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Photo Credit: Niklas Morberg, https://flic.kr/p/62EheU

Every day, small businesses take measures to protect themselves from threats to their operations. From insurance policies to sprinkler systems, or even something as small as having a safe or locking the front door, business owners are careful to eliminate risks that could jeopardize their company’s safety or security.

But when it comes to protecting critical business data like databases, CRM systems or accounting files, small businesses sometimes choose to take the risk. For those that choose to go without data backup coverage, their files are constantly at risk for data loss. Most think, “It won’t happen to me.” and take a gamble by going without backup protection. But all too often, businesses lose that bet.

“I know I should back up my data, but…”

Business owners can make any number of excuses, but the bottom line is that a dependable, secure backup strategy is absolutely imperative. There are two main purposes a backup serves:

  1. Business Continuity: A commonly used (and maybe overused) buzzword, business continuity includes every technology and system that a business needs to carry out its day to day operations. A big part of business continuity is complete, on-demand access to a company’s critical data.In the event of a server failure or, worse yet, a fire or other disaster, a business could be left without its most important files without a backup solution in place. Without access to its data, the business would be forced to close, temporarily or even permanently.
  2. Disaster Recovery: Data loss on some scale is inevitable for any organization. People accidentally delete files, computer viruses threaten data integrity and aging storage devices will eventually fail. The difference between remaining in business and closing could be how well a company recovers from a data loss disaster.When a company doesn’t have weeks, days or even hours to spare to recreate lost data, they could be out of luck if they are not able to recover from a disaster swiftly and completely.

“Our server is a good enough backup.”

Don’t let these be famous last words. As a data recovery lab, Gillware sees thousands of cases each year, many of which are servers or RAID arrays. One such case is a perfect example of why backing up often and offsite are both important for small businesses:

  • We received a case from a small Wisconsin law firm running three desktop computers that generated typical business files, such as Microsoft Office files, email, financials and invoicing data. All three computers backed up to the office’s RAID-5 network server.
  • When a fire gutted the building, there was extensive heat, smoke and water damage to the computer hardware, and the hard drives were partially melted.
  • The law office paid $19,000 for rush data recovery service on its server and desktop hard drives. Due to the extensive damage to the drives, only 80% of the data was recoverable and the procedure took five weeks to complete, leaving the office closed and operations frozen for a full five weeks.
  • If they had been using an offsite backup, the law office could have stayed open and not lost any business during the data recovery. For the cost of the data recovery, the law office could have protected their business with an offsite backup solution for years.

“I wish I would have known…”

Avoid the downtime of data loss, the difficulty and cost of data recovery and the risk of losing your business data forever: Be sure your company has a solid backup strategy in place to protect your critical business files.

EDIT: As of September 2016, Gillware Online Backup has been acquired by StorageCraft. Click here to learn more about their backup solutions. Click here to learn more about becoming a StorageCraft Partner.