Data is the lifeblood of any business, so preserving it is vital. If your servers fail, your network is attacked, or an employee accidentally deletes droves of files; the only way to recover lost data is with a comprehensive backup solution.
Yet despite being armed with this knowledge, many Australian businesses are still at risk. This is largely because they don’t fully understand how to deploy an effective backup solution; and how to restore files when disaster strikes. That’s why more and more companies are turning to managed backup services.
What are managed backup services?
The biggest problems surrounding data backups often stem from a lack of time and expertise. For instance, many believe that saving their files in an external hard drive is a viable backup strategy on its own; but this could not be farther from the truth. Hard drives can be easily misplaced or destroyed, and they might not even have the proper hardware components to fully secure your backups.
It’s also easy for the process of backing up data to external hard drives to fall by the wayside. After all, you and your employees have more pressing concerns than making copies of your files on a minute-to-minute basis.
The point is, when your backups are managed poorly; you run the risk of prolonged, expensive downtime when something goes wrong. But managed backup services give you a team of certified engineers who will protect you from every conceivable eventuality. They generally provide the following:
- Risk assessments – When you subscribe to managed backups; the provider will evaluate the level of risk your company is exposed to in relation to data breaches and natural disasters. Then they’ll determine which files need to be backed up, how frequently to do it, and what type of hardware and software to use.
- Onsite backups – For businesses that are relatively safe from having to endure natural disasters; storing data on a local server or tape drive make sense. However, this is usually complemented by a cloud storage solution in case some sort of physical damage does occur.
- Public cloud storage – Signing up for the public cloud means your data will be kept in multiple offsite servers; so there are virtually no upfront hardware costs and you can expect to pay only for the storage you use.
- Private cloud storage – If you’re in an industry with strict data compliance regulations like healthcare or financial services; private cloud storage is ideal because the offsite servers, network, and compliance protocols can be designed to your specific security and recovery time requirements.
- Scheduled backups – Regardless of which type of cloud storage service you choose; providers will routinely back up your data without ever interrupting your work.
- Universal recovery – This feature allows you to restore your files to any device as long as it’s connected to the company network.
- Service-level agreements – These are contracts that specify guaranteed uptime minimums and highlight what you can expect from the provider. Reputable providers will usually guarantee 99% uptime and add ongoing maintenance service to their SLAs.
However, the most important service a managed backup provider offers is testing your backup and recovery solutions; to ensure your organisation is ready when disaster strikes.
Mitigating data loss damages
As a small- or mid-sized business; you may think that backing up data isn’t truly necessary and that it’s reserved for large enterprises with massive stores of sensitive information. But the reality is, everyone must have one.
According to a recent study by Ponemon Institute, Australian companies pay an average of $139 per compromised record; which can be disastrous if you lose a month’s or even a day’s worth of data. And that’s not even including the productivity loss, non-compliance penalties, and loss of customer trust.
The cost of signing up for managed data backups is tiny compared with the potential productivity loss caused by downtime; especially if you store your data in the cloud where you pay only a small fee for enterprise-class data centres, support, and as much storage space as you need. Customers are also likely to have more trust in you knowing that you have taken appropriate measures to secure their data.
Complete data redundancy
When it comes to backups, you always want to abide by the 3-2-1 rule; which means every file you create must have at least 3 copies, 2 of which are stored locally, and 1 stored remotely. For example, you can have a setup where files are stored in an onsite server, USB drive, and the private cloud.
Managed backup providers adhere to this golden rule; and even replicate your data in multiple cloud facilities so it can’t be affected by things like fires, power outages, and theft. So if one set of backups fails, you’ll still be able to access your files as long as you have an internet connection and a functional computer.
Data is a precious commodity not just for businesses, but for hackers, too. If you manage your backups without any help; you may be missing important steps to protect them from malware and other cyberattacks. Also, if your office isn’t equipped with surveillance systems, security guards, and entryway keypads, hackers can simply walk into your server rooms and wreak havoc.
In addition to all the security measures above, a managed backup provider will also install advanced encryption systems, stringent access control systems, and data loss prevention tools; and when coupled with proactive monitoring services; the chances of hackers gaining access to your backups is reduced to zero
In recent years, ransomware; a malicious program designed to lock down computers and take data hostage; has grown extremely popular with hackers because of the huge payouts. Ransomware attacks like Cryptolocker and WannaCry demand $300 to $600 to unlock each computer; which is a hefty price if your network has hundreds of PCs.
There’s also no guarantee that cybercriminals will keep their word and provide you with the decryption key. The best way to recover from these attacks without paying huge sums is a solid managed backup solution; that gives you the ability to simply wipe your infected computers and load up fresh copies of your files in just a few minutes.
Survive every disaster
Ultimately, managed backups give you the confidence knowing that you can withstand any data-loss event. The best part is you barely have to touch anything. Everything from the implementation and employee training through to testing your backup and recovery plan is fully managed, so you’re free to focus on more pressing business issues.
At Empower IT, we offer the best managed backup services in Australia. We’re partnered with industry-leading backup vendors like Microsoft, StorageCraft, and Veeam to provide you with cutting-edge tools that ensure data security and business continuity. For more information on our services, call us today.