What Do You Need to Back-up Your Data?
Written by Chris Thornton
Your infrastructure should reflect the needs of your business - but choosing exactly how you protect and back-up your data can be confusing...
While cyber-security is a business necessity, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every organisation. Backing-up data on-site may well be good practice, but that strength becomes a weakness if your premises are vulnerable to hardware-damaging disasters, like flooding or fire. Similarly, while off-site cloud backup reduces the risk of loss by damage, it also takes sensitive data out of your hands, and increases the threat of hacking or exposure.
We encourage our clients to think about their organisation's individuality: do your employees use mobile devices? Do you have the physical space to host storage at your premises? How vulnerable is your business to 'natural' disasters? Could your employees carry out their work off-site, if necessary?
Understanding 'how' you need to back-up data will help you decide 'what' you need to get the job done. Before your begin assembling an infrastructure, you’ll need a clear plan...
Creating Your Backup Plan
- Budget: You’ll need to divert financial resources towards your backup strategy. The scalability of your backup infrastructure will help you adapt to changing financial situations.
- Capacity: Ensure you have the capacity to back-up your data. The ‘size’ of data increases as time passes - your storage capacity will have to adapt to that progression.
- Frequency: ‘When’ and ‘how long’ you save data will obviously be important to your backup infrastructure - and will depend on storage capacity, finances and time.
- Threats: From natural disasters to malware and viruses, the threats your data faces will evolve. Your backup strategy should be flexible enough to adapt to a changing security landscape.
Building Your Backup Infrastructure
Modern backup requirements are vastly different to those of 10 or even 5 years ago. While small, portable USB storage devices used to be sufficient (hard disk drives and solid state drives), the needs of small businesses have grown.
Today, the key to a successful backup infrastructure is flexibility and scalability. Your backup needs to offer the reassurance that your data is safe from a spectrum of threats, while also bringing mobility and adaptability: letting employees work from home, travel the world and collaborate with others. With that in mind, two backup strategies suit the needs of the modern SME:
- Network Storage Servers: Dedicated and networked storage devices which serve multiple users within an organisation. Network storage servers make data recovery easier, allow for collaborative work and provide a long term, on-site space for your company's data. Installing network storage will require hardware set-up costs, however, and it will also take up space within your premises. Network storage remains vulnerable to physical threats too, including fire, flood and other natural disasters.
- Cloud storage: Cloud service providers offer a range of computing services, including secure data storage. The beauty of cloud storage is its flexibility: you can scale up and down as necessary, access and backup data wherever you are, and protect it from conventional, physical threats. Cloud storage has the added benefit of affordability - with storage solutions for a range of budgets. Since you will be moving your data off-site, cloud storage environments also entail an increased exposure to potential cyber-threats and mean relinquishing control of certain computing processes.
Creating a solid backup infrastructure not only represents protection for your data, but actually enables your business. Cloud storage can easily form part of a hybrid solution in which some of your data is exported to the cloud, while some is kept within reach, on-site. This flexibility allows for quick, easy and secure transfer of data while, at the same time, offering your employees the chance to work remotely and expand your operational capabilities to a larger client base.
What kind of cyber-security infrastructure have you built? Are you confident your back-up strategies are getting the job done? If not, get in touch...
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