups with Data Security in Mind

When discussing how to create a data backup system, it’s important to leverage multiple storage mediums. Each comes with unique advantages and disadvantages, and you should combine some of them for best results.

Removable Media

These include DVDs and USB drives, although DVDs have become increasingly rare for most practical purposes since they need a dedicated drive to use. However, DVDs have excellent lifespans, being capable of storing data for decades if well-preserved since it doesn’t depend on electrical impulses to keep information.

One of the more significant downsides of removable media options is their limited size. DVDs, in particular, have terrible data throughput and can store only between 4.7GB (standard DVD) and 100GB (BDXL Blu-Ray rewritable) of data. USBs fare a bit better, with capacities of up to 2TB and higher speeds, thanks to the more modern USB-3 standard.

External Drives

External data drives (whether HDD or SSD) are a natural evolution of the USB, sacrificing a bit of convenience for memory size and additional safety options. With capacities of up to 20TB (but 1TB to 4TB are more common), they can usually handle most of your vital data. Additionally, the drives more easily handle frequent rewriting. While early external drives were rather primitive, you can now find devices that have built-in keypads, fingerprint scanners, and rugged protective cases to ensure your information stays safe and secure.

Cloud Storage

Saving your files online is perhaps the most cost-effective option based on price-per-storage capacity. With plenty of reputable cloud storage solutions to choose from, such as Dropbox, Google Cloud, OneDrive, iDrive, and Box, you can usually find the right price-to-feature ratio for your business.

If you choose the right provider, the storage has a theoretically infinite size so long as you’re prepared to pay for the convenience. Best of all, cloud storage usually offers real-time syncing options, file history recovery, and mobile device access, something that traditional storage solutions lack.

Managed Services

If you want to get the best data security, then hiring a managed data provider will be your best bet. This means that you’re putting your data in the hands of a dedicated team that develops a multifold approach to data backups. Typically, a managed data service combines cloud storage with traditional on-site solutions. Additionally, the provider is typically in charge of ensuring that devices are backed up regularly and can also offer additional security options such as encryption.

Tips for Data Backup

If you’ve decided to handle data backups yourself, you should keep these tips in mind.

The 3-2-1 Rule

You should have at least three copies of the data you want to store (one original and two duplicates). Store this data on at least two different devices, and one of those devices shouldn’t be in your workplace.

Luckily, combining local computer storage with cloud storage easily satisfies most of the requirements.

Develop a Schedule

Just having storage options isn’t enough to ensure your data stays secure. You also need to consider how often you will perform data backups to physical storage and where to store and organize vital information. Don’t forget that you should also periodically test long-term storage and replace data drives to ensure they don’t fail in the time of need.

Don’t Underestimate Physical Drives

While cloud services are excellent in terms of size and price, they can be more open to human error if you aren’t careful who can access the files. Physical drives can come in handy when you want long-term storage for vital documentation.

Don’t Forget Physical Copies

While you might loathe having to keep paper records on file, they are a vital part of owning and maintaining a business. Make sure to digitize these records and store a backup of them somewhere, but also ensure that the paper files are stored in a safe place. Additionally, take some time to organize physical records properly. It can save you a lot of time if you ever need to retrieve them.

Always Go for More

Data storage is relatively cheap. While you can save a few dollars by saving only what you absolutely need to recover, there’s hardly a reason to.

Get Professional Help with Data Backup and Storage

When running a small business, you can probably handle the basics of data backup yourself. However, if you aim to expand and grow, you need data security experts to ensure that your data backups stay safe and updated.

Luckily, business owners can count on DTS to develop a robust data management system that covers hardware, IT services, backup, storage, and cloud services, as well as VoIP and managed print solutions. Contact DTS to learn more about our service options in Bloomington, Minneapolis, and St. Paul.